My Shaw Experience

by Parrish Billups


Musical Journey

Being a student at Shaw University should be a privilege. Being a previous college student at Virginia State University, there is a big difference in how you learn and what you learn at Shaw, which is one of the key significant things. Even as far as being in the band wasn’t the same learning experience as something I was use to, I had to adjust. I have enjoyed my first year and feel as if some of the major events of my life happened here in Raleigh, NC.

Brothers from “Shark City”.

Music has always been a motivation and passion for me. I still have the thought today that band directors aren't paid enough for what they do, so this is why I didn't select music as a major. I have been dealing with music since the 6th grade and I have been active since. There are three photos I have selected to tell my strong story, not only about music but where I am from and why I act the way I act in class.It’s rough where we come from. The murder rate has been the highest this month in the “Shark City”. We all being from Norfolk, have no choice in the matter of choosing success over failure. I look at role models such as Na’eem Wilkins and Sterling Mitchell both from Norfolk and holding high gpa’s. We also all grew up together, being close since day one when we met each other we are own support system physically, emotionally, and sometimes financially. One thing I learned from attending Shaw, your not the only one going through the struggles of being a full time student. I have learned to keep a very strong support system. Still till this day we are very close and have come along way not only as a citizen of Norfolk, but maturing into a responsible collegiate student.

Two Black Men on One Mission

Again, I elaborate on how I have motivation directly in front of me. I feel as if all the upper class-men that attend Shaw University from my area are hungry and are focusing on getting out of “Shark City”. Na’eem is not only involved with Shaw’s marching band. He’s is the president of the Honors College and a member of the Collegiate 100. Being a member of these student organizations require a lot of task and responsibility. For the Honors College, students are required to have a 3.2 gpa and above, Write an essay, and required to plan for graduate study. With the Collegiate 100 students need to have a 2.5 gpa and write a 500 word essay. As the Drum-Major, Na’eem is the leader of the band and executes whistle calls for field commands for the band. I have gained the mind set of being a scholar and attending this school is giving me self consciousness of whats going on today, and giving me understanding on social structure about how this world works. I try to a line myself with great people who are hungry and have positive thoughts. Being from where I am from your thoughts is all you have.

The Awakening Call

I am one who tends to pick up things very fast. Im twenty one years old and carry my self very well for a young “Black” man. Or thats what I have be taught to call myself. Overtime taking this course. I have learned to find who I really am. I have been walking in the dark and comparing my self to the ways and worth of the oppressor, and the worse part about this is I wasn't self aware. Taking this course “Intro to Humanties” was possibly the best damn thing that has happened to me since I had life. Its the equivelent to some one adjusting looking in the dark, but they never knew darkness existed. Never knew what it was nor how it worked. Why it had this name or was even a term and then the light just came on. I have learned about myself that being a positive role model for individuals give something for people to set a standard to. Me setting the standard, I know for myself my standard isn’t low. I learned that I love to help people no matter what the situation is. With these major events that happened at Shaw it has made me a leader, a teacher, and a scholar. I can’t wait until what next year has to offer.