‘It’s finally my turn,’ says Hampton U. senior

By Chelsea Boone

Ever since she attended opening convocation her freshman year Tara Haskins has thought about the day that she would get to put on her cap and gown and march in, just as those students did. 

That day is drawing near.

On Sunday, Sept. 28, at Ogden Hall on the campus of Hampton University, the Class of 2010 seniors will take part in opening convocation. 

This is a Hampton tradition that allows the seniors to acknowledge their hard work that got them to the point they are at now, and to celebrate graduation that is now only months away.

Haskins described the anticipated day as bittersweet.

“Convocation means that I’m actually a senior and I’m about to leave Hampton University,” Haskins said.

Although opening convocation does mean the beginning of the end, Haskins has positive feelings about the upcoming ceremony.

“I’m excited. You look forward to opening convocation when you’re a freshman and you have to watch it. It’s finally my turn.”

Haskins said her years at Hampton have allowed her to grow as a person and build long lasting-friendships with people that she may not have met otherwise.

“I’ve made so many friends here. It’s going to be sad to leave them all.”

Haskins of Virginia Beach will be spending this occasion with family and friends who have supported her throughout her Hampton career.

“My mother, father, sister and brother are all coming to support me.  I’ll also be amongst my friends who I’ve known since freshman year, and some since high school. We’ve been through a lot together and now we’re graduating college together. I’ll be sitting with them; it will probably get emotional”

Haskins’ roommates and friends Rhonni Hill and Simone Martin will be at the ceremony as well.  Hill, like Haskins, is a senior at Hampton and will be a part of the ceremony. 

“I’m really excited,” said Hill. “Opening convocation means a lot. It means you’re almost at the finish line.  I’m just thankful that I get to share this experience with my closest friends, like Tara.”

Martin, a former Hamptonian who now attends Old Dominion University, will be there for the support of her two friends.

“I’m proud of Tara,” said Martin. “I’m kind of sad that I won’t be in the ceremony with her since we started at Hampton together, but I’ll be watching her and my other friends from the stands and taking pictures when it’s over.

With opening convocation being the beginning of the end for many students, Haskins has given serious thought to her life after Hampton.

“I haven’t completely decided what I’m going to do after graduation but I know I’m either doing the Teach for America program or going to graduate school to get my masters in urban education,” Haskins said.  “I’ve always wanted to be a teacher so now is my chance to finally be able to do that.  Plus, there is a great need for teachers all over the country and I can help fulfill that need.”

With the recognition that her days at Hampton are limited, Haskins is doing her best to treasure the remainder of her college days.

“I’m looking forward to the rest of the school year,” said Haskins.  “Senior year is supposed to be your best college year, and I want to cherish every bit of mine.”