“Keep Straight ahead and your destination is on the left,” is what the voice from the navigation said as I rolled over that hill entering into Grambling State University.
“Yes we’re finally here,” I cried aloud as a million thoughts filled my mind and I realized this was my new home. On the day of August 8, 2008 I got on the road for a 19 hour trip to the school that on the website looked like a city, within a city.
So as we drove through the campus all I could think was, “This is NOT how it looked in the pictures.” My mom and I shared the same facial expression and I could tell our mind thought the same thoughts. Here I am a city girl from MI. in the country streets of Grambling. I couldn’t help but to think, what have I gotten myself into?
Yet, here I am years later and 14 days away from one of the greatest accomplishments of my life – that walk across that college graduation stage. There has been a plethora of days where I questioned my abilities, where I doubted myself self, where I felt as though no one would understand what I was going through. But all of those struggles were well worth the reward.
As a young freshman in 2008 I did what most college students do when they get a taste of freedom, I partied. Lord knows I partied more than I will ever party in my life. It was probably the best time in my life. I was blessed to meet wonderful people, many who didn’t make it back to GSU in 2009.
That year I met a woman whom I grew to love instantly and will always love, Passion Spann. Anyone who knew me knew P and vice versus. Passion’s high spirits and fearless mind set is what lead me to join the GSU cheerleading in 2009 because Lord knows if it hadn’t been for her encouragement I would have backed down. My freshman year is when the entire Chicago crew who came to be my second family, and the reason everyone still believes that I am from Chicago. Derrick, Josh, LeLe, Sweet P, Mienka, Bre, Taylor, Niesha, Kyle and Shaun. You guys helped make my freshman and sophomore some of the best times of my life.
But of course there is always some bad with the good, being the first in my family to attend college was hard to relate my problems to anyone, especially since I was 19 hours away from everything that I knew. There were soooo many deaths happening and stress from school that I eventually had a nervous break down. I share this not for pity but for someone who may be in similar shoes to let you know that life is so much easier when you just talk to someone. That’s all it took, was for me to sit and share my problems instead of trying to be super woman.
Okay so back to the other stuff, due to the partying from my freshman year, I had fell short of a 3.0 GPA, something that was very new to me and something that had to change. So my sophomore year, I had to focus more on studies.
It was also then I fell in love with what would become my home away from home, The Gramblinite, – but I’ll talk about that later. Moving on to my junior year, I was still a cheerleader, member of the G-Nite, but I still felt the need to do more; that’s when I decided to run for Student Government Association Junior Class secretary, compete in the calendar girl pageant and pledge Omega Tau Pi…. Quuuuueeee T! My junior year was also the year that I moved off campus and into a little duplex with a girl who grew to have a hold on my heart, Trentiuana “Sweet Tee” Turner. My girl from Vegas who opened up her home to me while on Spring Break in 2010, I will never forget that trip. Then there was my next roommate, Tarana “Tutu” Wroten, the girl who showed me how there are still some good kind hearted people in this world whom just love to help others. I thank you for always having my back no matter what, for softenening up a little bit, the times we would go into “lab’ LOL and for the best present thus far Joy-Elan Fletcher. Through Tarana and cheerleading I got to meet another amazing chick, Demi Spencer, and I am forever grateful for this friendship that I have built with these young lady. From the long deep conversations, to the small motivational text and even our get togethers, life was always more simple when she’s around.
Then there’s my “TT” Tiera Toins, my left hand, this girl is the epitome of a GREAT friend and person. So many nights when I was in need she was there, she too opened her home to me and I will always love this girl. I also thank you for bringing Arione in my life, I can’t believe that I just typed that, but it’s so true, I love you Nunu, but don’t let that go to your head.
You know the friends that you meet in college that’ll be your friend forever? Well, yea, they’re some along with a few others. Speaking of life long friends, I have to speak on my friends of forever Devonna who has been there for me for ten years plus, whom even took a road trip down to da boot with me. I love you and all of your warm words. Kendra the other piece to our K.E.D friendship thank you for all of the laughs we’ve shared. Sequia, man… I could use this entire page talking about all the experience we’ve shared, but I’ll just say THANK YOU.
To Cornelius, my longest standing best friend, all I say is “I’ll take you to the candy shop…..” lol I love you man. To Kris P, my partner in prayer and in crime at the same time. I could always count on you to remind me what’s really important. Quetta, Megan, Chanel, Kayla and Shanay, my Rouge chicks that became my family, thank you for all the wonderful times we’ve shared and I pray for many more.
