College is college, but there are some things that only HBCU students will truly understand. HBCUs have a culture of their own, and it's amazing to see that situations we think are exclusive to us, HBCU students across the country are dealing with as well. If you didn't attend one, you just won't get it.
1. Fried Chicken WednesdayPhoto: North Carolina A&T State University
Maybe your university has a different name and day for it (possibly "Soul Food Fridays" or "Pretty Monday"). Either way, everybody knows the day that the food is fire in the cafe—and everybody comes. Everyone also profiles their best outfits. It's more of a fashion show than actually about the food.
2. The Halftime ShowPhoto: Giphy
If you were blessed to go to a school with a decent football team, you may have really been into the game. However, at an HBCU, the halftime show is the real reason people come to the game. HBCU bands are unparallelled.
3. HomecomingPhoto: HBCU Buzz
Homecoming at an HBCU is more than just a time for alumni to come back. Homecoming is a full out, extra ass event.
Homecoming Week To Do List: the absolute most.
Old heads are back, the yard is popping, everyone is tailgating and your "dry" campus is filled with alcohol (well, more than usual). The smell of fresh bundles, coconut oil and grilled chicken is in the air. It's the best time of the year.
4. The Financial Aid OfficePhoto: Giphy
The words "financial aid" are probably triggering for any HBCU student. Talk about giving you the runaround. And it seems like there are always only two people working every time you go into the office. We just want to be great, and y'all want to play about our money. Playing with my money is like playing with my emotions.
5. Bad ServicePhoto: Giphy
Yes, we love our beloved institutions, but let's be real for a minute. More than just the financial aid office, bad customer service can sometimes be common on HBCU campuses. Sometimes you have to nag people until they do their job. Don't worry though, nagging has never been a problem for me.
6. A RefundPhoto: Giphy
I don't know why it seems like it takes so long for refunds to drop at an HBCU. But you can definitely tell when it does...and when it's all gone too.
7. Visitation HoursPhoto: Twitter
I know visitation is everywhere, but visitation hours in HBCU dorms can be so ridiculous. Especially if you're not in a co-ed dorm. People have to learn how to sneak and geek so they can sleep together in those twin size beds.
8. The YardPhoto: Ebony
It took me visiting my friends at their PWIs to realize that the "yard" at those institutions aren't quite the same as the yards at HBCUs. The yard is where everything happens. Chilling, block parties, stroll-offs, and the like, all happen on the yard. The yard popping or not will sometimes even determine if I leave out the house. There's also the important question of what greek organizations run the yard. All the fraternities swear that they're yard runners, which I cosign as long as they have chicken.
9. Probate SeasonPhoto: Pretty Girls Sweat
Speaking of greeks and the yard, probate season breathes new life into both. The yard is where many probates happen for the new initiates of greek organizations. During probate season, all the old heads come back, the yard is filled with neos ready to show off and, even more, nosey people trying to see what's happening.
10. The Male to Female RatioPhoto: Giphy
The male to female ratio at HBCUs is ridiculous, to say the least. It seems like there are 100 women for every one man. I'm sure men who want to talk to women are ecstatic, but it leads to so many women getting played or being forced to look elsewhere for dates. Um, hello? I thought I was supposed to find the Dwayne to my Whitley.
11. ElectionsPhoto: WS Chronicle
Election season at HBCUs brings about a new level of classy shade. Everyone wants to be the Queen or Miss of their university. The election season brings the best, the biggest and the gaudiest campaigning. I love taking advantage of all the incentives. Through my four years, do you know how many people I told I was voting for them just for their food?
12. HBCU PridePhoto: Lipstick Alley
At the end of the day, no one can understand why HBCU grads are so adamant about school spirit, unless they too attended one. Our institutions can give us a roller coaster of a race to the finish line, but at the end of it all, we wouldn't have it any other way. The love is not just for our individual alma maters, but all HBCUs. HBCU advocacy almost becomes a right of passage after going to one.