My last homecoming

Columnist Kimiya Watkins. Photo courtesy Watkins

From the headline, you can tell that I’m a senior and that this will be my last homecoming. But I’m nervous.

Florida A&M University’s homecoming is a renowned event that thousands of alumni and fans flock to annually. It is one of the most anticipated events of the year because of the celebrity guests, annual events, festivities and so much more. People in attendance spend anywhere from hundreds of dollars to thousands on clothes, shoes, jewelry and other items for these spectacular events.

While that is all fun and dandy, this year it’s also quite dangerous because students have returned to campus in August for the first time since March 2020. Since the beginning of the semester, students have gone out to clubs, events, and whatever else, but they have also been very cooperative with COVID-19 regulations on campus. Student organizations have also taken great initiatives to be the leaders on campus by getting vaccinated and sharing online to encourage their peers to do the same.

With thousands of people coming to campus from across the country, this could be the end of traditional classes again because there will be a lot of visitors who will not be taking the same initiatives to ensure the safety of themselves and those around them.

As a senior, it’s quite alarming.

It also feels like there’s some sort of pressure on fourth-year students such as myself to be involved in the festivities because this will be our final semesters. I’m continuously hearing these statements — “don’t be a crab” or “ this is the last year you better enjoy it.” Am I a “crab” for wanting to stay healthy and safe? If you say yes, that’s cool, but I don’t think so. If anything it would make me more responsible for being concerned about my peers and my health.

Homecoming is the most amazing, exciting event of the year. Unfortunately, it was canceled last year due to COVID-19. But I don’t think it was appropriate for the event to be held this year because of the potential risk. Students being able to enjoy their last years of education in a safe environment is much more important than a week full of visiting faces and fun. Don’t get me wrong, I love my HBCU and all that’s associated with it. But I love mine and my friends’ health and safety more.