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1. “Dream no small dreams.”

If you are a student at Hampton, then you have definitely heard our president, Dr. Harvey, say this at least once. Too often, many of us find ourselves underestimating the actuality of our dreams becoming a reality. We make endless excuses for why that restaurant we would like to open wouldn’t be successful or why that law firm we would like to start would plummet before the public even knows how great of a lawyer we are.

In fact, have you ever heard of Phil Knight; the founder of Nike? Well this $19 billion brand that we all know and love, started in the trunk of Knight’s car. His car. Let that sink in for a few seconds. You are Phil Knight. We are all Phil Knight. The dream he started in the trunk of his car may be the dream you start at the desk in your dorm room. Success stories like his doesn’t require the person to be “extraordinary.” The risks that you are willing to take to execute your dream is the extraordinary part. So dream no small dream, my fellow Hamptonian. Your aspirations may open doors and bring you opportunities that you thought were far beyond your reach.

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2. “Good, better, best, never let it rest, until your good is better and your better is best.”

Self explanatory, right? A Hamptonian should never settle for anything mediocre, for settling brings nothing more than a life of mediocrity. Reaching for the “next best thing” does not have to start in your adult life or career. Moving up into a higher position of a campus organization that you are involved in, embracing new opportunities, or simply exceeding in the classroom, are all acts of success that can begin in your undergraduate experience. And of course, your “best” comes with time. Just because you don’t feel as though something is your best work at that very moment does not mean that the progression that you are longing for will not come. Progression is all about its two P friends: patience and perseverance. Then, once you begin to excel at the little things, your hunger for wanting to accomplish the big things will thrive even more. And post graduation, being “good” at your perspective responsibilities will no longer be the goal. The goal will become being the best. And when you become the best well, that brings me to the next quote.

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3. “What do you call a Hamptonian five years after graduation? A boss.”

During my freshman year, Scripps Howard went on a media trip to New York City and one of our stops included BET. When we arrived, we were in a room with a number of BET executives and the majority of them, were Hamptonians. So of course we started talking about Hampton and representing our classes (shoutout to Quintessence!), then suddenly, one of the executives said aloud and proudly, “What do you call a Hamptonian five years after graduation?” In unison, the entire room, with the exception of myself, responded, “A boss!” He was so excited to know that this saying was still around at his alma mater and I was so excited to find out that we even had a saying as such!

Although this quote may be a new one for current Hamptonians, after talking to alum about their time at Hampton, it isn’t a new one at all. Hampton graduates are known for doing amazing things after graduation. Many go off and gain accolades in their perspective fields, start their own businesses, create non-profit organizations to give back to their communities or accomplish all three and then some. Hampton University is known for being the standard of excellence, and that excellence is implanted within its students no matter where we are in the world.

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4. “To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late, to be late is unacceptable.”

If Hampton University didn’t teach you anything else during your freshmen year, the concept of timeliness is one lesson that resonated thoroughly. Although we may not practice it as much as we should, when we are running late, we feel absolutely horrible about it. If we oversleep for class, we pop out of the bed like a piece of toast in the oven. If it is Founder’s Day and the event in Ogden has already started, we know to make our way to Chapel to watch the event on the big screen or to not show up to the event at all because we already know an administrator at Ogden would kindly cut his/her eye at us and turn us away. Aside from Hampton, being on time will always be beneficial in everyday life. It shows that you are prepared, organized, and cared enough to make it at the scheduled hour. The smallest gestures, such as being on time, will always be important. Being fashionably late no longer works for every scenario anymore.

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5. “You didn’t choose Hampton. Hampton chose you.”

Let’s face it. Everyone can’t be a Hamptonian. Everyone can’t possess the class, passion, work ethic, poise and talent that our institution bestows upon us. It’s one thing to be someone who goes to Hampton, but it’s another thing to be someone who goes to Hampton, but comes out as a Hampton Woman or Hampton Man. Take advantage of that transition because it is one that you will not get anywhere else. Build life long relationships. Connect with alum in your perspective field. Inspire prospective students to enroll in your university. Be as involved on campus as you want to be in the world. You were selected to be a Hamptonian for a reason. So it’s time to dig deep into that divine purpose and use that Pirate pride to impact your life and the lives of others. Because being a Hamptonian is the shrine of our heart’s adoration.