First year experience

Donette is a graduate of Howard University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology. She also has a diploma in Fashion Retailing from The Art Institutes. Donette is originally from Kansas City, Kansas and is now located in NYC working as a stylist intern.

College is an experience that people speak about your entire high school career. It is something that should never be overlooked, taken for granted, or diminished as just another stepping stone in making your parents happy. IT. IS. EVERYTHING. What I think people don’t do enough of is explain to you how difficult the transition will be, especially if you leave home. Hence, why I almost left college my freshman year only to come back home and wallow in defeat at a state school that I would have never been happy at. Let’s talk.
I left home to go 1200 miles away on a full ride scholarship. It was a great choice for my chosen field and it was known as being one of the top schools in the country, still is. I got top pick in dorms, packed my best clothes, and even got a new haircut. I was ready to wow them at school just like I did in my hometown. Eh, not so much. I learned quickly that the designers I wore were never cool outside of the 4 states surrounding my own, I spoke with a grammatically incorrect twang, and my genuine niceness from being raised in a small-ish city was going to get me eaten alive. I won’t dwell on those things, but in short I was very unhappy. I felt out of place, not expensive enough, and too nice to have the bite and drive that others had. By spring break I was begging my mother to bring me home and let me go somewhere else. It was disheartening to say the least. I felt that everyone at home rallied me up for this big awakening experience; no one told me I wouldn’t be queen of the campus.
See, as students transitioning none of us or none of you truly stress about the difficulty of your actual education. You know college will be hard, a lot of work and studying, and time consuming. You focus more on the social aspect and how you will conquer your new environment. It’s hard. You will meet so many people who have accomplished things you never even thought to set out to do. And that’s exactly how it should be. You should be inspired to find your own path and learn from those around you. The key is to never forget what you can teach, what you can give, and how to ask your parents for more money to go shopping without telling them its for shopping. Just kidding on that last one.
So what did I do? I stayed. I went through a whole style crisis trying to find myself in a world where teenagers owned more luxury items than I saw at Nordstrom. I joined several organizations to find my true passions. I even started a freelance business. I also cried a lot and reached out for support. Most importantly, I rediscovered how I got there, what I had to bring to the table, and then I learned how to build the table. Everyone at home rallied me up correctly, they just didn’t tell me it’d be hard getting there. Then again, isn’t waking up when you don’t want to uncomfortable? Don’t run from it. Just set the alarm as a song you really like and dance your way into rediscovery and greatness.

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