I didn’t initially come to Norfolk State to further my education.
I came to get away from my mother’s rules and curfews. I had no idea how naïve and sheltered I was. At 18 years old, I confused irresponsibility with adulthood like many others before me…bless my poor heart. We were nearly at each other’s throats towards the end of summer.
“I’m about to go to college, and be surrounded by people who won’t care if I die the next day,” I said to her one evening.
I came here thinking college would be a breeze. I was wrong.
Time management is all I remember being stressed. From counselors to guest speakers, everyone emphasized the importance of having a schedule, but failed to mention how hard life hits you.
At 18, I ran away from home, and came to college. I dated a person I had no business dating, and partied harder than I ever had. Life and its many consequences caught up with me.
At 19, I tried to buckle down and do my work, but had my first taste of betrayal…of close friendship. I began my isolation, and limited my experiences.
At 20, I had my heart broken. I partied harder than I had as a freshman. I was drunk five days out of the week, and spiraling out of control. I thought about dropping out, and my grades reflected that. I’ve been playing catch-up ever since.
Nobody told me the significance of 11:59 p.m., when the party is just starting, and I missed my assignment’s deadline. Nobody told me café food was a hit or miss…mostly the latter. I never had a fake friend, been drunk, nor been on my own to this capacity. I was completely out of my element.
At 21, I learned a very valuable lesson. College is extremely competitive, but it’s not a race. Everyone doesn’t get it right their first try, but it doesn’t make them any less able or intelligent. Life has a way of showing a person what he or she needs to know when the time is right. You can’t schedule that. You can’t even choose how your lessons will be learned. I was placed in those situations because I needed to grow up.
I’m 22 years old and I’ve been at NSU since Aug. 2013. I graduate next May as an undergrad. Yes, that makes me a “super senior” and I’m not embarrassed about it either. These past four years have tested every part of me…and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve gained a deeper appreciation for my professors. They’ve taught me the importance of doing something you love, rather than just chasing money. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many great people and hearing their different perspectives on almost everything.
The memories I’ve gained couldn’t be jammed into four years. How could that embarrass me? This extra year is for me.