4 Things You Need to Know Before Transitioning From the Suburbs to the "Ghetto"

Even as a junior in college I'm still doing those little icebreaker games on the first day of classes. You know, like "say your name, major and where you're from". Many times I'd answer "Ashburn, Virginia" followed by the look of " I ain't never ever heard of that place before", and you probably haven't. As a freshman, leaving my predominately white high school, in my predominantly white town around my predominately white neighbors, adjusting was not easy. It was, however, necessary. I went from living in a suburban bubble to what some girls from home may believe to be "the hood". At first, when I moved here I kept asking myself "girl what the hell have you got yourself into?" Now, as a junior, I realize it was the best life choice I have ever had to make, and here is why.

1) Diversity - I made this my first and most important reason because many people believe HBCU's are just a whole bunch of black people with the same mindset, yet I see more diversity here than I ever did at home. You're meeting future lawyers, doctors, authors that look just like you and it's truly an inspiring feeling.

2) Broadening Your Horizon - I'll keep this short but experiencing a new living area or lifestyles is needed. You can't prepare for the real world without it. If you originally grew up in a predominately white area, you probably aren't familiar with how growing up in a predominately black area is. 

3) Learning Who You Are - prior to attending my illustrious institution I really had no idea who I was. I wasn't sure what I wanted in life or what I was even doing with myself. It took me coming to an environment that felt more like "home" than my actual home to realize this. I've met people I can consider sisters who don't let me run rampant but instead check me in my downfalls and praise me in high hopes. I met professors and fellow students with the powers to uplift my spirits in ways I haven't felt. I met people that inspired me to do better, and I've inspired people as well. There is no better feeling than learning who you are alongside people who are in your life to make it that much better.

4) Locals - I can't speak for other HBCU's, but one of my favorite parts of going to school in Atlanta, Georgia is meeting people who are local to the area. It's something that I never got back home. You don't see the same random acts of kindness; you don't see strangers who connect with best friends where I'm from. Atlanta is a cultivating city. It's a city of growth throughout its troubles.

Fun fact: My first article for Her Campus was written about the gentrification that occurs in the Atlanta area and without coming here and learning about the beautiful souls affected by it, I would've remained apart of the statistic that doesn't know what's happening at all... or maybe they just don't care.

I googled "the hood" and what came up didn't surprise me.

The Hood - a place where plenty of s**t goes down like gangbanging, drug dealing, killing; a place where you wouldn't want to be.

Let me tell you how wrong this is. I live about five minutes away from "The Bluff" in Atlanta. The Bluff is a place that is referred to as being "the hood".

Although it holds such a negative description it truly is not that. I learned so much and have embraced so much by living in this place. To close out I would love to hear if anyone else has had similar experiences from moving to a suburban area to a place like the West End of Atlanta. Please share! I may be writing update articles about my day to day experiences here:

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