- Class: Junior
- Major: English
- Gender: F
- High School: Grand Ledge High School
- Transfer Student: N
The best thing about Howard is its students. The mix of black people from every socioeconomic level, religion, culture and background is unlike anything I ever could have gotten from a majority school. My experiences with the student body and extracurriculars are what make me inevitably say that I like Howard when my thoughts on the way the school is run make me hesitate at first. I went to predominantly white schools all my life, so none of my friends had heard of Howard (an HBCU) when I announced I was going there during my senior year of high school. However, the school has a great legacy and name recognition in the professional world, which certainly doesn't hurt. The main cmapus is one of the smallest I've ever seen, and I like that with only about 10,000 undergrads, there probably six (or fewer) degrees of separation between everyone. I love that I'm in D.C. and that there are so many interesting things about it, but I do sometimes feel like I missed out by not living in a typical "college town." We certainly have a lot of school pride, as evidenced by our alumni. However, there's not much hype around athletics because the our teams for typically popular sports (basketball, football, etc.) aren't that great. But our homecoming is always a huge event, attracting celebrities, alumni and even people who never went here from across the country.
Besides some of the classes freshmen are required to take (like math) and phys ed courses like swimming, the classes are generally small. This semester, there are four people in my smallest class and about 15 in my largest. I'm an English major and a print journalism minor, so I'm in the College of Arts and Sciences but also take classes in the School of Communication. I haven't really felt all that enlightened by my English courses or figured out how all these classes are supposed to mesh together to give me some kind of cohesive notion of what I'm getting a degree in. I will say that I have been exposed to a lot of literature I probably never would have found on my own, especially by black writers. However, our journalism program is excellent and I feel like I'm learning a lot in my minor. Our professors are actual journalists, and it's nice to learn from people who actually do what they teach.
I get the impression that most Howard students are middle class to upper middle class. The fact that it's an HBCU changes the whole racial dynamic, but there are cultural tensions between American students and international students (who are primarily from the Caribbean and Africa)at times. I think there's a niche for everyone here, or at least room to create one. Howard students generally consider themselves politically active and aware, but some consider us complacent (see a Washington Post piece by Courtland Milloy regarding "soul food Thursday" and a visit by Laura Bush).
The Best Things
The Worst Things
The way it's run