Is it REALLY time?

Recently, one of my fellow HerCampus-Hampton U team members outlined her displeasures with our school, Hampton University. I do not believe that we attend a perfect school, however I believe that the good outweighs the bad. Many times I complain to my parents about what I believe is unfair and unjust on this campus. Nevertheless, I have tried to learn a lesson from each of my highs and lows on campus. Unlike It’s Time , I hope to highlight the benefits of going to Hampton University and show how ones’ woes can be another’s benefit.

  1. Tradition-

Throughout It’s Time, Joyce Glen pointed out many traditions that were placed during our foundation in 1868 still take place today. However, many of these traditions and guidelines are to prepare us for life beyond Hampton University. For example, during your first semester of freshmen year you are placed on curfew. In my opinion, this gives students time to process your new college environment and foster relationships in the dorm. My first semester I was able to understand the concept of time management while developing some of my closest friendships. Another example Glenn used was our dress code. Obviously, as a college freshmen being told what you can and cannot wear is not appealing. Nevertheless, as African-Americans we are constantly being judged by our White counterparts on our appearance. One of my professors once said to be able to sit at the table with decision makers you must look like the others at the table. This dress code allows us to be prepared to be able to sit at the table with decision makers to voice our ideas and concerns on various matters. Overall, I believe that these traditions are implemented to help us become innovate leaders in the world.  

  1. Supportive Professors

Glen mentioned that she has had nasty attitudes and comments directed towards her from administrators. First-hand, I can say that all faculty and staff are not the nicest towards students. However, this is the real world and everyone will not be as helpful as you need them to be. Hampton has taught me that I am not entitled to someone “being nice” to me and giving me all the answers. Sometimes I have to dig for answers from the nastiest of people, but I know this will prepare me for the real world. Moreover, on this campus the “nice” faculty outweigh the “mean” faculty. Throughout my experience I have had dorm directors pray with me during illness and advisors spend three hours going over internship applications. I have also been able to sit in professors’ offices for hours venting about my woes on campus and simply just life. When I talk to friends on other campuses they do not have this luxury. If it was not for my supportive faculty and staff here on campus I would not have been able to survive here at Hampton.

  1. Notable Alumni

This past homecoming I had the pleasure of volunteering at a 40 under 40 event. The alumni office highlighted 40 alumni who have flourished within their careers and community. I was able to meet DJs who supported notable artist and lawyers who are making strides in the legal realm. This opportunity allowed me to see what the benefits of our Hampton traditions. These alumni were surpassing their colleagues because they could simply manage their time or dress professionally. Furthermore, when talking with the alumni they encouraged me to email them my resume and cover letter for future endeavors.  This shows that they want to support current Hampton students with their passions and goals. The alumni are one key reason why I fell in love with Hampton, because they are so generous towards current students.

  1. Organizations

I learned quickly to succeed at Hampton University you must be involved on campus. These involvements distract you from non-renovated dorms. Our campus gives all students a chance to get in involved somehow. We have a broad range of organizations throughout campus. Through my involvements I have been able to learn from my fellow Hamptonians. My thoughts have been challenged through these organization’s discussion or activities. Moreover, my leadership skills have grown tremendously. Some organizations have forced me to lead individuals who I would not have associated with on campus and work in unfamiliar circumstances. In addition to academics, I believe that the organizations you join shape your college experience.

  1. HBCU Experience

I LOVE MY HBCU EXPERIENCE! I am forever grateful for the HBCU experience Hampton University has given me. My professors have taught me how to navigate my professions as a minority. First-hand I have learned from a former MTV executive and practicing lawyers. Each day I get to walk into a classroom full of the brightest Black students in the world. My professors and peers have proven that all Black people are not the same. We all come from different perspectives of life and contribute a different opinion to various conversations. These daily interactions have shaped how I think about the world and what to change it.

In It’s Time, Glen outlined her woes about our university. It did not take a deeper look into how her woes could potentially benefit her in the future. She also failed to highlight many of the benefits on campus that have created notable alumni such as Anita Blanton and Wanda Sykes.  I agree with Joyce Glenn that our university is not perfect. I have been able to learn how to use my relationships, organizations, and experiences to better campus life for myself and others.

So, no I do not think it is time for the university to change its traditions. I think it is time for us to stop complaining and learn from the lessons Hampton is throwing at us each day.