Being a student at an Historically Black College and University is totally an experience like no other. From meeting friends that turn into family to participating in a variety of custom and fashion forward on-campus events, the HBCU lifestyle is one that has elevated our African American culture and heritage. Once one matriculates through their HBCU and becomes an alum, memories of what undergraduate life was like soon begin to flood in. Memories of homecoming trickle to your brain when tailgating season approaches and during the holidays you can vividly remember the drive or flight home for Thanksgiving to see the faces of your loved ones. Like many of us, we can recount this imagery vividly of traveling home from our favorite place to our other favorite place. For this reason, I am going to highlight 5 HBCU alums who can recount the times in which they left their beloved campus to return home for the Holidays.
Josilyn Bridgeman, a 2016 graduate of Voorhees College and Owner and Operator of P.S. I Love Me LLC, remembers her holiday returns home distinctly. She states “As I sit back and reflect on my time at Voorhees College, I must say, holiday breaks were my favorite; especially during Thanksgiving. Most of my family from Philadelphia would come to Atlanta to spend some well needed quality time together. After midterms, community service events with my sorority sisters and a week long worth of homecoming I was exhausted. So, going home for Thanksgiving to refresh, regroup, and relax was all I needed.”
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Sarah Avera, a 2018 graduate of Paine College and former Queen of the University and SGA President, understands exactly what it’s like to go home to family after a productive filled semester. As a Southern Belle, Sarah says that “Going home for the holidays was something I always look forward to. Even though I was close to home, I enjoy the break I got for the holidays and the entire time I spent with my family and friends.”
Travis Barnes, a 2018 graduate of Claflin University and a former Mister Claflin University, vividly recalls his holiday trip home as well. He says “My most memorable moment coming home for Thanksgiving from school would have to be when I went straight to my grandparent’s house. To walk in and be with someone who I love dearly and to be met there by my parents made my Thanksgiving. To be asked, ‘you couldn’t stay away from the food, huh?’ It made me smile from ear to ear because they cooked my favorite things. After all, they knew exactly what I had been going through for school.”
Tajmah Muhammad, a graduate of Allen Univeristy and also a former Queen of Allen Univeristy, demonstrates that she is thankful for the break she recieved from school and returning home to be with her loved ones. She states “My most favorite quote to use during thanksgiving break would be by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and it quotes ‘Accept your own and be yourself!’ She explains that this “quote reminds me of the foundation of where I came from and by being able to be around family and friends help me stay grounded while at my HBCU. I always continue to keep that quote in mind especially during the holiday season and when I returned back to school”
As we can see traveling home during your first year of college is necessary. When attending a HBCU returning home help reminds Southern Belles and Southern Beaus exactly what you should be striving for. The holiday season ultimately gives students a much needed break from the first year adjustment and brings you the holiday cheer you’ve always remembered as a child.1