• Monique Bonds

Why I Love My HBCU!

Updated: Jun 6, 2020

When I was in high school, I had no idea what an HBCU (Historically Black College and University) was. I was accepted into 3 PWI's (Predominately White Institute) before deciding on Langston University. I received an email from Langston saying they would waiver an application fee, and I could apply for free. Automatically that gained my attention! I began researching what Langston was and where Langston was located. Instantly seeing Langston was HBCU and only 4.5 hours away from home, I was decided before I took my tour. I started watching YouTube videos like "Living at Langston" and "LU Cribz." I even took the time to DM some people that already attended Langston on twitter using hashtags like #LU19.

Reaching out to the upperclassmen provided me with a sense of how Langston would be when I attended in the fall of 2016. I took my tour in April of 2016, and my parents loved the school more than me! My dad was a fan of Langston because it was in the middle of nowhere, and in his mind, that would keep me focused. (Looking back, it did!) The tour was so friendly and authentic, everyone I talked to treated me like family.

That's when I knew, the only HBCU in Oklahoma was for me—entering Langston as a freshman I had no idea what I wanted from Langston. I would go straight to class and go home. I had a little fun, but not enough. It wasn't until my sophomore year that I broke out of my shell and began to get active on campus and in my department. Getting active on campus was one of the best decisions I made while attending Langston University. Being active allowed me to earn positions on two Executive Boards, become Editor in Chief for the LU Gazette, get two free trips on behalf of the university, and so much more. These opportunities allowed me to grow as a person and, more importantly, as an aware black woman.

I remember watching my peers have the time of their life in a Langston Center party and be in class on time with their papers ready the next day. That's when I knew my HBCU experience was one like no other because my people, my African American people all came to college with one mindset; to graduate. Of course, the fun will happen in college, and HBCU parties and Homecoming events will always be unmatched, but the students' determination is something I've never seen anywhere else! I can now say because of my HBCU; I am cautious of how I present myself as I know how I carry myself is my brand. I'm sure to carry myself with poise, determination, grace, and ambition. My HBCU allowed me to learn more about myself and love me for me. It wasn't until attending my HBCU that I was comfortable in my skin and my natural hair.

You see so many people with so many backgrounds that you have no choice but to feel accepted. I vividly remember sitting in the Cafe and examining every black girl I saw so many hair textures, hairstyles, and clothing styles, but everything was different but similar in one. That's when I knew my insecurities didn't matter somewhere like Langston, where everyone is wonderfully made. The icing on the cake for me was winning the title of Miss Black and Old Gold. I almost didn't go for the pageant because I let my nerves and insecurities beat me up. I missed the informational and the first pageant because I was scared of what people would think or say about me. I doubted my talent and how I would walk in front of a crowd of people. It wasn't until the second practice that I gained faith and realized I didn't care what people thought about me! It takes someone with the courage to compete in a pageant and stand in front of an audience with grace and poise rather you win or not! Once I had that mindset, I was already a winner. Without the help of my HBCU, I wouldn't be who I am today, to Langston University, thank you.

-Luv, Mo

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