My name is Candace and I am a high school senior in Texas. I came across your column while perusing the internet and was hoping that you could solicit some advice to me. I’ll be going to college in the Fall but I’ve yet to pick a school. I’ve been reading all of these amazing comments and seeing videos on social media about Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and I’d love to attend one but my parents want me to attend a PWI (Predominately White Institution) because they say it will afford me more opportunities in life. (Both of them attended PWIs) They keep telling me that the decision is mine but they keep strongly recommending that I attend one of those universities. When I tell them that I’m considering an HBCU they present every negative stereotype about them to detour my decision. I love my parents and I know that they just want the best for me but this decision should be mine and mine alone. Yanna what should I do? Should I listen to them or should I follow my heart. Also, being that you attend an HBCU could you present some convincing positive affirmations about HBCUs that I can convey to them so that it may potentially sway their minds?
Desperately Seeking an HBCU
Dear Desperately Seeking an HBCU:
First, going to college is a decision that you will have to live with, not your parents. You should follow your heart and ask God for guidance on what school would be best for you. Your parents already went to college and had their experience, now it’s your turn. Make your decision on what you want, not what anyone else wants you to do. You don’t want to look back in the future and wished you had followed your heart.
Second, you should talk to your parents about this decision. Hear what they have to say but don’t solely base your opinion on theirs. You and your parents should list the positives and negatives of attending an HBCU or PWI. Do your research on the schools and this might help them see that you are serious about attending an HBCU. Your parents want you to make the best choice for yourself. If they tell you the decision is yours then they want you to choose for yourself. Sometimes we have to hear other’s opinions on a situation that we already have our mind set on. Maybe it is a test for them to see if you are serious about going to an HBCU and if you would let someone change your mind on something because of their opinions.
Lastly, some benefits of going to an HBCU are they tend to cost less than PWIs, you are surrounded by a diverse community, you have a chance to get to know your professors and many corporations recruit students from HBCUs. Good luck in your decision.