My First Three Weeks in Grad School

Norfolk State University is a Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) founded on Sept. 18, 1935. The university started as the Norfolk Unit of Virginia Union University. In 1942, it gained its independence as Norfolk Polytechnic College, and two years later, an Act of the Virginia Legislature mandated that it become a part of Virginia State College. Then in 1969, the university became fully independent. School brand colors are green and gold.

This is the information found on NSU’s website about the university’s history and mission. NSU’s 85th Anniversary was last week, and it was filled with a lot of pictures of students showing their Spartan spirit. By the way, #BEHOLD!

Unfortunately, I wasn’t in the most festive mood. Don’t get me wrong, I still posted NSU and said Happy Birthday. Instead of joining in on the fun, I focused more on my school work. Now, ask me. How did the week go, Octavia? Well, I’m here to tell you, I didn’t just mess up once, but three times and it’s only September. Grad school is a lot harder than undergrad, so for all of the so-called “MaSs cOmmUnICatIoN Is tHE eAsIesT mAjOr” people, go study for media studies in grad school, then come talk to me. To make a long story short, I didn’t do that great on my test, I read the wrong chapter for one of my classes, and I missed an important portion for one of my assignments.

Although I entered each situation with my guard down, I knew I couldn’t just sit there and continue to feel defeated. Nope, I didn’t go down like that when I was at UNCP and I’m not about to do it at NSU. So, I collected myself and looked into better organizational skills. Plus, I got a chance to talk with my professors on moving forward in their classes so, I feel so much better. You guys are probably tired of me repeating the same thing over and over, but I’m glad I chose NSU. They really work with you to ensure you’re doing well and using your mind to the best of your ability.

Here’s something to laugh at, I still can’t drive in Norfolk. Please don’t ask me to give you a ride because the answer is a hard “no.” Don’t take it personal though, driving on campus to Norfolk is a lot different than in Pembroke. Norfolk is mixed in with a lot of neighborhoods surrounding the campus, a lot of the restaurants are further from campus, the roads have a lot of twists and turns, and if you’re not careful, you could miss your turn to the grocery store.

I missed both turns twice. One for when I was on my way to the grocery store and the other from looking on my GPS for the grocery store. Use of GPS when driving in Norfolk is needed. Especially if you’re new to the area, like myself, and want to travel. I wouldn’t suggest driving on campus though. The reason is because the campus isn’t set up like UNCP where there are three roads you can take to get anywhere, its set up like the town, full of twists and turns. If you’re not careful, you can end up with a ticket while trying to figure your way around and not paying attention to the stop signs surrounding the area.

Thank God, the on-campus food services are close to where I live at. I don’t know what I would do if most of them were too far for me to walk to. I know of three so far: Tropical Smoothie, Chic-Fil (unfortunately) and one of the dining halls. I want to try out the food trucks (I don’t know their hours by heart), the other dining hall (it might just be the same food) and there is also a wing place. Unfortunately, because I’m not all the way sure where everything is at, I have to limit myself to the ones I’ve been too.

I promise by the end of this month, I should know this whole campus forward and backward. Since there a lot in stake with COVID-19 changing the energy and work of the university, I’m not going to stress too much. As long as I keep trying to apply myself in and out of the classrooms, I’m good. Plus, my room is finally finished so now it’s really official.

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