My name is Greg and I’m an (in my opinion) highly intelligent individual who attends a Predominately White Institution (PWI) in the South. I’m a Junior now and to be honest with you I think I’m missing something. I’ve been at this institution for 3 years now and I think I’ve gotten out of it everything that I can. I’m in multiple organizations and committees and have a plethora of friends but I still feel unfulfilled. It’s gotten to the point where I’m considering transferring to a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) to get more intuned with my heritage and have a sense of belonging. Lately, on certain social media sites, there has been a lot of propaganda about HBCUs and how wonderful they are to attend which has piqued my interest. Here is where the dilemma begins. I’ve told a few of my friends that I’m considering this option and they tell me that I’m ‘crazy’. They say things such as, “You won’t be able to find the type of job that you’re looking for with an HBCU degree”, “They’re not financially stable” or “They don’t have up-to-date equipment or facilities like PWIs do.” Some of their points are valid from what I’ve seen while doing my research, but I’m still intrigued to go even though I know about the problems that they have. I’m on the fence now Yana and I’m hoping that you can give me some advice that will help me to make a solid decision. What should I do?
Might Be Attending an HBCU?
Dear Might Be Attending an HBCU:
First, all schools have their issues. Just because it’s an HBCU doesn’t make it any less than a PWI. No matter what school you attend you will still have a chance to find the job you are looking for. A school does not determine your qualifications for a job, you do. Most people forget that a degree and the school that you attend do not make your experience any better or any less than someone else’s. As long as you do your part in learning then you will be set for success.
Second, if you have already made a name for yourself at your PWI, I think you should stay. You are almost at the finish line. You have to keep in mind that if you transfer to another university, you might not graduate at the time that you expect to. If you find a school that will allow all of your credits to transfer and allows you to graduate at the time that you expect to then I say go for it, but if that doesn’t happen, you can always go to an HBCU for graduate school to get the experience that you are looking for.
Lastly, don’t base your opinion on anyone else’s. If you want to attend an HBCU then you should follow your heart. Just make sure you choose what’s best for you and not anyone else. At the end of the day, it’s your life and if you think that you want that experience then go for it. Nobody can live your life but you, so live it to the fullest.