This article is in partnership with Xfinity.
Those who have experienced an HBCU homecoming understand the assignment. College students, alumni, and family of a Historically Black College and University gather and partake in the excitement of celebrating the heritage and culture of the school. It's a time of joy, honoring traditions, and for some, reflecting on the good ol' days. Homecoming weekends are spent eating well, laughing plenty, and enjoying the sights; and there's plenty to see and do! (Spoiler alert: Sleep is not on the syllabus.)
Homecoming weekend is a whole situation! Long months of preparation, practice and planning go into this one-week event, and it is epic. There are endless parties to attend - including a parade to celebrate campus orgs. There are pregame tailgates, post-game dances, band battles, awards ceremonies, brunches, lunches... issa vibe. So, before you struggle to zip up that suitcase, here are a few essentials you just might need.
1.Your own travel cup.
It's not the first thing you'd put into your bag but hear me out-- Homecoming is a fall event and weather is no longer predictable; if you're walking around, plan to get parched after spending all day outdoors. Filling your cup at a hydration station or someone's tailgating plot, will really make your day! You can even have a custom cup made with your name, sorority, or class! Stay hydrated!
2.Portable cell phone charger.
You'll be out all day, and with plans constantly changing, you'll want to remain connected. Choose a powerful charger with a long-lasting effect that can fit in your pocket or purse. And don't forget to charge the portable charger! No one wants to be stranded on campus missing texts, party locations and TikTok opps.
3.Tissue, wipes, and hand sanitizer.
This was a must-have even pre-pandemic. You will want to wipe down, up, left, and right anything you come into contact with. Porta Potties and public restrooms tend to run out of the essentials, so be proactive and protect yourself from the germs. Everyone loves the person who brings enough to share, so look out for your comrades and pack a little extra.
4.Sustenance! Know someone who's reserved a spot with a trailer or at least has food.
And if you don't know anyone, make friends! People at homecoming are looking to enjoy themselves and might be willing to let a stranger who shares their love for the college join in on their fun. If you're the one who gets hangry, consider packing some of your favorite snacks just in case.
5.Tennis shoes or flats.
Bring them, or better yet just wear them. Be cute but comfortable! Yes, it's a fashion show no matter where you walk during homecoming weekend, but you also need the stamina to last all day! Save the fancy, potentially uncomfortable shoes for a time you have guaranteed seating. The game and tailgating require a lot of walking, and your fun will be interrupted if you're uncomfortable. This is a great chance to throw on your HBCU swag and most comfy kicks for a relaxing day!
6.Your crew; everything's better with a crew.
There are those who enjoy being solo at events but let's be honest, homecoming isn't that event. Whether it's friends you met on campus, or family interested in the HBCU experience, you will want a wingman (or two) to share in the excitement. Wear your matching Greek letters, school colors or fun accessories to make your tribe stand out and be seen.
Featured image by Getty Images
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The year was 2014, and the show was Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood. In its first season, we were reintroduced to Omarion and got a more intimate look into the man behind the B2K fame and hits like “Touch.” Audiences tuned in as they saw him balance being a son to his mom and a partner to his then-girlfriend Apryl Jones as they prepared to be first-time parents. And amid some of the franchise’s most iconic moments and fights, there was undeniable and unapologetic love shown between them pre-breakup.
Despite whatever issues we may or may not have been privy to because of the former couple being in the public eye, it’s clear that over the years following their 2016 split, Omarion and Apryl have done their best to keep “family” at their center. It’s why now in the year 2023 (and past messiness pushed aside, chile), it is not all that surprising to see Omarion and Apryl posted up in Disney World with their two kids like they’re "post to be" because, well, it's all love.
Omarion and Apryl made headlines over the weekend after posting to social media some behind-the-scenes moments of their "first family trip" together.
Together for a handful of years, having kids together (Megaa and Ame'i) is the kind of commitment that you keep for a lifetime, regardless of whether the romantic part of a relationship ends. And while some speculated that their very public family outing over the weekend possibly hinted that the romantic aspect of their relationship might have rekindled, it could just be another healthy example of co-parenting (especially because Apryl is still reportedly booed up with actor Taye Diggs). And lawd knows the world needs as much of that as it can get.
It is also a sign of growth and is in alignment with what Omarion shared in the past about the status of his co-parenting relationship with Apryl in 2022:
"We’re still in a transformative state. Like I said, I’m the type of person who likes to leave room for some new ideas, some different methods. I’m all for that. But we are in a transformative state right now."
Though there might have been ill will between them at some point due to how things ended and where things were emotionally (that eventually led to resurfaced animosity between him and a B2K member that Apryl eventually became involved with), the famed unbothered king doesn't don that name for nothing and has publicly stated that there's no "ill will" because he's "moved on." He has also stated that he will never speak against her publicly because she is the mother of his kids. Perhaps that has also led
In an article on our platform, "Omarion Speaks On Where Co-Parenting With Apryl Jones Stands Now & I Have 6 Solid Takeaways From It," we covered his interview with Sway in the Morning where the artist hinted at a reason that might have caused the romantic love aspect of their journey to come to an end:
“Not to generalize women, but you know, umm, sometimes women think that you know, love stories are supposed to be this kind of like, happy thing and this, ‘Oh we vibin,’ and you know, we, we get married, and we have a family,’ but it’s really, it’s really not like that. You know, umm, that wasn’t my experience. L
"ooking back on the history of how I viewed relationships, like, my mom is not married, you know, my Nana was married at a very young age…like, steppin’ back and realizin’ like, ‘Oh, your love style, your support, the things that you actually need, you know, is different from what you perceive. And it allowed me to really see, you know, what it is that I truly want, and it is acceptance. It is love. That’s what love is.”
However, wanting different things doesn't stop have to stop the way people show up in their children's lives as parents. As they make strides towards being better co-parents, Omarion shared in an interview earlier this year about the importance of moving forward for the kids:
"I will say we have been moving towards a better relationship at this particular point in time, for the kids. It’s all good, it was just something we went through. I think as long as respect is over-stood and appreciated within the scope of the blended family then I think you can virtually get through anything.”
A trip to Disney World as a family is a beautiful step in their healthy co-parenting journey.
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Featured image via Omarion/Instagram