Unfortunately, my high school to college transition didn’t go as well as one may hope. I actually went from high school to a 4-year college, to community college and back to a 4-year. I had a "life plan" in mind, and when it didn't go as planned, I thought I had failed in life. I had this whole plan to go to college, be done by 21, have a great job by 22, the perfect life and family by 25 with streams of cashing coming into my bank account. Listen I'm 26, single, broke and I'm blogging, but I'm happy. The idea that we're all supposed to finish college from 18-21 is an unrealistic fantasy. My college experience was also my first introduction to extreme systematic racism and I wasn’t prepared for it at all. But before we get there, let’s back up a little bit.
As you may know from my past posts, I was homeschooled until high school at which point I attended a very small K-12 private Christian school where I graduated valedictorian with a 4.0 in 2009. College was never something that was really pushed in my family. It wasn’t discouraged but it was more of an “it’s cool if you want to go and cool if you don’t” kind of thing. I was the first to go to college and out of the 6 kids. My mom became a registered nurse and worked until she decided to be a stay at home mom. My dad dropped out of college his first semester and also just worked. My 3 older brothers finished high school, one went to the Marines and the other two immediately went into the workforce. So when I graduated and decided I wanted to go to college, I was going into the process blind. Most of even my extended family, never attended college so who is supposed to give advice? Mind you, this was also before the age of the internet, so we didn't have the luxury of just opening an app and finding out everything we needed to know. No, in fact, I had to go to Barnes & Noble and buy a book the size of a toddler that listed every single college in America along with their majors and statistics and I studied that shit to no end. To cut a very long story short(ish), I ended up at a small college in New Hampshire, who offered me the most money and was out of Washington, which really was my only requirement. Go to college, and get out of Washington.
I ended up in New Hampshire (terrible choice), where I was one of about 12 black people on campus. I later figured out they just offered black people scholarships they couldn’t refuse so they could meet their diversity quota but didn’t give one fuck about us. I had my first experience with “in your face” racism and learned just how real systematic racism was as well. More on that another day, but I (and about 90% of the other black people) left after the first year. I went back to Washington and was very unmotivated and depressed feeling like I had blown my shot at getting an education. I decided to attend community college till I figured out what to do, and this was where I really came into my own identity as a black woman. It was the first time I found people who shared my experiences and actually supported me. After community college, I transferred with my A.A. out to Boston to finish my bachelor’s (again) in Entertainment Management which I did in 2016.
That is the very abbreviated version of my college experience. I am going to talk a little more in-depth on some of the topics over this month. I’m going to share some tips, barriers and experiences I encountered along the way that hopefully will help y’all on your journey to choosing and attending college.
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