7 Tips to Survive the HBCU Experience
There is nothing on EARTH like the HBCU Experience. Here are 7 tips to make it to graduation day!
#1. If You’re Going to do Wrong, do it Right!
Please use protection, get tested, and have a designated driver (DD) you can trust. There is nothing worse than seeing your DD lead the crowd surf, from the DJ booth, with a cocktail in hand. In college, it is best to weight all of the pros and have solutions to protect yourself from the cons. If you can’t think of a safe way to protect yourself from ALL of the cons, then DON’T do it.
#2. Know Your Limit
Limit- lim·it | \ ˈli-mət \ 1. the responsible point at which you stop consuming alcohol and have full control of your body mentally and physically.
It is a tradition to drink at the age of 18 in my family. This is experience is filled with shots, cocktails, and teaching moments. After every drink, a responsible adult observes the newly legal adult’s behavior and helps them to identify how their body responds to a shot, a glass of wine, or a beer. (I truly didn’t realize it was a difference until that experience.) Most importantly you find your “limit” and what a hangover feels like.
If you haven’t had this experience then, it wouldn’t be wise to try the Infamous Frat Punch for the 1st time. Don’t be a RIP hashtag or laughing stock of a group text because of drinking. Take things slow and have people you trust around.
#3. Know Your Role
Role /rōl/ 1. the position you’ve established or willingly accepted in a relationship and/or friendship.
Often, people mix up what they have accepted with what they have established. What is already understood, needs an explanation in college! The best way to have a concise mutual understanding is to verbally communicate and agree on what’s to be expected. If anything or anyone goes against what was agreed upon, sever the ties and walk away. If someone can’t respect you emotionally, then they surely aren’t worth your time. Trust me when I say, what is meant for you won’t pass you by.
#4. Don’t be Dusty
The Yard, also known as the World’s Longest Runway is the ultimate place to show your personality and creativity through clothing. No matter what your look or vibe is, just make sure it’s polished and drenched in confidence. One of the greatest things about the HBCU Experience is seeing a myriad of the black experiences through others.
#5. Be Methodical, not Illogical
It so easy sometimes to act off of impulse. Be methodical, not illogical with your approach to EVERYTHING! Words are cool to express how you feel, but not everyone and everything deserves a reaction. Carefully evaluate every situation and think about the long-term effects of your potential actions. Mariah Carey and the Honorable Aretha Franklin are the perfect examples of how to respond to negativity (“I don’t know her”) or if people try to be messy (“dresses beautiful dresses”).
#6. Get Involved
The best way to get the most out of your HBCU Experience is to get involved! Join that club, volunteer your time, or become a member of an organization. Those groups of people can be a source of strength and motivation when times get tough. Getting involved and connecting with others are gateways to opportunities post-college as well.
#7. Stay Mentally Tough
You and your education are the #1 priority. Trying to balance classes, emotions, life-changes, and challenges is a lot! Especially in a place, where everyone is chasing perfection. It is totally normal and ok to feel overwhelmed, tired, and frustrated. What’s not ok, is giving up! Tough times never last, tough people do. Eliminate the distractions and find what gives you peace (Just a hint, real peace can’t be found in any man or woman). Don’t be afraid to get connected with a church, study group, school counselor, or any other resources for help.