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Declaring Your Worth | A Warning to Prospective Students from a Scenic Senior

Posted by Warren Buchanan

In Student Spotlight

Here at Tuskegee CAENS, we love to hear about the experiences our students have with their journey of higher education. Our latest series highlights real experiences from real students and alumni across the school. 


Declaring Your Worth| A Warning to Prospective Students from a Scenic Senior

Some would classify me as a “Super Senior,” but I classify myself as a “Scenic Senior.” Five years ago, I checked into the Adams dorm at Tuskegee University and cried my eyes out for the entirety of Freshman Week. For the first time in my 18 years, I felt totally alone. No longer was I identified by the history of my last name or by my twin sister. There was just me. I remember at that time my academic vision was laser focused. I was determined I would make good grades, graduate in four years, and hightail it back to the comfort and familiarity of home.


Little did I know I was in for a surprise. After my first semester I transferred out because I decided I did not like how “small” Tuskegee felt compared to the state schools I’d heard about from friends back home. I felt an odd sense of pressure from the personal relationships I was forging with my professors and at times would have rather been considered a number versus a name. That was a mistake. I returned the following year determined to battle through catching up on courses and finding my footing. I had been intimidated and lost focus due to my inability to put forth an adequate effort.


Since my change of heart, Tuskegee has broken through what felt like an impenetrable soul. Hindsight is 20/20 and as I stood in line to buy my cap and gown for graduation, I realized what Tuskegee had been teaching me was accountability. I knew that I had broken through with determination and conquered my fears. At first, I was fearful of being the decider of my own destiny and could not face that I could be successful. Throughout my time at Tuskegee I heard the phrase “Tuskegee is what you make it,” and to you prospective students, I hope you make it a great one!

- Amani D. Lilton