College is one gigantic mind-f*ck. You think it's primarily about your studies and jumpstarting your career, but really it's a social experiment you voluntarily agreed to be the subject of. You'll learn about your unhealthy habits, build a network and a few lifelong friendships, get an amazing summer internship landing you your first job, and hopefully find someone that totally makes up for all your prior heartbreak. To that end, you'll probably experience extreme emotions you weren't even sure you had. Brace yourself for the ride.
Here's every emotion you're sure to experience your first week:
Learning where, at what times and in which buildings your classes are held will be aggravating.
On the first day of school when people are bumping into me to get to their classes pic.twitter.com/aoZmbfej6s
— Bitch Problems (@Iifepost) August 19, 2016
But at least if you don't get there on time you're fashionably late.
— babygirl. (@THEROYALKOURT) August 17, 2016
me walking in class 20 min late AND still leaving 10 minutes early pic.twitter.com/yBBjteQHqY
— la loba (@vickto_willy) August 15, 2016
You'll find out you have a class with that really cute girl/guy you saw on the yard. Remember, you want to keep your options open.
Ladies don't cuff too early because your soulmate may be one of his homeboys pic.twitter.com/vMB8zgkxVc
— babygirl. (@THEROYALKOURT) August 17, 2016
You'll probably have to leave a few classes early this week to get to financial aid because last time you called:
*student calling financial aid*
WILL MY FINANCIAL AID BE PROCESSED IN TIME?? YES OR NO!?! pic.twitter.com/JPCxkoqxkR
— College Student (@ColIegeStudent) August 16, 2016
You'll feel like the bookstore is trying to play you, and they probably are. The bookstore is not your friend until you want university apparel.
College bookstores be like pic.twitter.com/XO0vNE3zh8
— College Student (@ColIegeStudent) August 15, 2016
You'll remember you need that book by next week because last class:
When the PowerPoint go from "Syllabus" to "Lecture 1" pic.twitter.com/hki8M2vhqu
— Dash Pinder (@DashPinder) August 17, 2016
So, in an effort to be mature about the situation, you'll decide not to do any frivolous spending.
Me: I'm really trying to save money
Friends: let's all go out to eat
— College Student (@ColIegeStudent) July 29, 2016
That is, until you remember you can just cry to your parents about it later.
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It's that time of year again! Time to load up the car and head back to campus, only this year you can add the task of registering to vote to your back-to-school to-do list.
You belong to one of the most powerful voting demographics in the United States. According to Campus Vote Project, "young adults (ages 18-29) made up about 21% of the voting eligible population in 2014, but voter turnout for this demographic has reached record lows in recent years."
Voting is a critical form of political participation. If it weren't, fascists wouldn't spend billions on gerrymandering and suppression.
— Greg Carr (@AfricanaCarr) July 26, 2016
Make no mistake, your vote matters. And come November, there will be a new president-elect of the United States. However you feel about the candidates and their politics, one of them will lead the executive branch of the federal government and the Armed Forces of the United States. Think about that...
As a college student, you have a couple of options when it comes to voting. You can cast your ballot in person or, if you're registered in another locality and will be absent from your polling place on Election Day, you can cast your vote (in most cases) by mail as an absentee ballot. Deadlines are quickly approaching for absentee ballot requests, and the process can vary from state to state. Now's the time to figure out what you need to do.
If you're planning on voting by absentee ballot, check out the deadlines and requirements for your state now.
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The first day of school can be hard for anyone. From elementary school to college (and even as a teacher), you don't always know what to expect. You might instantly make friends or have to go into defense mode if those around you are bullies. To help her son prepare for his first day, Instagram and Twitter sensation Wuzzam Supa decided to teach him about the art of roasting.
Take a look at the video as she prepares her son to take on his first day of school with power and confidence (and a side of roasting genius).
1st day of school📚🍎✏️ Teaching my boy how to roast EARLY🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/ll8esRDwgP
— Wuzzam Supa (@WuzzamSupa) August 11, 2016
Her son seems like a quick learner, and we hope to see more funny videos from the adorable duo in the future.
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It's about that time of year again. College campuses everywhere will be filled with fresh meat and inexperienced young adults. I remember my first year of college at Tennessee State University. The only reason I survived is because my recruiter doubled as my mentor while I was there. Mr. Jolley was a voice of reason and practical advice. Our relationship and his support helped me not only survive but also thrive.
And when I tried to quit (and did), he was there to re-enroll me.
These types of mentor/mentee relationships are imperative for the next generation of thought leaders and change agents. This week in #stopaskingpermission, I share why mentors are needed at a collegiate level to aid in future success.
