My Experience at Shaw

What is a Shaw university student? One who is intelligent, courageous, and not afraid of any challenge. A Shaw student is one who is going to become frustrated when times are hard, but will excel to their greatest potential. When things are going good, they’re never complacent. They strive to go above and beyond what is required of them in any given situation. Shaw University has taught me just that; no matter what obstacles come before me I will be great!

About nine in the morning, on a Saturday. Listening to the birds chirp and feeling the crisp air blow through my hair. A country girl walking down town in the capitol of North Carolina while horns are honking, and strangers are walking by, trying to keep warm while sipping latte. These types of things are what make me miss home, because early in the morning on a Saturday I would look outside to see my father and brother doing yard work.

My hometown is Hardeeville, South Carolina where there are long dirt roads, mobile homes, paper mills, and stray dogs limping around. When I first drove by the paper mill, the only thing that I could think of was, “Who in the world passed gas?” Walking around my yard barefoot outside. Riding four-wheelers through the woods trying to find the best looking buck for us to eat on Sunday. Wearing our camouflage, with our rifles in our hands, my dad made it his business for his girls to know how to survive without a man. These are the things that I miss from home. I don’t get to do any of these things while here at Shaw, but somehow this difference is significant because it makes me appreciate the importance of change and opportunity. No matter where you are from or what circumstances you’re under, everyone has a chance to “make it.” I was the first of my five siblings to attend college, while my brother and sisters all chose the work force. You can either choose to give up; the bubble of stereotype or make the best of your situation.

Back at home, I learned not to fall for the “bun” which means not to be a “test dummy.” While at Shaw I have learned not to befriend everyone and to trust no one. I am a fraternal twin of a chubby, dark skinned girl named Raven. Friendships have never been an issue for me because I have always had at least one person in the world that would always have my back and never turn on me. But being away from her for school has taught me to be open minded about all situations and to live outside of the “twin world.”

Strive for excellence! The roar of all of the families and friends who had gathered around to help celebrate as they screamed for each of their children had my heart thumping. The eighty-nine degree weather was scorching us in our black robes and we were trying to walk in three inch heels to our seats with nervous jitters in our hearts. You too could experience such joy, feeling of pride, and an adrenaline rush you’d never forget. Being the first student since my county’s school integrated to have qualified for the “Jaguar, Lady of Distinction” award made me feel like I was in a dream. My freshman year in high school, I was headed down the wrong path. Skipping school with friends who meant me no good, in trouble with my parents all the time, and being a little girl who was blind to what real life had in store for me. I totally felt like the “problem child” at home. This experience has taught me that not all change is bad. Some people prefer spending their lives doing the same things and avoiding changes. Others, including me, however think that change is a good thing.

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