Growing up in Texas, I must admit that Grambling State University was never on my list of colleges. I didn’t have a negative or positive image of it or know much about it, I just knew I wasn’t going there. But, after recently visiting the campus during their 2006 High School Day, I know that I’m a die hard Tiger for life.
Initially, I viewed GSU’s High School Day as a weekend getaway from home, but all that changed the moment I heard the legendary Tiger Marching Band in person and realized that I was already home.
Just like everyone else, I began to discover what a gem GSU was as President Judson spoke about the school’s history and pride. Telling us about the sports, band and academic goldmines Grambling offers.
And when the band geared up again, playing as the crowd chanted, “GS, GS, GS, GS, U, U, U! I THOUGHT YOU KNEW!
Everyone, literally everyone, was on their feet in hysteria rocking TH Harris Auditorium and I even found myself caught up in the contagious spirit swaying to the beat.
I tried to tell myself that I was simply “In Rome, doing as the Romans do,” but I knew the truth. I was hooked, line and sinker.
Even though I was from a different state and bound for a different college, I felt apart of that extraordinary GSU family that has people from 18 to 80 defending, loving and giving without second thought in its name. And it was at this point that the school’s motto finally made sense to me, “Grambling State University, Where Everybody is Somebody.”
In that moment, I knew whatever thoughts I’d entertained of attending the majority Caucasian, University of Texas, were gone. If I didn’t end up at GSU, I knew that I’d at least, be at another HBCU, because I knew that from then on, I’d have to be somewhere where I identified with my people, our culture and our spirit.
For the rest of the day, I proudly wore my GSU shirt and a bag as I explored and experienced the campus.
I met with the Mass Communication Department, who gave me information on launching a journalism career at GSU.
I ate with friends in McCall dining Hall and imagined what it would be like when I actually attended GSU and at there.
Later, those same friends and I became impatient for the band to march down Founders Avenue, before the game, so we entertained ourselves by hyping everyone else by starting a “shout out’ match with the crowd across the street.
Although friendly, both groups were so pumped up that we took to the street in excitement, so that the band was forced to detour down another street.
Later at the game, I was so energized and excited, that I chanted loud and strong.
And to end a perfect day, the Tiger Band outplayed JSU’s Sonic Boom and the Tigers massacred the Blue Tigers, 36-7!
Not only did I find a school that I loved, I met new people from not only my own city, but a different state as well. I am through and through devoted to GSU.
Being the naturally talkative person I am, I couldn’t wait to get home and tell everyone what I knew about Grambling. So, imagine my frustration when I awoke the next day, hoarse!
GeRoyal Jackson is a junior at Yates High School, School of Communications in Houston.