We are often recruited to serve as mentors to students in middle and high school. Organizations and programs tend to focus on young people before they enter college. There is nothing wrong with that approach. However, when we focus only on that demographic of students we fall short of helping provide support to college students who need us just as much, if not more.
An Inside Higher Ed essay found that where you went to college isn't nearly as important as how you went to college. Not many college students receive the much-needed support which is a huge blow to how they navigated their college experience.
For black students, iet's not forget that many will not see a black professor in their classroom. We have reported on why we need more black teachers because when kids see someone who looks like them with similar backgrounds, they tend to perform better academically. Imagine a black student attending a PWI and fighting through the daily struggle of being not only a small minority but possibly an unsupported minority. It's a very cold world when you feel like you are just a number and not a part of a community. If you are an alumni of a PWI, there is an opportunity to reach out to your alumni associations to mentor students of color sharing with them your story of success and provide support to them.
Black students who attend PWIs are not the only ones who need mentors as they travel through the murky waters. Only four HBCU's have six-year graduation rates over 50 percent. Imagine which issues could be plaguing those students at these institutions. I'm sure there are similarities between PWIs and HBCUs when it comes to financing education, the battle between providing for a family or going to class, having to decide between a meal plan or months of ramen noodles.
HBCU alums are some of the most spirited and dedicated people when it comes to homecoming. I understand and get it. I plan to be at homecoming myself this year. But, what if we put that energy into also mentoring a student by sharing with them the tricks of getting through the stress of college and your hacks for navigating the campus?
Becoming a mentor to an undergrad is simple. It's doable, and it just might be the life-changing support that our future leaders need to jumpstart their quest in growing our community. So lets #stopaskingpermission and start doing some digging to figure out how we can be of use this school year.
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Since the beginning of this new school year, current students and alumni of Howard University, a Historically Black University in Washington DC, voiced concerns about the administration and the management of their university. Students took to social media using the hashtag #TakeBackHU to discuss everything from lagging financial aid processes to lack of air conditioning in the dorms, rodents and more.
The social media campaign was initiated by the following students @_OnlyJalen, @AliyaJones_, and @nadaleemarcelle.
The hashtag quickly picked up steam and several alumni and students joined in on the dialogue.
The current president responded on Twitter.
Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick, the current president of Howard University, has since responded with an official statement and met with representatives of the campus student organization, HUSA.
Later that evening, the #TakeBackHU team issued a statement on Twitter.
The DCist reports that Aliya Jones organized a peaceful protest mentioned in the above statement on campus on September 4th in the administration building, also known as the "A Building," with about 50 other students.
Howard University has also agreed to set up a Student Customer Service Help Desk to address some of the concerns with residential life and financial aid.
Unfortunately considering the current fiscal climate, the problems experienced at Howard University are not unique in the higher education arena, especially for HBCUs.
The students made it clear on social media that while they are passionately voicing their concerns about Howard, they are doing it out of love, according to Global Grind.
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1. Am I fiscally cleared for registration?
2. Let me make sure I wake up at the crack of dawn and prepare myself for the registration line.
3. I hope I won’t have to end up crying to my financial aid advisor like I did last year:
4. Do y’all have any scholarships left? Did my scholarship go through? Are there any work study jobs left?
5. Am I getting a refund check this semester? How big will it be? When are they actually being disbursed?
6. Do I have to take this class?
7. Do I need to buy books for this class?
8. seriously, can I find these books online?
9. I hope none of the freshmen will be crashing this back-to-school kickback.
10. Somebody set off the fire alarm already in the dorm?
12. I hope I have time to juggle Student Government Association, Homecoming Steering Committee, pageant duties, dorm council duties, honor society meetings and my internship this semester.
13. if things get too stressful, I know it's just a "test" from the Lord and I can go to the chapel and pray.
14. I planned my schedule properly so I can turn up on “the yard” and at all the tailgates.
15. I wonder who will be on the majorettes team and in the band this year. They are the real reasons why we attend the games.
16. I see some new faces. Are they transfer students? That might be bae.
17. *whispers* "Y’all. We actually have white students this semester staying on campus. Hmm..."
18. I wonder if that hookah spot we went to last semester is still lit.
19. Who's ready for a game of spades? Don't cut me like you did last semester though...
20. *Goes to party at a PWI* What is this "beer pong" you speak of?
