Counting the days to graduation

Detroyia Hardy is a first generation college student who will graduate May 3.
Photo Submittedd by Detroyia Hardy

I am only eight days from graduation, and multiple emotions have begun to fill my body. All of my hard work, persistence and resilience has paid off. I will soon be walking across the stage to receive my Bachelor of Science degree in public relations.

Growing up, I always knew I would attend college. My parents instilled in me the importance of a quality education at a early age. My academic history includes attending some of the highest quality schools in the Tampa Bay area from kindergarten to high school.

During my junior year of high school,I decided I wanted to attend an HBCU. Being the minority in many of the schools I attended I wanted to get a different experience. I knew an HBCU would give me an opportunity to learn more about African American history and culture. Deciding to attend FAMU was an easy decision. However, my admission process was extremely discouraging.

I had applied to FAMU my senior year and got denied because of my SAT/ACT scores. I was devastated. I did not want to attend any other university. After attending the FAMU Spring Preview event, FAMU felt like home. I had retaken my SAT and received a score that would atleast get through the doors at FAMU. I was admitted into the FAMU Summer Bridge Program. Looking back I would not have it any other way.

I have met some of the most amazing people during my college career. Attending FAMU has allowed me to understand the significance of African American people in society. The experiences I have gained while attending an HBCU would have never been the same attending a PWI. Being surrounded by people that look like you and share common goals is a blessing.

As graduation approaches, I can not help but thank God, my family and friends for their support throughout this journey. There have been times that I wanted to give up but I reminded myself that my degree is not only for me. It is for those who have wanted to be in my shoes but were given another route.

Being a first generation college student on both sides of my family has been rough. Throughout my college career my family has held me to a higher standard. Although they mean well, the pressure they has put me on me has made me into the diligent black woman I am today.