A Lesson Learned At The Mecca

Students Talk About the Transition from Freshman to Senior

Seniors drift across the campus of Howard University with eyes wide open and an outlook on the world that has been altered throughout their four years in college.

These seniors have not only changed their outlook on life, but their hair, nails, dress, speech, demeanor, and drive for success has taken an overhauling as well. 

“I definitely wear clothes that I would have never thought about back home, but most of all I am more culturally aware. I am more aware of not only other cultures, but my own,” said Danielle Palmer a senior psychology major from Southfield, MI.

Many students enter Howard University, deemed The Mecca, with a materialistic mindset and exit reformed, renewed, and refurbished. Graduates enter the workplace armed with a sense of their African American past, ancestors and a new respect for their heritage.

On a hot day during spring semester freshman females can be spotted sporting their favorite tube top, shortest shorts, freshly permed hair with matching nails, hat, and stiletto shoes. While, a freshman male can be spotted rocking a white T covered by his favorite throwback jersey, blue jeans that he bought two sizes too big, with a matching fitted and a piece of iced out “bling” that could put the sun to shame.

The question running through all of their heads is “Is he/she looking at me?” However, the question swarming through the heads of the comfortably dressed seniors that pass them by is “What are they so dressed up for?”

Seniors have lived the wild life of parties, drinking and wasting time, but as their years of college come to a close, they have all matured into young adults. The simple fact is, it is unacceptable to the outside world for an adult to hang out and do childish things. The seniors at Howard have shed their outside materialism, searched their inner person and are focused on the next stage in their lives.

“When I got to Howard, I let my perm grow out cut, lightened, and twisted my hair. There is something about being in an all black environment that made me want to be more like I felt I should be…black. I soon realized that Howard was motivating me to change, but not the outside me. I wanted to be a better person than I was when I left NY, I wanted to be more positive, motivated and a genuinely brighter person,” said Ashley Broughton a senior exercise physiology major from Yonkers, NY.

Howard has prompted some students to be more assertive and help themselves. Louis Brown, a senior business management major from St. Pete, FL said, “I have learned to handle business a lot better. Keep a copy of all records because someone WILL lose them and also you can not depend on anyone else to take care of anything you are supposed to get done.”

Although lessons have been hard, studying has been long and reaching the goal of graduation has sometimes seemed like a dream deferred, seniors here at Howard are proud of the people they have become. Howard has taught each senior a life lesson and in some way made them a better person.

Kali Williams, a senior telecommunications management major from Detroit, MI said it best “I remember sitting on the ‘booty wall’ laughing with my friends and just wasting time, but I have grown to realize that although those days were fun, I had to grow up. I would not take those days back for the world, but as I grew so did my actions. I honestly have grown to love and appreciate Howard University.”