Tag Archives: Historically black colleges and universities

LEAVING THE NEST ” A Special letter to parents”



Dear Parents,

This will be one of the most memorable times in the life of you and your student. How you handle this transition will determine the relationship you will or will not have with your student during these life-changing college years. Be there, but remember that this is their first step to independence, so give them the opportunity to begin this process with your support, not your dictatorship. Give them the benefit of your experience without making them feel guilty, if they don’t use it. Some students will take your advice, while others will have to make the mistakes and learn the lessons. But you had to go through this, too, and you, also, made mistakes.  They will need your wisdom and direction now more than ever. Balance is the key.

Below, I have listed steps that will make this transition smoother; these things helped me, as well as others, during our transitions. Enjoy this time!  You won’t get a second chance.

o    Pray  (It’s this connection that will let you sleep at night – well, most nights).

o    Do an itinerary for the trip to school.

o    Make a list of all friends and family in the area (in case of emergencies).

o    Introduce your student to the individuals that will be their support team while away at school (only those that desire to support).

o    Locate a church and visit the church with your student.

o    Introduce yourself and get the number to the Resident Assistance in the dorm, the financial aid officer and their assigned college counselor.

o    Don’t hesitate to call the president’s office, if necessary.

o    Be a good listener.

o    Always communicate – Do not disconnect:  It is critical that you remain in communication even through a challenging time.

o    Remember, they are at the age of accountability.  Help them to understand the responsibility that goes with freedom.

o    Don’t hesitate to remind them of the things they are to do. They are balancing a lot of tasks, and will forget every now and them, but be kind.

o    Give them enough space to feel independent but enough support to know you are in their corner – even when they make a mistake.

o    Remember, you have lived your life! This is theirs. Help them to become their own person and most important, enjoy their transformation into adulthood!


                Parental Unit

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Move in day – An HBCU Experience!!!!

HBCU seal

Move in day – An HBCU  Experience!!!!

Journal  Entry
August 23, 2002
            Lines and lines of cars filled Georgia Ave. As I sit patiently in the back seat of our rental car, I notice a sign in the back window of the truck ahead of us.  It reads “College or Bust.” I’m smiling so hard that my cheeks begin to hurt. My heart is beating so fast it seems as though it’s going to jump right out of my chest. My hands are sweating, my mouth is cold, the music coming from my headphones seems muffled and I’m feeling a bit woozy. Are these signs of being nervous? Nope, they’re signs of excitement, pure excitement. It was Move In Day.
            As I finally make my way to the front of the line inside that tall brick building, the lady sitting in front of me, behind a big brown table hands me the keys to my brand new dwelling quarters.  I make my way to the elevator, staring at the shiny silver keys and the paper in my hand. It reads … Truth Hall…fourth floor. When I step off the elevator, everything begins to move in slow motion as I approach room 409. I pause, take a deep breath and step inside.
            As I looked around the empty room, I smile and begin to mentally put my room together. My roommate and I arranged our beds to make a little more space in our itty-bitty room, then we head back downstairs to meet our dads at the car. There were people everywhere, as far as I could see, that had come to help us move in, from the different campus organizations to the maintenance crew.  There were guys, beautiful guys EVERYWHERE, and they were there for one reason and one reason alone… to help us move in. What a wonderful welcoming party!
We finally got our things and made it upstairs to our room. My dad offered the three guys, who were helping us, a little partying gift.  They declined saying “that it was just apart of their job as a fraternity” and boy was I thankful… they were gorgeous. One of them told me I was really pretty and I got so nervous that I accidentally dropped a box on him and he rolled down the stairs. He thought it was funny, but I was mortified. He laughed it off and called me Ms. Klutz for the rest of the day.
We took pictures of everything, from leaving the hotel, to the beginning part of unpacking and setting up our rooms. Our RA came around and introduced herself and then reminded us that we were all to report to “the yard” in an hour for a ceremony. We were so tired from unpacking that we didn’t want to move, but my mom said “come on! Let’s see what else they are going to do!” I looked at her and wondered “how in the world does she still have energy?” I was exhausted, but my roommate and I followed her out of our room and on to the yard anyway. 
 When we got there, the HU( Howard University) Band was standing in the middle of the yard along with the flag girls and dancers. As we took our seats, the band began to play. The President introduced himself along with the rest of his staff. He welcomed us, the new freshman class, as we joined a legacy known as the Howard University Family. It was our Pinning Ceremony. 
We watched as one hundred upper classmen made their way through the crowd to welcome us. They gave us a hug and stuck a shiny round pin on our shirts that read “Howard University class of 2005.” Then we all stood up and sang the Alma modal and danced with the rest of the band. As the ceremony came to an end, I understood why my mom thought it was important for us to be there… It was a historical moment, one that I could only have once.  I am glad I went– glad I am at a historically black college and honored that I have been given the pleasure to attend such a wonderful University.
As the long but rewarding day came to an end, I sat at the dinner table with both my mom and dad, reflecting on how wonderful the day was and anxious to see what is in store for us tomorrow.
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