I have grown so much since August 2017, that it honestly scares me. I always knew that we are always continually growing over the course of our lives but, I think some years, you grow more than others. This year, was one of those years….
Move In Day
Move in day was such a fun, sad, scary, and exciting day. Before getting to DC, I was not too thrilled to be attending Howard.. but after this day, I started to feel exciting to be here. From the bbq stations in every corner, the r&b/ hip hop/ rap music mix playing, and the red/ blue/ white balloons, it was hard to not feel excited and proud of myself; it felt like a perfect fit for me.
My New Hairstyle
Going natural (well wearing my natural hair out) was an impulsive decision but, at the same time, I really wanted to. I told my mom, before I graduated high school, that I wanted to stop only wearing weaves or braids and wanted to wear my hair. My hair was so weak, straight and fragile. This added stress on top of school (trying to figure out what works for my hair, and work through all of my ugly hair days) was not any help BUT, it made me feel way more confident to wear my hair out. On Howard’s campus, everyone does what they want. So, I didn’t feel embarrassed wearing my hair out; I actually felt comforted… see my transformation below.
picture 1: Before big chop. Just took braids out.
picture 2: After cut;
picture 3: Loved day three
picture 4: Two months in,
picture 5-7: Christmas time! My hair was so thick! I was shocked and I never knew my hair, with just some TLC and TIMEEEEE CHILE’, could really flourish. My hair started out as 34abc texture. But in the last picture I was in the 4B range. Currently, it’s getting so thick, that I am moving into the 4C range.
Freshman Week – Fall Semester
Shortly after freshman week, it did not feel perfect at all. I was looking into transferring to any school- even a school in my hometown. that’s how much I hated it.I was rejected into a lot of clubs and organizations. I felt out of place because I did not have a lot of people I knew- who could become friends. As people started to fall into their cliques, I was falling into a deep trait of shyness. I only had tunnel vision for school. That meant a lot of meals were eaten by myself and a lot of nights off, I was in my dorm. Do not get me wrong, I love doing things by myself. So much that I did not even notice I was by myself for weeks.
Yes, I hung out and had light conversation with random people, my floormates, and roommates, but at the time, I did not know them. I did not realize how much I really have to get to know someone first in order to consider them a friend. I am such a Leo *slightly rolls eyes*. When I am friends with someone, I will go above and beyond for them. SO many times in the past have I done that for people and have not received the same love in return. To say the least, I had to check myself and really allow myself to be more open and talkative- a challenge.
After a couple more weeks went by, a failed test (that I studied so hard for), a lot of self realizations, a death in the family, and a couple anxiety attacks (I thought this was something that could never happen to me. oh but it did hunty, several times.), I started to lean more onto the people I knew and actually started meeting new people. I have always preached to myself and others that it is okay to be able to count your friends on one finger. At Howard, it is hard to accept that (let’s be real)! N
- 1: friends with everyone, and
- 2: close with every person you meet.
As I just allowed my first semester to play out, I learned that everyone is trying to better and figure themselves out right now and I need to not take it personally (*rolls eyes in Leo once again*). Instead, I need to be grateful to know the people I do and grow and learn with them- the rest will come…
Taking a much-needed winter break, I took the time to ask myself what I wanted out of my college experience. My answer: a diverse black community, a great education, tools to help me succeed, and an overall experience that would nurture me to know how to stand on my feet when things get tough. The solution to my answer: Howard University. Returning back in the spring, with a new attitude, and a new found confidence in myself, my experience was much better.
A huge theme this year was:
“What is for you will be for you, and what is not for you, will not be for you.”– Said every HU Student
I learned that fall semester and fulfilled that mantra during the spring. I am so excited to say that with faith, God has shown me the importance of truly letting go and letting HIM take over. I am proud to say that I have drafted plans for a non-profit (stay tuned.. still working out the kinks), worked (-ing *praise him, won’t he do it) for in the Creative Department for The School’s Newspaper, became a Student Ambassador, and a School of Business Management Team Leader.
My freshman year was the year of change but, with all of these changes, I have somehow maintained true to myself. Over the next 1,460 days, I challenge you to find yourself and through that process, take note of the things you love and do more of them! Take note of the things you hate and do less of them! Reserve time in your life to do things for yourself. Allow your surroundings to inspire you and get out of your comfort zone.
All glory to the man above. Truly grateful and humbled for all of the experiences and memories I am about to make over the next three years.