My Black Experience: My Journey to Clark Atlanta

Let me start off by saying, Clark Atlanta was not my dream school. And I think that’s what drew me in.

I heard about Clark Atlanta for the first time when I was a Freshman in high school. I was at graduation and when they were announcing all of the schools to be attended by the of the Class of 2014. It all sounded like “blah blah blah, Clark Atlanta University, blah blah blah” In a sea of state schools and the occasional northern schools that I had never heard of. After that, I decided to do my research on Clark Atlanta.  Once I spent time committing a couple hours to see if this school could possibly be for me, I decided that it was potentially a good fit, but not good enough to be my first pick. That was Howard.

Fast forward to my senior year of high school, I was a BUSY GIRL! I was a Co-Captain of the cheer squad, I was Treasurer of the Senior Class, prom committee, all of that. So on top of that, I was going to test prep for the ACT, as well as applying for college. Most days I had it under control, but some days all it took all I could to not have a meltdown. Towards the middle of senior year, this was me:

BUT! I had it under control. I knew I had it under wraps because I was a planner. I had a plan for my WHOLE life. And all the way up until this point it wasn’t a problem, everything had gone according to plan. I thought college would be the same. I knew I was gone go to Howard, yall. HU YOU KNOW!

Wrong. I didn’t know.

Late senior year, I finally convinced my parents to take me to Howard University. I was super excited, I thought it would be like a dream. As my family took a cute tour of Howard, I was in love, I imagined my family was too, as they supported me in anything I chose to do.

My mother, on the other hand, was not. She was not a fan. She thought the living conditions were trash, she didn’t think it was worth the money and she knew I didn’t like the cold. It was a no for her. So we went back to the hotel and my dreams were crushed. CRUSHED! I really didn’t have another option that stuck out to me like Howard. So out of instinct, I told her that Clark Atlanta is my second option.

Once again, I convinced my parents to take me to Clark Atlanta to visit and I fell in love. I loved the people, I loved the campus, I loved everything the AUC stood for. But now I had to convince my mother that an HBCU would be worth her time and more importantly her money. I knew it was not going to be an easy task considering both of my parents went to PWIs. Over time it was a reoccurring argument amongst my family and friends about what the worth of my future education would be. Eventually, I stopped arguing. I physically could not. The idea that someone wanted to devalue my education purely because it was black. I wasn’t going. So what did I do? I went to Clark Atlanta. On a Full ride.

Eventually, my parents came around. And friends and family. But at that moment I had to realize everything I did at that point was for me. It didn’t matter who thought what about where I was going to school. I knew the moment I stepped on campus that Clark Atlanta was for me. And ya girl has been growing and glowing ever since. Since being at Clark Atlanta, I've been going out more, speaking up more, doing the things I've always wanted to do. And most importantly, I have a family away from home. In other words,

attending Clark Atlanta University was the best decision I've ever made.