On Friday, May 12, many graduating seniors of Howard University would have already had that bittersweet moment of walking across the stage with their diploma in hand. Between the rollercoaster of emotions that led up to this point, it is only just the beginning. Although graduation may signify an end to a four-year journey as a Bison, what students have learned and experienced at Howard is second to none.
I had the opportunity to sit with seven graduating seniors as they reflected back on their journey from the fall of 2013 to the spring of 2017 and what it means to bleed those colors red, white, and blue as a Bison.
What soundtrack(s) would you say summarized your years at Howard and why?
I would say the soundtrack that would summarize my four years would be Good Kid M.A.A.D. City by Kendrick Lamar, it has been the album that has persisted throughout my entire Howard life and there is always a track that can match the mood I am in at the time, whether it be studying, waking up, or getting motivated.
Describe your Howard Hustle.
My Howard Hustle I guess would be my photography and my intelligence. I won 1st place in photography at the recent student art show held by Howard University’s art department, I made the Dean’s List for 2015-2016, I was accepted into Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science Honor Society), and I achieved that fabled 4.0 the Spring Semester of my Junior year while taking 18 credits.
What would be your favorite Howard memory?
My Howard memories cannot be summarized in one memory, but I would have to say my favorite ones would be playing video games with my friends. It wasn’t particularly the video game playing that made it memorable, but the entertaining conversations we had along with the many inside jokes that developed because of it. We formed a brotherhood and I will never forget them.
What are some things you are fearful of after crossing the stage?
What I’m fearful about after crossing is that I will never receive another experience like the one I received at Howard. It was refreshing to be around black excellence every day and put in an environment that understands me and allows me to thrive. I also am sad that I’m going to be departing from so many amazing friends that I’ve made at Howard, but hopefully we will all keep in touch.
What would be your advice to incoming freshmen?
My advice for incoming freshman would be to find what it is to be yourself. I know this advice is given a lot but trust me it is useful advice. Freshman Week you will party a lot and try to do things that would not normally make you happy, but you do them because you want to be a part of the crowd and be accepted by masses of people (especially the popular ones). What I’m here to say is that people will accept you anyways for being yourself, so there is no point to try and compromise your values to be a part of a certain group of people, if they can’t accept you for who you are then there is no point in trying to be with them.
Name one valuable thing Howard has taught you?
A valuable thing Howard has taught me is that I am acceptable the way I am and to be confident. At first I was shy and did not want to put myself out there because I thought I wasn’t what a Howard student should be, but then as I talked to more people and had classes with amazing professors (Professor Mpande’s Principles of Speech Class) I realized that I am a great person with much to offer. From there I opened up more and gain confidence that has helped me in not only my personal life but also my professional life.