March 2018...The day I first stepped foot at my dream university. May 31, 2020...The day I officially moved out of my on-campus apartment with no plans of returning.
I remember when I found out about FAMU through a Youtube video and fell in love with the school through testimonials from alumni and personal research. How I begged my parents to move six hours away from home with support, but didn't receive any at the time. All the money I saved the summer before to be financially stable. The sacrifices.
The Set Fridays I'll probably never experience again, the tedious processes to get into organizations that I hated, the delicious French toast from Foote Hilyer, the fights with financial aid, my annoyance with housing, the sound of the Marching 100 practicing early in the morning, the Homecoming crowds, arriving early at Gaither functions just to get a seat, and most importantly, the kompa parties with the Haitian Cultural Club.
Truth is, I should have left this school the second semester of my freshman year. Then I shouldn't have returned after the summer was over. After the Fall semester I had sophomore year, I REALLY shouldn't have come back, but my pride, stubbornness, and fear kept me suffering in silence for the longest time.
"You look like you're having so much fun on Instagram." "I saw the party you went too." "I see you're making friends." Meanwhile I didn't have the heart to tell family and friends back home living through me that I was miserable because I didn't want to let them down.
I didn't have the experience I thought I would. If I'm being honest, my college experience was a bit traumatizing emotionally. The university I fell in love with wasn't the same one I experienced once I officially became a student. If I'm being honest, I already knew I didn't like it after my first week there, but like everything I do..I kept going.
I loved attending an HBCU with all my heart and believe me when I wanted my degree to say "Florida A&M University"more than anything. That's why I could never find the courage to just "transfer to another school". I was willing to spend four years being unhappy for it. But at the end of the four years I knew the piece of paper I would have would not be worth my mental health suffering even more.
To be fair, I learned A LOT about myself through this experience. I do not regret attending this university one bit because it made me who I am today. I LOVE the people I've met, the parties I got to attend, the dorm life, the ups and the downs.
The school played its role, but it was mostly me trying to fit into a space that I outgrew.
I'm not ready to share what the next step is, but I'm going to take my time and make sure that it's tailored to what I want in this life.
Florida A&M University will always hold a special place in my heart & I will be sure to take my greetings with me wherever. Signing out physically as a Rattler, but I'll always be a Rattler at heart.