College Envy


Did you/do you ever feel like you ended up at the wrong school? Did you accept a scholarship to a state university, though Spelman was in your heart? Or, perhaps you thought the HBCU experience was all you ever wanted…until you visited a friend at a larger school and felt that your campus was lacking?

Personally, I wanted to go to Howard so bad that I was not even able to consider life at another college. I didn’t know what I would do if I didn’t make it in. Yet, when I visited NYU’s campus a few years after, I couldn’t help but to think back to that tiny little piece of me who wanted to have Theo Huxtable’s super-sophisticated ‘hanging in the Village’ collegiate life. So I may occasionally hate  on the little hipster kids running around the school from time to time. Just a wee little bit.

For those of you who are still in college, its not too late to make the big switch. I had a number of classmates at Howard who came in after even three years at other colleges because they really, really wanted to be at ‘The Mecca’; there were also those who never found their way at HU and moved on to what they felt to be greener pastures. If you’ve already graduated, there’s the possibility of attending a graduate program at the school. Or, you can be like a stage mom and force your kids to go there and live out your dreams for you…okay, I’m kidding. I’m forcing my kids into Howard anyway, duh.

Did you Clutch folks enjoy your college experience? Or did you have a little regret about your choice? If you had to do it all again…would you be at the same school? 

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  • Omolara

    No college envy here.
    I went to the University of Missouri (Columbia), and those were seriously the best four years of my life. I went to a pretty diverse high school, and Mizzou felt like home. I was in the marching band, College Democrats, spent a summer in Japan, and pretty much had the whole college experience.
    Fortunately, I never wanted, or needed to have a “blacker experience” and never ever wanted to pledge since I found enough people like me through the activities I was in and pledging would have taken me away from that. So I was very fortunate to not have to feel like an outsider all the time. It was certainly far from perfect in terms of diversity and tolerance, but being among a diverse group within the band always made me feel at home.

    Thinking back on it though, I think perhaps the black folks that I didn’t relate to, and who spent much of their time with the black greeks and at the Black Cultural Center watching BET (seriously) may have had some college envy on top of race issues, or maybe exacerbated by race issues on and off campus.

    • Omolara

      I forgot to add that law school is a different story. I wish I were in a more socioeconomically diverse place right now. Undergrad prepared me for being one of fewer dark faces in class, but mostly everybody came from diverse economic backgrounds. In law school, a private one at that, I’m with people whose definitions of “broke” are vastly different from mine and pretty insulting too.

  • Alexandra

    The only thing I kinda regretted about college, was not going away for school. That’s it.
    I always wanted to go to a culturally/racially diverse school, that’s what I got. I’ve graduated from two different colleges. If I could do it all again, I would still go to a diverse school and I would minor in Health/Nutrition.

  • O

    Maybe it’s too early for me to declare College envy since I’m a freshman, but before classes even started I continued to question myself on my decision. By April, my first choice was Spelman College and after Spelbound I knew that I belonged there. However, that financial aid package said otherwise. My next choice was BC, so that’s what I chose. I wasn’t too excited about the school at first but after orientation, I was pretty excited. A few weeks into July, I received a pretty good offer from Spelman ( God is good- ALL the time!) I didn’t choose Spelman because of the number of programs BC had to offer but I know that that black experience is going to be something I’m really going to miss out on. Everyday I say to myself, if I don’t like it here, I know already know where I’m transferring to.

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  • AariDani

    I am currently a sophomore at Indiana University (we just beat Kentucky #1 in basketball yesterday so I’m really in the school spirit today). I actually LOVE it here. But it had to grow on me. Before making my decision, I wanted to either go to USC (I’m from LA even though I lived in Indiana for 12 years of my life) or a HBCU, preferably FAMU, Spelman, or Howard. However, I didn’t get accepted to USC which was my dream school, but I do know I would’ve gotten accepted to all those HBCUs that I wanted to go to.

    Sometimes, I do think about what it would be like if I did go to FAMU or Howard. I think about how different my experiences would be, because boy let me tell you! IU is a predominately white university with 40,000 students. Only about 1,500 are African American. These are facts. There has been 4% black people since 1975 at my school, so we stay really small. I get excited when I see black folks because it’s not something you see a lot. There are a heck a lot more international students here than African Americans, Latino Americans (they are also 4%), and Asian Americans (and so are they)combined! So, I can’t even imagine how it would be if I went to an HBCU.

    Sometimes, its really hard to relate here with folks, man there were times when I literally broke down because of the thought that some white Americans think that African Americans do not go through anything mentally (for ex. a culture shock) when it comes to being one of a short percentage of people that look like you and come from the same culture. Don’t get me wrong, I have many friends who come from all over the country and world, so I love everybody.

    But why do I feel overlooked?

    • Racheal

      I know exactly how you feel!

      I’m from Cincinnati so I have a lot of friends who attend IU. I currently attend Spelman College but I’m also on my study abroad in Vienna, Austria.

      The mental breakdown that you referred to…yup…I experienced about three of those being here! Being in an environment where you’re the only black makes you censor your thoughts, actions, and speech every single day.

      My advise to you is to hold on close to those friends that you have and when you feel over-whelmed confide in someone. Confide in a friend, family member, or faculty member.

      Don’t worry I’m sure you will be fine, just make sure you find a safe out-let for those times when you feel like you’re about to explode.