Why I Regret Stepping Foot On A College Campus

A College Campus

A College Campus

I remember my senior year before I went to college. The sort of advice I received was be sure to use condoms, don’t do drugs, don’t party and study so you can make good grades and make your family proud. What no one told me, what I wish I would have known before I stepped one foot on that beautiful country campus is that it wasn’t drugs, women or study habits that would haunt me long after those college years; it was finances.

My first week on that college campus there was a table set up. Two attractive, cool college kids asking me if I wanted a free t-shirt and twenty five dollars. “Hey man, you’re away from home; you need a credit card for expenses. Gas money, maybe a date, a book you need right away.” Eighteen years old, not even a bank account in my name I signed up for the credit card and ten minutes later I was approved. That same week when I sat across from a counselor in the financial aid office she laid out several options for me. “This is what the University is offering you, A Pell Grant, your partial scholarship, four loan options.” All I saw was green, more money in my hand than I’d ever seen, a couple thousand more than I needed. I signed that promissory note not realizing I was signing my future earnings away.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame the University I attended for my bad decisions. I don’t blame the Federal Government or the Student Loan Lenders. Without those programs a lot of kids and adults would never even have a chance at college. I blame myself for not being better informed and though I can’t go back I can learn from my mistakes. My sisters, cousins, my future children will never be able to say, “I didn’t know.” I will be there with them letting them know, apply for scholarships, work a part time job, pay your student loan interest while you’re in school, maintain academic progress. Things I wasn’t told until it was too late.

I don’t regret going to college, I regret going to college when I did because I simply wasn’t prepared mentally. It’s what you’re supposed to do right? You don’t want to be the guy still staying at home working a job while all your friends are off at college. You don’t want to go to the military just as 9/11 happened and be deployed six months later. So I went to college and though the academics weren’t as hard as I thought the maturity level just wasn’t there.

Everyone in my office is excited about W2’s because who doesn’t love an influx of money? I on the other hand will be experiencing my third straight year of the Federal Government withholding my income taxes. All because I didn’t do what I was supposed to do when I was younger. A part of me is almost grateful that I am going through this because it’s forced me to budget more. It’s made me accountable. This hasn’t been easy but it’s been necessary. Though I wish I would have learned these lessons in my youth I still have a lot of life to live if God says the same and for that I’m thankful. Talk to your children about not just the parties, drugs, women or men. Talk to them about money and respecting it or it will come back to haunt them.

My President Is Black and That Matters To Me

President Obama

President Obama

My President Is Black and That Matters To Me

So many people in our country are intimidated by President Obama because he’s not like the black men they know in their little towns or cities. That scares them because it goes against everything they’ve been taught their entire lives. That makes me smile.

The politically correct thing to say is that it doesn’t matter that my President is a black man because he got the job based off of character, experience, education and a plan. Race and skin tone have nothing to do with it. That’s the politically correct thing to say. I don’t feel like being politically correct tonight. My Godson and Goddaughter will have lived their entire lives with a black man as President, that matters to me. That makes me smile. That means when I tell them they can be anything they want in life, I’m not lying.

There’s not one minority Senator in the south anymore. On the steps of the Texas Senate you had armed men with assault rifles openly threatening the President. Right now our country is more divided then it’s ever been and that’s because of one thing and one thing only. So many people can’t wrap their head around having a black man as President. They couldn’t six years ago, they couldn’t four years ago and they can’t now. So what…..

We’re here, we aren’t going anywhere. You can assassinate our leaders, put our fathers and uncles and cousins in prison for crimes that other men commit and get probation for. You can deny us jobs and make us build our own companies and make our own way but we are here! I will not walk with my head down throughout the day to make you feel more comfortable. I won’t bite my tongue or smile when you make a bad joke about my President, your President! I won’t be happy to have a job when I know I’m qualified to run the company! My President is black and that matters to me.

Great speech and when he’s finished with his two terms, look out for our First Lady because she’s going to be the next governor of Illinois and no telling what else!

~ Demez F. White