21. I wonder who’s going to be performing at the Homecoming concert this year.
22. Who all is going to be on the Homecoming court this year?
23. As a matter of fact, I need to start shopping for a dress/suit for the Coronation Ball.
24. How many HBCU Homecomings will I be attending this year? *Searches for the schedule*
25. I haven’t seen Brandon or Alicia around too much. They must be “on line” this semester.
26. To stunt or not to stunt the first week of class?
27. When are the soul food days in the “caf?”
28. I have to schedule my appointment with the in-dorm nail tech Kelly and Shana, the best beautician on campus, before that Alpha party coming up.
29. Wait. Are there any tickets left for the party?
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sous vetements grande taille pas cher nuisette pas cher en...
WAIT... IS THIS BECKY OR BECCA?
SHOULD I TAKE THIS AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES CLASS OR HISTORY OF ECONOMICS....
Why is everyone laughing? White people have the weirdest humor.
UGH, I HAVE TO WAIT A MONTH FOR KRYSTAL TO DO MY HAIR.
AM I REALLY THE ONLY BLACK PERSON IN THIS CLASS?
PLEASE DON'T CALL ON ME TO SPEAK FOR THE ENTIRE BLACK COMMUNITY.
I SHOULD JOIN THE NATURAL HAIR MOVEMENT... MOSTLY BECAUSE I'M BROKE.
Damn her booty is Flat, WHERE DID HER ASS GO?
NO, YOU MAY NOT TOUCH MY HAIR. THIS IS NOT A PETTING ZOO.
OMG, THERE'S ANOTHER BLACK PERSON IN THIS CLASS!
THANK YOU BLACK JESUS.
I SWEAR, IF I FIND ANOTHER PIECE OF BLONDE HAIR ON ME...
Ugh, do I really have to take a car to get to the [insert greek house here] Party?
NO, I DID NOT CUT MY HAIR, I JUST CHANGED HAIRSTYLES.
PRAISE TO BLACK JESUS FOR THE BLACK STUDENT UNION.
Why do white people have dirty feet?
WHY ARE THERE NO WORDS IN THIS SONG? HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO JAM TO THIS MUSIC FOR AN HOUR?
I WONDER IF Yall DATE BLACK PEOPLE.
No, racism is not better above the Mason Dixie line... you should know because you’re racist as hell.
WHERE IS THEIR RhYTHM? DID THEY LOSE IT?
No, I am not your token black friend.
Looks like someone has been tanning hard this summer.
sometimes i wish i went to an hbcu.
Photo: Giphy ...
Back-to-school time is upon us, so it’s only right that we give you some of the best insights, advice and wisdom we could find. Dig in!
Know that you matter. Truly. You matter more than these grades, these tests, the graduate school applications and all the other metrics you might evaluate yourself or your intelligence on.
Stay woke (especially in class). Don’t believe everything you read or see.
Use ALL the resources. They should know everything but your social security number in the Career Center. You're paying them anyway, so get your money’s worth!
Create multiple circles of friends and definitely kick it with the blerds (they know things).
Be strategic about your course load. If you’re taking biochem, political theory AND quantum mechanics, try to make sure there’s something in there you’re genuinely excited about!
Feel empowered to step away from situations or relationships that seem toxic to you. That’s not love, LOVE!
If you need news that’s accurate, informed and diverse, Black Twitter has your back.
Black Gravity is real. Enjoy the impromptu chill sessions while all your homies share the same campus.
We have designated reading lists for classes, but don’t forget to throw some books in the circle for your own knowledge. Brain food is the best kind!
If you get a chance to travel abroad, GO. You’ll figure out how to pay for it. SERIOUSLY. GO!
Even though you changed your major (twice), you're going to be ok.
You don't need to have a job that directly correlates to your major. A lot of us don’t. It's is helpful to develop transferrable skills, as you can monetize and build a portfolio around them.
If you’re a senior with loans, figure out your game plan with the Financial Aid office before graduating and hittin’ that Nae Nae off campus.
Self-care is important. Mental health is important. We all need time to recalibrate, and you should never apologize for it. Try to keep an active lifestyle; it’s easy to get lost in the grind and forget to make time for keeping your body healthy and fleeky.
Studying in groups is cool — until you need to really pass that exam. Find an abandoned spot on campus that can become your go-to grind spot.
Call your friends/relatives back home to keep in touch. Your voice does more for them than you realize.
It’s 100 percent normal to feel homesick. Our homes (and the village that raised us) have our hearts. Sometimes that pull can be stronger than we might expect.
Graduation is a big deal, not just for you, but for the access you are going to give everyone who comes after you. Embrace that, especially on the days when you wonder if it’s worth it.
