It BLOWS my mind that I invested +$20,000 in an unknown business venture. *Shaking my head*. A real leap of faith. But I thought to myself, almost EVERY 17-YEAR-OLD IN THE WORLD DOES IT, so it should be fine, right?
Before enrolling into NIU, I really didn’t know the value or purpose of going to college besides that I can potentially make more money than if I didn’t. I spoke to many Kings with the same mentality, if not worst. I realized it’s a necessity for us, King’s of color, to STRIVE for higher education for many reasons you will discover in this series.We must strive for growth in all areas of life, especially the brain. If going school is not your thing, then I pray you are working your ass off to create the success you envision.
Fast forward to my Junior year. Here I am, changed my major of study three times now, second-year Community Advisor, an Executive-board member for my organization, GPA (under construction) haha, and hardly any student loans. I would say I’m doing good for someone who was so nonchalant about college. However, the behind-the-scenes journey of my personal, professional, and social growth is what I am most thankful for. Aside from academics, college has taught me so much I would not have learned if I didn’t attend. A degree isn’t the thing that I appreciate about college. It is what is learned on the journey what stimulates my gratitude. Let’s get right into the first reason I feel as though college is special.
- College is ALOT of fun, to say the least. I have made great memories with greater people. Aside from academics and business, you must have some level of fun. Most, if not all, of the parties, kickbacks, tailgates, BBQ’s and adventures I have attended were all worth it. When I go to any functions, you will most likely catch me dancing and vibing. If you ask any 40 to 60-year-old college graduate, they will tell you college was the best years of their life. It sounds sad if you think about it, and it makes you wonder “what have you done with your life since then?” but I can understand because life is significantly different during your college years. As cliche as this sounds, you are young, wild, and free (to a certain extent).
- Going to any type of college whether it is a community college or a 4-year university allows you to meet so many different people. Most universities require you to live in one of their on-campus residence halls if you are not commuting. I lived in a residence hall where I shared a common living room space with 9 other people from all around Illinois. Since I go to a Primarily White Institution (PWI), most of my cluster-mates were White. It was interesting because I had the opportunity of positively changing their perspective of Black men through our interactions. Showing them, that Black men are MORE than just what the media portrays us to be. Aside from that, I have created solid friendships with quality individuals, and it always loves when we reconnect. My roommate and I are still close to this day which is a blessing in my opinion. We have seen each other grow since freshman year, and remained close. Living in a college residence hall, you never know who you will meet. I have met all types of people….trust me. Your ideas, hobbies, interests, businesses, recipes, or even the job you have. You may share a mutual interest with someone and from there, you can connect on a deeper level creating a friendship you will never forget.
- Likewise, towards the end of my first semester at NIU, I became an active member of an organization called Black Male Initiative (BMI). This organization was made up of at least 60 active members at the time. It upholds the pillars of academics, community service, and networking; and the sub-pillars of mentoring and image-busting. This organization has taught me what brotherhood and manhood are. We are all still learning ourselves but we are uplifting one another as we are climbing. I purposely surrounded myself with people with similar mindsets, and people I can relate to while also achieving a mutual goal of graduation. This organization alone helped me with my personal and professional development. BMI was one of my main support systems when starting this blog, becoming a student leader on campus, and bettering myself as a young Black man. Affiliating with any organization or job on campus will naturally expand your network, build relationships, and aid your growth as an individual. Your network will equate to your net worth. Meaning you are the average of the 5-main people you surround yourself with. If you are in an organization that focuses on developing your Marketing skills, your marketing skills should get better because you are pushing each other’s development. The more success you surround yourself with, the more successful you’ll be. BMI is my circle of success. I would not be the same person if I did not join this organization. Having that said, I strive towards bettering myself in order to provide to others what BMI provided for me.
- The faculty is more than just faculty. They are your support system, believe it or not. They are the first people to invest in you when other people don’t. Faculty can become your mentors, friends, and family. They are able to show you the in’s and out’s of the university, plug you into opportunity, and become your overseer throughout your college career.
To sum up everything in a nutshell, when you go to college you can potentially meet your best friends, business partners, coworkers, enemies, potential wife or husband, and everything in between. Strive to create quality and enriching relationships with people because happiness and success will come with it.
If you want to be notified when Part 2 will be posted, then email subscribe down below. If there is something I did not touch on. Please contact me and share your ideas. Thank you for reading and all I ask is you YOU to share this with other King’s and Queens!