Wow, I can’t believe I’m graduating from the University of Southern California. A private school with an acceptance rate of 12%.
Like WHAT! This is crazy!
In the midst of a pandemic, I made it through. I can’t believe this because when I was ten years old, I had dreams of being a meteorologist and working at The Weather Channel, but I was diagnosed with a learning disability called dyslexia which caused me to violently hate reading and writing. Now I am graduating with a master’s degree in journalism.
If someone told me 2-years ago, while I was finishing my undergrad degree at Prairie View A&M, I would be pursuing a degree from a school on the west coast then move there; I would have laughed in your face, HARD.
But here we are, and I wouldn’t change anything for the world. My time at USC has been quick but life-changing. Like, I need you to understand this because I started my graduate program at one of the top-rank schools for journalism online when the world was on fire. I had to adjust, adapt, and compromise with life when I wanted to go another direction.
When classes first started I struggled with imposter syndrome for weeks because I looked at my flaws of not knowing how to do something, which caused me to cry and doubt my placement at USC. I didn’t think I belonged, but I did. I belonged so much USC gave me a full-ride scholarship to finish my education. Talk about destine for greatness.
On May 18th, 2021, I will be the first in my family to receive their post-bachelor degree from any school; mine just so happens to be at the University of Southern California. I am my ancestor’s wildest dreams. I have reached a point in my life where the only thing that can stop me is me. I will forever use my weakness as a strength and continue to inspire the next generation of Black Journalists.
It is possible, trust me. I made it in, and I made it out so my experience can now be a testimony for someone else. This Texas girl is on her way to bigger and better things. Prairie View A&M was the laying of my foundation, and USC is where I learned how to cultivate my talents and skills that will change the way I tell stories forever. So, watch out world, Toni Hall has received her second degree, and that girl is on fire.