seven autumns ago i was caught smoking weed in my dorm room. i was a freshmen at Morehouse College, on academic scholarship, and president of the honors dorm. it was one of the scariest moments of my life. i was a promising student leader and son of a black mama who would kill me if i lost my scholarship or got kicked outta school. luckily i wasn't expelled. but i was impeached as president which, in retrospect, was one of the best things that ever happened to me. i ran for president because i wanted to be "that nigga." but i had an adolescent vision of the good life: clothes, money, shorties. that all changed after i went from being "that nigga" on campus to that* nigga on campus. the Greeks stopped messing with me; the tight upperclassmen who i looked up to fell back. i was at a crossroads. it was at this moment that i remembered the wisdom of my pastor who always told me that a human being's greatest superpower is the ability to reinvent ourselves. for the first time in my life, i began to decide who i wanted to be in the world. seven years after that storied night in Graves Hall 211, i'm beginning my first year of a PhD program at my top choice. i thank God for a village who's loved me through the ugly and beauty of it all.