It seems just last week I was in Jeanes Hall Room 219 curled up in my purple comforter in a hopeless daze, listening to my stereo, crying my eyes out and thinking, “I don’t know how I’m gonna make it four years.”Fall 2005 was the start of a new phase in my life. I was fresh out of high school (predominately white that is), 18 years old, and ready to live out my fantasy of a real life “Different World.” I was fortunate enough not to be forced into the project lifestyle of Wheatley and Jones, but like most freshmen I didn’t have a car so the rides to Wal-Mart were few and in between. Unlike many others, I didn’t gain the Freshman 15. I actually lost it.
I didn’t have a mini-fridge, I walked almost everywhere, and I was homesick as a dog. In fact, I got so “homesick,” I missed my first homecoming. I stayed in my room for that whole week and begged my mama to come get me. She did, and suddenly in the car on the way back, I started feeling better.
Sophomore year was a little different. I was getting used to being away from home, I had a new roommate (who was actually cool), and the best thing of all, I had met who would be some of my closest friends. That year, I had befriended what had become a small group of people. We went to the café every day, had movie nights, and even went on road trips together. These people had not only become my friends, but my family.
We confided in each other, had fun, laughed, and protected each other. We were all really close .then suddenly, the very same group of people who taught me how to open up, taught me how to shut down. I learned who my real friends were. I learned how fake people could be, and how easy it was for a “friend” to smile in your face and jab a knife in your back. It hurt, but I was starting to grow.
It was junior year and I had proclaimed myself “Officially Grown and Sexy.” I had just turned 21, I stayed off-campus, and I had a car! Even though I didn’t hang around much of the old crew anymore, it didn’t matter because I had found a companion elsewhere, I had a boyfriend.
Life at Grambling was going fairly well until the end of the year. My so called “friend”/roommate and I were living together and not talking, I was having problems in my relationship, I had THE WORST academic semester, and it was the end of the year and I hadn’t even a prospect for an internship.
The beginning of senior year didn’t get much better. I was at the end of my rope with Grambling. The longer the semester, the quicker activities and every day people were getting lamer.
“Where you been hiding?” That has been the number one question from people.
I took the year to do just that: hide out. Get myself together, and focus on what was most important, graduating! My roommate from Hunter-Rob and I got our apartment together, and I got a job. During the spring semester I learned all my grinding had paid off and I got an internship. I knew for a fact with all this, I didn’t have time to fool around with pointless things. I had a future to think about now.
As graduation nears in about a week, I realize that I’m not the same girl I was fall 2005. In spring 2009, I know for sure that I have grown into a woman. I believe everyone can agree that there are things here at Grambling State University you learn and experience that you couldn’t anywhere else. Although I will miss the memories from the Homecomings, spring fests, the hotbox End Zone, and sitting outside the café everyday around dinner time, I’m ready to go.
I feel as if it’s time for me to move into the next phase of my life. I’m ready for new people, a new environment, and a new life with a career as a journalist.
Grambling taught me just more than mass communications, Grambling taught me about who to call your true friends. Grambling taught me how people will hate on you for just being you. And most importantly, Grambling taught me that all that doesn’t matter in the end anyways, especially when you’re leaving them all behind!
There’s no way I could squeeze into one column how much I have learned here. I’m thankful for my time, my true friends, my teachers and thankful for all those people who hurt me or made me upset. Because you made me better!
A lot of people don’t make it out of here, but I did. I was once told as a freshman to look to my left and to my right. The person next to me probably wouldn’t be there in four years. Wow, but I was .in the words of Rev. Dr. Martin King Jr., “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty! I’m free from class!