What Is College Like?
When I attended Howard University as a bright eyed, bushy tailed 18yr. old, I had no idea what to expect. I had friends who had been looking forward to going off to college since our sophomore year of high school. They couldn't wait to leave home and be independent. They bubbled with anticipation at the thought of going on dates, attending parties, and buying their own groceries. At the time, I had a pretty rocky relationship with my father. We didn't see eye to eye and argued constantly. Although now my relationship with my dad is stronger than ever, he even walked me down the aisle at my wedding in September 2017, when I was 18yrs old I couldn't wait to move out and be away from him. Thats what college was for me. It was an escape. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life beyond getting out of my parent's house.
I left my home in Florida and headed for Washington, D.C. in the fall of 2007. That first day on campus was surreal. I had taken a tour of Howard University with my mother a year before but that was nothing compared to actually being there and moving my stuff into my dorm. My mom cried and my dad kissed my forehead and then they were gone. I looked around at my tiny dorm room with one single bed and a bunk bed. This was all really happening! I chose the single bed and waited for my roommates to arrive.
My first roommate to arrive was Shay. She spoke loud, carried herself with confidence, and made friends easily. My second roommate was Sabrina. She was Jamaican from Connecticut. Sabrina was hilarious, spunky, an amazing dancer, and all the boys gravitated to her effortlessly. Along with gorgeous, down to earth, honest Thyne and silly, adventurous, fearless Michaela we formed our squad. I went everywhere and did everything with these four girls. We went to parties, curious and terrified, off campus together. We ate together in the cafe, studied together in the library late at night, and we went to football games together. We went to the Howard Homecoming together and met celebrities as they causally walked around campus (If you don't know about Howard Homecoming YOU BETTA ASK SOMEBODY!). We went to see the fraternities and sororities stomping i the yard. We did everything together. We also argued together. Oh boy did we argue! Over anything and everything. But at the end of the day, despite our ups and downs, we loved each other. We leaned on each other. We supported each other.
I loved the freedom to choose the classes I took based on my interests. I took an African Studies class that changed my life. The professors at Howard were passionate and motivated me to look within myself to find my super power. Sometimes the freedom was too much for me to handle. There was no one around to make sure I went to class so sometimes I slept in and skipped it. That was a mistake and I began to fall behind my peers. I still didn't know what I really wanted to do with my life so it was difficult to stay motivated. If I could do it all over again I would have reached out to a counselor or a teacher I trusted to talk about my feelings of being lost. Instead I left Howard University after about two years. I went back home to Florida and moved back in with my parents. I felt more lost and depressed than I had ever experienced. I regretted leaving college almost immediately but it was too late to go back. After a rough summer, I applied to Clark Atlanta University and attended in the Spring. Clark Atlanta University was nestled between Spelman and Morehouse College. I loved Atlanta and the budding black, artist community being cultivated. I found my people in Atlanta and I found my place. I learned a lot of hard lessons during my college days but the made me the women that I am today.
Founder, Crysta Bloom