Being surrounded by intelligent, inspiring successful African Americans is one of the best part of being at Hampton. The majority of the student body is succeeding in some way and you can’t help but be inspired to do the same. There can be a lot of uplifting and encouragement as we all mostly want to see our fellow African Americans brother and sisters achieve. We are not stupid, we know that we are a small percentage of African Americans succeeding in this country and it’s kind of all for one and one for all when it comes to our success. You get kind of a family feel where you may not like everyone or what they do at all times but at the end of the day, if someone were to come for your family you would defend them, because that’s your name too. The mentorship and close knit relationships you will develop at Hampton or any HBCU are comparable to what you will find anywhere else.
People at Hampton are very confident in their successes. While it is great for you to encourage these people, they rarely need it because they know they are bad all by themselves. There are certain levels of this confidence that people exhibit and depending on the kind of person you are or what you grew up around, it is very easy to misconstrue someone’s confidence as cockiness. That being said, there is actually a lot of cockiness that floats throughout the school. Students have mastered the art of “cise” at this school which is overwhelming and unnecessary compliments. While the person may look extremely hot or pretty on this particular day, they are declared to have “slayed all competition” or caused people to “bow down”. Cising is meant to be all in fun, but as always some people can take it to the head.
The large majority of Hampton students were in the top 10 percent of their class, homecoming or prom royalty, the best African Americans at their school. It’s just the kind of people that Hampton attracts. And when you put all those types of people together the competition gets fierce. The competitiveness often leads to pettiness. There’s a lot of hating, gossiping and backstabbing. While we can at times be happy for each other’s individual success, when someone crosses into someone else’s “territory” or area of interest and begins to excel, people feel very threatened. The competition is serious for everything from positions of leadership, to boys. The pettiness comes from when the person’s focus moves from being defensive about their status and position to a distaste for the others person’s whole life. That’s when the talking behind the back, hating, Mean Girls level type ish rears its nasty head. It’s inescapable, so the best a person can do to deal with this is to ignore it and keep doing what it is that they hope to accomplish.
But this is just my opinion, and I wouldn’t change Hampton University for the world. Hampton University has a very different culture, and is very unique. Only the strong survive at HU.
– Aliah W.