An HBCU Homecoming is unlike anything I have ever experienced. It is like a block party, high-fashion show, and fair all combined into a week’s worth of events. This type of gathering is something that every black individual should experience whether or not they attend an hbcu. It is more than just parties for a week straight. It is also an opportunity to network and a time to put yourself out there. My first homecoming had its highs and lows, but overall memories I’ll hold onto forever.
If I had any advice for surviving this week, it would be to make a budget in advance. By making a budget you give yourself the ability to move around money beforehand so you’re not scrambling at the last minute and making sure you’re not overspending on events or items you want. Having good communication with your parents is also necessary during this time, because they may be able to chip in for anything you may need. Plus, this way you all are on the same page and they don’t get surprised when they see your bank statements. Either way, you’re able to be more organized about the number of events you want to go to and weed out the ones you can skip out on. This is something I have always done since high school, when big dances or events were coming up, I would talk to my parents about who can pay for what and it makes a difference. Understanding your financial needs can make the difference between you having funds that last you till the end of the week, or being stuck in your dorm room because you spent it all on the first day.
When it came to clothes, I have always been somewhat of a shopaholic buying anything I saw and then felt the regret later down the line. Yet, when it comes to homecoming, go out with what you’re comfortable in. If you want to wear sweats or even a cute lil dress from Fashion Nova, it doesn’t matter. As long as you’re out having fun and enjoying yourself. I did a little bit of both shopping online and thrifting. So, by cutting corners and buying clothes from Goodwill, I upcycled clothes and jeans and no one knew the difference. I made sure it was something where I felt like I was having fun, sexy, and still something comfortable that lasted me through a whole event.
My favorite part of the entire week however was the night of the All Black Party. Right after our concert with DaBaby, my friend practically ran back to our dorm rooms to change because the night was just getting started. Even as I am writing this my heart is pounding a little harder, because all the excitement is coming back. Anyway, after getting ready we ended up at this location that was an actual club. I have never been to a club before, so this was something exciting. I felt on top of the world: dancing all night, surrounded by my friends, and listening to great music. It was almost like a fever dream; it didn’t feel real for a second, but it was. Probably one of the best nights of my life just being able to let go and feel free to do whatever I wanted. We ended the night the best way, eating a delicious bacon burger at the Waffle House down the street at 3 in the morning. I have never been out so late and for that moment I felt like a true college student. Alongside having one of my favorite party stories, by the time I got back to my room I knocked out so quickly I didn’t even need to look on my phone beforehand. I had some of the best sleep that night. The only real low point of homecoming wasn’t properly balancing work and playtime. Even though it’s homecoming and you want to have fun the entire time, you have to keep in mind that you still are a full-time student with responsibilities. I forgot that I have to continue to work hard to party hard later. My first homecoming I got caught up in the events that my schoolwork suffered a little bit. Yet, I believe that if grades slip because you get caught up in having too much fun, then there’s no reason to attend school.
All in all, Hampton University Homecoming of 2019, was and will forever live in my heart because it was the first time I experienced adulthood. I experienced the opportunity to make plans in advance and struggled executing them properly in balancing school. Yet, I wouldn’t change a thing that week.