Life Lessons from HBCU Homecoming

Marcy at Spelman Homecoming 2018

Marcy at Spelman Homecoming 2018

As the world sat in awe of the Queen’s Coachella performance which paid full-on homage to the HBCU Homecoming experience, I was flooded with all the feels and memories of what homecoming means to me. Fast-forward ten months later and Homecoming season has finally arrived. Ashley and I are both heading to the top HBCU Homecoming weekends! I’m choosing my outfits, finding the perfect shoes, and confirming the arrivals/departures of my line sisters, classmates, and closest friends as we count down the days until the turn up begins. Having only missed a few homecomings over the past 13 years, I always look forward to the trouble I can expect to get into each year. Both alums and visitors experience something very special at HBCU Homecomings. Here is what I’ve learned and the lessons I want to share with you about attending.

There’s No Place Like Home

There is nothing like going to an HBCU Homecoming and it always feels like you’re going back to your own home. My breaks from college to visit home were amazing chances to see friends, family, and return to that warm familiarity. You can expect that same re-energizing happiness any year at HBCU. We return to an exciting and cherished time in our lives where we see old friends and classmates that we spent years living with, partying with, and eating with in the caf.

Everyone Is Family

There’s no such thing as a stranger at an HBCU homecoming. It doesn’t matter if you graduated from the school or not. You can expect to exchange hugs even with people you’ve never met before because everyone is so excited to be together in the homecoming spirit. You are Black and you are celebrating homecoming, so you’re family! Similar to going to a family reunion where you don’t remember every cousin’s name, you are sharing the same experience and feel comfortable and familiar together. It’s a true reunion.

Practicality Over Impression

You can try to be cute if you want to but the most important thing is to be comfortable. Expect to walk around, stand around, and dance to music constantly. We recommend a fly jacket with layers (it can be a little chilly in October) and if you’ve got a set to rep (Skee-Wee), make sure your peri is on point and that you have some comfortable shoes (don’t be that girl taking her shoes off to run through the quad). Be sure to bring the pair of jeans that leave extra room for the amazing tailgate food.

Extend Your Vacation - leave on Monday

So many people make the mistake of thinking they can leave homecoming Sunday morning and not have serious FOMO after they realize the party doesn’t end Saturday night. First off, you’ll probably still be hungover from the last party Saturday and nobody wants to fly like that. Second, Sunday brings post homecoming day parties and you should avoid the stress of trying to stay as close to your departure time without missing your flight and getting stuck without a place to stay the extra night. Just save yourself the drama and book a flight for Monday morning.


Apply these lessons and you’ll have a fabulous time at any HBCU homecoming! If you’ve been before, what did we forget? Anything you’d add? If you’ve never been, what campus are you planning to attend next fall? We promise you won’t want to miss out!

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