Corey “Smacks” Robinson, I thank Mckinley for you all the time lol. I Love you to death man, it’s only been two years but it feels like 20. Again, you remind me that there are kind-hearted, genuine people still left in the world. I thank you for being a big brother to me, all of our talks really brought me back down to Earth, I can’t wait to witness all the blessings that are in store for you.
To my cheer fam that always made life fun thank you, Marcus, Short, B.J., Josh, Tone Bone, Shayna, Lexi, Ashely, Jayla, Porsche, Cidney, Cemia, Stan, and everyone else I know I’m missing a lot.
To Micah, thank you for opening your house to me, not a lot of people would have done as much as you in my time of need, but being the person that you are – I know you wouldn’t have it any other way. I am so proud of the women that you’ve grown to be and I know that God has so much more in store for me, Hold the G down for us D girls like I know you will.
To my sisters of Omega Tau Pi, thank you for all of the wonderful experiences we’ve shared, even the hard ones- those too made me appreciate life a little more. To my boo Donneka, you too have showed me what a good person looks like, thank you for everything you’ve done for me, I can never forget such a wonderful, goofy, sweet person like yourself.
To my Gramblinite Fam, Lord knows I don’t know what I would have done without you. Ms. Peters, the first person I met and I’ll never forget the day you made Grambling more welcoming for a young freshman like myself. Thank you for all of the advice, for allowing me to cry in your office LOL, for feeding me, for believing in me and for always being there for the G-Nite, even when I don’t show it enough, I just want you to know that you are very much appreciated.
Ms. Dunn a.k.a “Beyonce” my mom away from home, thank you for too believing in me and reminding me that I am worthy and capable of greatness. To Ciley and Justin, ya’ll better be ready for me when I get to L.A. or else. LOL, okay just playing, I love ya’ll more than you guys will ever know it.
Thank you for all the memories and I know that we will make many more, you guys are phenonmal, hard-working and creative people I can’t wait until yob both get rich and share the wealth. To Kim, Lacey, Candice, Kat, Diana, Qiyas, Trent, Austin, David, and Imani my G-Nite brothers and sisters, the ones I worked with Monday-Thursday but on Friday – Sunday, never mind Ms. P and Ms. Dunn probably reading this. I love ya’ll and wish ya’ll nothing but peace, love and happiness.
To my main mans Kevin Keise, my brother from another mother because like you always say “man we the same person,” I really appreciate the bond we’ve created I know that you’ll go far, just don’t forget about a real chick when you do.
To my homie, lover and friend Justin, Light skin, Allen, best friend. THANK YOU, you’re probably my biggest fan, next to my mom. I really appreciate you always being there, even if we weren’t talking at the time I could always count on you, you inspire me want to be a better sister, cousin, daughter and friend, thank you for having such a wonderful heart.
To my hood and everyone who supported and believed in me, thank you and I promise that I will do everything in my power to make Ecorse a better place to leave in. To my siblings Ericka and Lance the ones I shared a home with for 18 years tht you for all the good times, for all the trouble we got into and for always being the ones I can count on. I love ya’ll forever and a day.
To my sisters from another mother Felicia and Tailour, you guys never failed to text or call me at that very moment that I needed it the most, thank you guys for you love and loyalty. To my siblings Derrick, Devin and Denai thank you for our times shares and I pray we can have plenty more.
To Paul and Jeff the males figures who chose to be in my life not because they had to, but because they wanted to, thank you for treating me like your own. To my dad Derrick Kuhn, thank you for bringing me in this world and never leaving me.
To my nephews Lonnie & Nat, sorry I missed so much but I promise to make it up.
To my mom, my heart, my strength, my everything. I can write a book on you, and I probably do. This lady is my backbone. The reason that I do what I do. Kimberly Y. Love is my inspiration and the one that deserves the world and I plan to give it to her. I Love you with everything in me.
To everyone who don’t know my story, just know I’ve gone through hell and back to get to where I am. From lack of support, to money problems, a lost of many loved ones all the way to house fires, just know if I can do it, so can you.
To everyone who has ever helped me through a tough time, shared a good laugh, showed me love, offered constructive critism and/or has just shared a smile that made my day, THANK YOU. Everything that has happened to me has led me to this moment, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.