Black Excellence on Campus: Diamond Hill and the Power of Positivity

AllName: Diamond Hill

Year: Senior

Age: 21

Majors: Psychology and Family & Child Science

Hometown: Sanford, Florida

Her Campus (HC): What specifically do you want to do with your degrees once you graduate?

Diamond Hill (DH): Upon graduating, I’m either going to join Teach for America or I’m going to go into nonprofit management in my masters. I seek to start a nonprofit and then jump into charter schools. From there, I’m going to go into motivational speaking around the world to promote positive thinking, positive attitudes, being your own boss and not limiting yourself off of what you see and what you’ve heard but just using all that you have to be where you want to be. So, I don’t see myself behind a desk all my life.

HC: What made you want to pursue Psychology and Family & Child Science?

DH: I took a psychology class in high school and I was very intrigued about why people do the things that they do and why they think the way they do. I was always a kid who asked, “Why? Why? Why?” so because of that and because it’s so broad, I just jumped right into that coming into Florida State. There’s endless opportunities in the field of psychology and I could go any route. Family and Child Science I did because I want to work with disadvantaged youth and troubled youth, so I thought that it would be a good segway to learn about how they develop and how they work so that I know what I’m dealing with.

HC: Are there any hardships that you face, as a Black woman attending a PWI? If so, how do you push through them?

DH: Definitely. I would say sometimes feeling like you don’t fit in in certain spaces that you’re at but I’ve worked so hard to sit at the tables that I sit at. So it intimidates you sometimes but overall when you’re comfortable with who you are as a person, you just push through those intimidations and realize: I earned my seat at this table, so even if I don’t look like you, it doesn’t matter because I’m still doing the same work just as good or better than you. That’s what it’s about for me, just kind of finding that identity and being comfortable with being uncomfortable.

HC: What organizations are you heavily involved with on campus?

DH: I’m currently the Vice President of the Black Student Union, so I’ve been involved with BSU the whole time I’ve been in college. I was membership chair, then secretary and now vice president. I’m heavily involved in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; I currently serve as our Sergeant-at-Arms, so I keep up with our chapter, chapter property and things like that. That’s my big involvement right now, currently. But I’ve been involved with Garnet and Gold Key, C.A.R.E. and a plethora of other organizations.

HC: What caused you to pursue executive positions within those organizations, primarily Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Black Student Union?

DH: Well, with the Black Student Union, it was passion and it was seeing myself wanting to do more and be more and not just stay in the executive board position. Once I got those founding things that I needed to propel myself to the next position, I just continued to move up, rather than moving backward and starting over in a new organization. I believe in persistence and consistency, so I feel like if you put your time, passion and energy into something for over a year, then maybe you should stay on that track and see what that would do for you. BSU is a nonprofit organization, and I’m going to work with nonprofit. Being that I’m Vice President and I’m over all of these committees, I know how to work with people, I know how to generate ideas, I know how to spearhead events and stuff like that, so that would help me in my career. And then as far as Delta, not only do we only have a couple sisters here left so of course, I would be on the executive board but also just wanting to make a difference in my sorority as well as be a mover and shaker like my founders were and like many people before me were. So, just trying to be the best Diamond I can be and give myself to every space that I occupy.

HC: Are you where you envisioned yourself to be at this point in time? Would the freshman you be proud of where you are today?

DH: I am not where I would expect myself to be and I say that because I am accomplished in involvement but when I came in I wanted to be accomplished in academics. I wanted to be known for academics and now I’m more known for my involvement, which is good because academics is not solely what will make you successful. Looking back, I would put more emphasis on both so that I could be stellar in all aspects of my life. But overall, I feel like I’m definitely surprised. My freshman self would be like, “Wow. You did what you said you were going to do, as far as every single thing I wanted to join, every single space I wanted to be in, becoming a Delta when I wanted to become a Delta, just doing everything I said I would do. And even though I didn’t do it how I thought I would, it still was done, so I think that’s the overall message that God wanted me to know: Your journey is always different but your destination is what you’re focused on.

HC: I’ve noticed that you are a very positive influence on campus- you’re very big on self-confidence, positive thinking and speaking your goals into existence. How do you feel that speaking your goals into existence has added value to your life or aided in your success since coming to FSU?

DH: I’ve always been a self-motivated person, so I didn’t need someone to say “Do this,” or “do that” – I did it for myself. But I noticed that my friends and people around me weren’t like that, so that’s another reason that I got into psychology and positive thinking and all that stuff, because I wanted to be that vocal person for somebody else who didn’t know how to push through or who didn’t know how to use words of affirmation or who didn’t know how to go to the Bible and read something and digest it and be able to speak it into existence. So, something I have now is, I always tell people to claim it, #ClaimIt and sometimes when you say, “I think I can do this” or “I’m going to do that,” you have to say I will– certain words of affirmation that I just promote people to use.

HC: Have you ever experienced a lack of motivation and drive in regards to achieving your goals? If so, how did you get yourself back on track?

DH: Yes, yes, I definitely have. I was so involved and doing so much that I had a burnout semester where I was unmotivated for school, I was unmotivated for life. All of these different things were happening around me and I had to take that time for myself and understand that this is the stage of my life that I’m at, and it’s okay to be here, and not to feel like “Oh, you have to be out of this slump, right now, tomorrow.” Sometimes, you need that process of going through struggles to be able to give your testimony, so I think that my struggles made me stronger and my down moments just made me want to grind harder. I think that just seeing myself at my lowest point and seeing all the things that weren’t like me, it just made me get back on my grind. It made me write down my goals, write down my dreams, write down my aspirations and remember why I started. That’s my biggest thing, just remembering why you started. When you go through struggles or when you go through hard times, just always think about it like, ‘I’m here to graduate. Even though the journey might be difficult, I’m going to get there.”

HC: You’ve accomplished so much since coming to FSU. Do you have any advice for incoming Seminoles or for anyone on campus in need of motivation to achieve their goals?

DH: Yes. I would say that even when things get hard, never stop fighting for what you want and what you believe in. Always seek knowledge – don’t let knowledge seek you. Sometimes, it won’t be presented to you, so you have to go and find it yourself. Never be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and do something that you’ve never done before because those are the things that propel you to the best situations of your life. Also, take full advantage of every resource that Florida State has in your four years. Don’t look back on your senior year and be like, “Dang, I didn’t even know that existed.” So, I would just say to get out there early – not as far as involvement but just being intentional about everything that you do from your academics to your involvement, to your social life, to your friend circles. Being intentional, being purposeful and being motivated about who you are.

 All photos courtesy of Diamond Hall.