I'm Thankful for my HBCU

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are institutions of higher education in the United States that were established before 1964 with the intention of serving African Americans. Although some may not think the same, HBCUs are significant to this country. For example, they have over a $10.2 billion positive impact on the nation’s economy, are responsible for 50 percent of African American teachers as well as a majority of African American doctors. Nevertheless, HBCUs teach Black young adults important skills in order for them to be well-rounded individuals in society. These illustrious institutions are responsible for the small amount of diversity that exists within the STEM fields. That number is only going to increase which is what the Black community needs especially as we have so many Black women dying as a result of doctors not valuing our health as they should. HBCUs have a positive impact in more ways than just academics. When you’ve been surrounded by a white majority throughout your whole education, it can make you have a sense of comfort and belonging once you enter the HBCU atmosphere. Homecoming is also a whole other experience here at a historically Black college. From the marching band and dancers to the alumni, it’s all good vibes. The HBCU experience is one that you can’t get anywhere else; no matter how many times you “Swag Surf” or play the hottest songs out at parties. The key word in HBCU is Historical. The grounds that we walk on everyday are sacred and hollow. It took a lot for us to get where we are today.



For me personally, I feel that my HBCU, Hampton University (The REAL HU), has greatly impacted me even though I have only been here for the short time of 1.5 years. As soon as I stepped foot on this campus, I already felt like I was apart of a family. Being over 1000 miles away from home, that is a very comforting feeling to have. It reassured me that I definitely made the right decision of going halfway across the country to further my education. My professionalism is definitely one of the first things that has been positively impacted since being at Hampton. Many people complain about the dress code and other rules, but in my opinion it only makes us better. It shows us how to carry ourselves and can instill a sense of maturity. Professors also can make all of a difference. Class discussions that are held about controversial topics are those that may rarely be talked about or not at all at predominantly white institutions. It is great because mostly everyone around you understands the struggle you may go through on a daily basis whether that is being watched more closely than others while shopping at the mall or being overlooked for great opportunities. These points of view are nearly nonexistent at other institutions. Learning about your history is another thing that is nearly nonexistent at these institutions. It is clear that Black history is not a priority in many of these learning environments including middle school and high school. I have learned a lot more about my history here because it is valued so much more. I have professors who have lived through some life changing moments within Black history. You can’t get that anywhere else. Lastly, the people that you meet at your HBCU are nothing short of amazing. Whether that be a professor, a classmate or a guest speaker.



Because I am surrounded by so many talented people here at Hampton, my work ethic has also gotten stronger. There is still work to do don’t get me wrong, but I have started to take my future more serious. During the first semester of my freshman year it dawned on me that I need to be well-rounded and multifaceted in order to get where I want to be. You can never be just average, exceeding expectations in everything you do. Now, my future is on my mind everyday. I am constantly thinking about the next thing that I can do to prepare me for the career I am trying to pursue as well as how can I be better than the person I was yesterday. With all of that being said, I am forever thankful for my HBCU and the people who made this opportunity possible.