Attending one of the most illustrious HBCUs, Hampton University, has been such a honor and a huge learning experience. Being around like minded and inspiring black people will inspire you in ways you did not know you could become inspired. While attending Hampton, I have met and connected with ambitious black students that are one of a kind. Before attending Hampton University, I know a variety of students that now attend other HBCUs which include: Spelman, Howard, North Carolina A&T, Tennessee State, and Florida A&M. These people I met through summer programs, friends, conferences, and connecting with other people through family. As a result, I have connections at different schools especially the wonderful Spelman College.
I always say in my other life that I attended Spelman College because choosing between Hampton and Spelman was one of the hardest decisions I had to make at a young age. So, because I decided on not attending Spelman, I make sure to stay in touch with my Spelman sisters and stay updated on what is happening on campus. My love for Spelman is so strong that I wanted to give everyone an inside scoop on what and how it is to be a true Spelmanite. I had the pleasure to interview one of Spelman’s sisters, Hailey Johnson. Hailey is a second year international studies major, from Chicago, IL. She is a part of Gifted Girls of Grace, a community service organization dedicated to serving the Atlanta community. She is also the publicity chair for Grl Pwr, INC., a community service organization that teaches 5th and 6th grade girls on how to overcome obstacles and increase their self-esteem. Previously, I served on the community outreach committee. This committee is dedicated to creating service projects in Atlanta. Also, she is a part of the granddaughters club, Spelman College’s oldest community service organization. The organization is dedicated to committing and preserving the traditions and history of Spelman College. I asked Hailey the following questions that related back to Spelman’s culture: what it means to be a Spelmanite, how has Spelman helped you so far, and what is one thing you dislike about Spelman.
How would you describe the culture?
The culture at Spelman College is no other. It’s inspiring to be around bright and intelligent young black women who are striving for greatness. The culture is very supportive and encouraging. My Spelman sisters and I are always supporting each other and congratulating each other on our achievements. Spelman College is a sisterhood that is so strong that it can’t be broken. Also, since Spelman is surrounded by other amazing HBCUs, like Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, Clark Atlanta University, and Morris Brown, I am constantly surrounded by black excellence.
How do you approach relationships while attending a single sex college like Spelman?
Relationships at Spelman College are very different from an average college. Even though we have Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University next door, there’s obviously more girls than boys which is natural. With dating, I always say never to limit yourself and never drop your standards. It’s often easy to do this when you see everyone in relationships or talking. But oftentimes, those people aren’t happy or having problems. When you keep true to yourself and keep true to your standards, oftentimes the right person comes to you.
As a woman of color, how do you see yourself growing at Spelman and how will it help you transition into the professional world?
I have grown tremendously since I have stepped foot on Spelman’s campus. Before coming to Spelman, I was very quiet, shy, and reserved. I didn’t want to take up space and didn’t want to be seen or heard because I was afraid of offending other people. I was so insecure in myself, not just with looks, but with my thoughts and words. I knew that I was intelligent, but I did not want to embrace it because I didn’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable. But since going to Spelman, I have done a complete 180. Spelman College has taught me to not dim my light to please other people. I have learned to embrace my true qualities, to not hide and cower away, but to speak up for myself in a professional manner. Spelman has brought out the best side of me. I think because of this, it has prepared me for the professional world. I am able to use my skills and be assertive with them. I am now the first one to speak up, the first one to be prepared, and I owe it all to Spelman College.