Alumni can and will be active supporters, sponsors and cheerleaders of your ambitions and goals. Reach out before you need something and build relationships for the long term. While you’re at it, get to know underclassmen and always lift as you climb.
You can have the best time of your life and get that good learning in at the same time. They aren't mutually exclusive.
This piece is a collaboration by Jonathan Jackson and Tabia Alexine.
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School is rapidly approaching, and while many of you will be entering into your freshman, sophomore, or junior year of college, there are a number of you who will be heading into your senior year as well. Senior year is filled with applications, applications and more applications, and these will be to a variety of different things such as jobs, fellowships and even graduate school. To help all of y'all that are considering furthering your education within the realm of African-American/African Studies, here's a list I compiled of graduate programs that allow you to further study these subjects in the United States.
1. University of California, Los Angeles
2. Harvard University
3. University of California, Berkeley
4. Temple University
5. Yale University
6. Brown University
7. Northwestern University
8. University of Pennsylvania
9. University of Massachusetts, Amherst
10. University of Texas, Austin
11. University of Wisconsin, Madison
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It’s the middle of August, which means summer is winding down and some of y'all are getting ready to head back to campus. This means new roommates, new dorm, new classes and the stark reminder of how much campus dining pales to your parents’ home cooking. Not to mention missing free laundry.
But for some, the year has you looking forward to one of the best undergrad opportunities: study abroad.
For a semester or two, you’ll live in another country, meet some great people, try a new cuisine, maybe learn a new language and get the lowdown on the underground music scene on another side of the ocean.
You might even learn about yourself.
Studying abroad was my college highlight. So much so I did it twice!
But here's the thing: Studying abroad is great, but studying abroad while black is different.
I definitely recommend going to your school's information sessions, but if you go to a PWI, they're useful but they're not always for you.
Here are five things I found useful to remember for studying abroad while black:
Reach out to organizations and community to pay for it.
Studying abroad is expensive when you consider round trip international plane tickets, visas, and potentially loans (which should only be used as a last resort). Consider applying to scholarships for your program through university partnerships with IES, CIEE, and SIT, as well as prestigious awards like the Gilman International Scholarship and the Boren Award for International Study. Also don't leave out the possibilities of Kickstarter and GoFundMe, and give back by sharing all of the things you learned while you were away with those who helped get you there.
Research who can do your hair (or stock up on Shea Moisture products).
Black hair requires care and you should never underestimate how much people don't know about it. I only studied abroad in African countries (Malawi and Ghana, with a side trip to Egypt), and while that meant that it was much easier to get my hair braided, it was not any easier to wear my hair out naturally. Despite being in the mother land, it's not always very common to have an afro, and the products you use here in the US probably aren't going to be accessible. Stock up on the hair products you need — scout out those Shea Moisture sales — and make room for all of it in your luggage.
Racism happens and it can be the same.
The fact is that only five percent of Americans who study abroad are black. This means that when you're with other study abroad students, it's very likely you're going to be one of the few black people and/or people of color. And so you'll probably be subjected to old microaggressions with a new twist. For me, I had to hear white students say things like, "So this is what it feels like to be a minority," to which I responded:
Racism happens and it can be different.
One of the biggest lessons I learned from studying abroad is that the way I experience being black in the US is not going to be the same in other places. Journalist Terrell J. Starr wrote an essay for The Washington Post about these kinds of experiences during his Fulbright tenure in the Ukraine. For me, as a black person studying abroad in countries full of other black people, I had to interrogate how my American-ness complicated how I was black and a woman, the kinds of mobility I had access to, and how I, at times, could take that for granted. I asked questions and was asked questions, and did a lot of listening, which offered really necessary conversations for me about diaspora, becoming more aware of the legacy of African colonialism and learning how slavery is understood and memorialized differently on both sides of the Atlantic.
Let yourself let go.
When we talk about study abroad, we have to understand that it comes from a legacy of Eurocentric ideas and imperialist tropes of "the first encounter." We don't fit that as black people because one of racism's tenets is that we're not supposed to be able to be mobile. We don't encounter; we're encountered. Studying abroad, whether we believe it or not, is a radical act, and one that we have the most to benefit from. In times when we are bombarded with reminders of our disposability in this country, study abroad puts the United States' particular racial violence into perspective. What we experience here is not natural, and we, as black people, aren't bound to it. Studying abroad reminds us of our fundamental human right to be free, and I think it's important to make sure you allow yourself the space to break down walls, some you didn't even know you had. It's good for you and it's good for the community you're building with people beyond US borders.
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