Those of us who drove or flew in to college can relate to this part of the story. I personally remember driving down in my father’s Nissan Pathfinder packed to the brim with every little thing that I thought was important to me from my room at home including EVERY shoe, pair of jeans and accessory I owned. HA! What a mistake in hindsight.
Remember that moment when you realized you that you were actually going to be staying in that college dorm room after your friends and family left that first day? I think to all of us, it felt like a closet; a cold lifeless space that lacked ALL of the luxuries of our room at home.
I remember that shopping trip with my parents and brother. There were two categories of items; the ones I wanted, the things my parents and brother knew I needed. Although I distinctly remember being salty that day just like Kaiya was, I remember those small things that I never thought I needed or had on my wishlist were what got me through my first few weeks in a strange place alone. Amongst those items were a box fan from AMES grocery store to place in my window [That’s right, no central air], some flip flops for the shower and Buric Acid for any unwanted guests.
It was very funny to me as I followed Kaiya and family to re-live these same moments and feelings. I hope it struck a memory chord with you too.
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Episode Two of “Leaving Home: An HBCU Story“ was all about First Impressions. Kaiya Watson, our entering freshman had visited NCAT before, but that moment when you actually walk in “your” room for the first time with all of your clothes and little trinkets to remind you of your room at home is priceless and unforgettable.
The second installment of “Leaving Home – An HBCU Story,” which traces the journey of a rising freshman as she leaves Los Angeles to attend college at North Carolina A&T University. There is such a juggle of emotions that we all experience during times of transition and growth. We did our best to capture it all in hopes of starting the college conversation with the kids in our families and neighborhoods.
Melissa Valle, Howard University Alum describes her experience at an HBCU campus and recalls the day she left home to attend college.