In honor of homecoming week at my alma mater, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, I decided to write about my college experience. I could go on and on, telling you about all of the many things I accomplished while I attended UAPB. You name it. I did it. I was a cheerleader, student government member, Miss Black & Gold, a member of the greatest sorority ever, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the 82nd Miss UAPB among a host of other things. Sounds exciting, right? I had it all. The perfect college experience that ended with a cherry or better yet, a crown, on top. Or so it seems…
What many people don’t know is that although I was a bit of an over achiever during those four years, I was also depressed, insecure, scared and lost. The crazy thing about that is, no one would know this unless I told them. So now, you know.
I was depressed my freshman year at UAPB. I was a first generation college student with no guidance, on my own, facing the unknown. As if that wasn’t enough of a challenge, I had lost my brother just a couple months prior to starting college and I was still grieving. Although I enjoyed my first year of college, I missed every single party that year, remained locked away in my dorm room and probably missed out on a lot of new friends and opportunities because I just didn’t want to face the world. I wasn’t ready.
Freshman 15 wasn’t an issue for me. I actually lost weight so that I could become a cheerleader at UAPB. I worked my way up from the pom squad to the co-ed team. I was in the best shape of my life, and yet I felt the worst. I loved cheerleading, but the pressure to fit into a tiny uniform and perform in front of hundreds of people was sometimes a bit much for me. My friends hated when I would complain about being too fat, or having rolls when I was a size 3. I had to explain to them that in the real world, I was small, but in the “cheerleading world”, I was still too big and I was very insecure.
I think everyone feels scared and lost at some point in their college careers. Most of my fears came from having no clue what to expect in college. I had no one to turn to for advice on the simplest things like choosing a major, handling college relationships or even joining a sorority. As a result, I changed my major 3 times, kept to myself and refrained from being too involved in organizations and getting too close to people.
Although I finished college in 4 years with many accomplishments, I do have one regret. I wish I would’ve taken the time to enjoy it more. If I hadn’t had to deal with these issues in college, who knows what else I could’ve added to my experience. But then again, the adversity I faced is what made me who I am now and for God’s plan, I’m grateful.
Although this is just a tiny snippet of my behind the scenes college experience, I know I’m not alone. I’m sure many other students share similar stories; even the ones like me that seemed to have conquered it all. This just goes to show, all that glitters isn’t really black and GOLD.
One thought on “All That Glitters…”
very interesting! I would have liked to have read more on this story of your college years.
This could help a lot of people. I’m a first generation college student, dealt with similar issues. Good writing btw !