New School, Old Concepts

New School, Old Concepts.

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Backstory : As I end my 3rd year run working in orientation as an undergrad I desire to give some advice to first time in college students. Even more specifically first time in college students of color.

Post : It’s time to own it. You’ve made it through the practice round, although it didn’t feel like practice. You shot and you scored and now it’s time to show college what you’re made of.

1.       You CAN do it. You’ve faced obstacles so far that could have held you back, but they haven’t. You may have had to take on responsibilities younger than most, but you’ve handled them like a grown up. You made the grades to get in, now all you must do is persevere, which you know how to do oh so well. Are the rough times over? Not at all, they are just beginning. This may be frightening, but in hindsight after all you’ve been through you will make it through this too. All the people who said you couldn’t are about to eat their words.

2.       Little Black boy, little Black girl you are special, you are valued. This world has many ugly sides, but you are made of unwavering strength, solitude, and years of over-came struggles. This college life is for you too. No matter what your neighborhood looks like, no matter the affects the world has tried to force upon you. You too will inherit the earth. As you stride through a world filled with hate, injustice, and racism know that you are the changing force that will create a new world. You will inspire the next generation by simply being you. You will inspire your moms , dads, siblings, cousins to soar.

3.       Study; study those books. You know the price, now pay it. You never had to study in high school right ? I know you’re smart, but it’s time to maximize your experience, and increase your knowledge. Prepare yourself for every test, educational or not. Learn through life, learn through the mistakes of others. There is nothing more dangerous, and safe in this world than knowledge.

4.       Read These Books

a.       The Souls of Black Folk – W.E.B Dubois

b.       Their Eyes were Watching God – Zora H. Hurston

c.       Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison

d.       Up from Slavery – Booker T. Washington

e.       Kindred Another Country – Octavia Butler

f.        I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou

g.       Uncle Tom’s Children – Richard Wright

h.       Assata – Assata Shakur

5.       Take CARE of SELF : Learn to love yourself in ways this world could never could. Take time to pray, reflect, meditate. Your wellness is so importance. This doesn’t just mean physical wellness ( although super important ) take steps to make sure your mental wellness is taken care of as well. You are the ruler of your kingdom, the world is truly your oyster, but you must be able to experience it.

6.       You’re not alone. There’s many students out there just like you. Nervous of what the world has to offer, nervous that they won’t be enough. Nervous that they just can’t do it. Find strength in the fact that many before, and many after you have felt the same feelings. Make friends, have fun, study hard. These are the first years of the rest of your life. What you do now will set the tone for your future. Take it seriously, love yourself, do what you know you need to do.

·       These are the tips I wish I had known.

Living long and prosper.

 

_ Ralph St.Vincent Bradley

CAB RSVB

Student, Intellectual, Black AF, Artist, Negus, Political Enthusiast

Don’t Trust That Bestfriend Shit

I’m sure we’ve all heard it said before, “don’t trust that bestfriend shit.” Now be warned: insecure, he can’t have no female friends, why you won’t put me on your snapchat ass females, THIS IS NOT FOR YOU. Although it’s few and far between, I’m a firm believer that there is a such thing as female and male friendships. It’s possible y’all. But that’s a story for another time. I’m here to give y’all some tips, with a side of tea 🐸. Hold on to your edges sis.

So let me start here. I am a very open minded individual. And even though I’ve been fucked over by the “she just my friend” one liner spoken by every true fuckboy of the world, I had, and still have, hope that males and females can be bestfriends.

With that being said, while this type of relationship is possible, it can be finessed and finagled into something completely different. EASY. I don’t think people understand, or are just not willing to accept, that you must have boundaries! Y’all, you can not do ALL the same “shit” with your male/female friend that you do with your same sex friend. It don’t work like that! And for the people that say you CAN. Y’all the main ones walking round with secret crushes on your bestie. Main ones jealous of your best friend’s girl, but just claim to be “overprotective.” Y’all the MAIN ONE’S tailoring all your “bestie” advice to your benefit! The gag is, y’all be knowing damn well you in love with your “bestfriend,” but walking round here like Heather Headley, and got a whole different relationship going on “in your mind.”

For all of you who have been personally victimized by this bestfriend shit, I understand. I too, was a victim of this cowardly act by two unsuspecting individuals. But, instead of hashing out all of the distasteful details, let me just give y’all a list of signs that your man or woman’s “bestfriend,” ain’t really they bestfriend.

1. If he tell you not to worry about her. BITCH WORRY. Worry for your life. And again, this is not for my pressed and distressed womenz who uptight about every single damn move her man make. But for my emotionally stable women, trust your women’s intuition. If you had a reason to worry, it’s not unsolicited. Don’t jump to conclusions, but trust your instinct. Men will try to sell you off as “crazy,” but sister you are not crazy, he’s just a manipulator. You gone be LOOKIN crazy once y’all over and she next in line.

2. If she always got a slick attitude when you come around him, don’t trust that bestfriend shit! Once upon a time, not long ago, I was in a situation where literally EVERY time I came around “him”, this females whole demeanor completely changed. The gag is, when he wasn’t around, she was kee keeing with me like we was besties.

Next thing I know, she was confessing how she was (and probably still is, God help her) in love with this man, but that “he’s confusing”…

…sister, what is confusing about a friendship?? Now I’m confused. I had to exit stage left on that note.

3. If they crossing boundaries and doing shit that couples do under the guise of friendship, you dare not trust it bitch. People will sit up here and cuddle, have movie night, cook for each other, and as long as they don’t kiss, they will peddle you the bullshit that is “she just my bestfriend” with a side of – if she made a move it woulda went down though. The way I look at it, if I see you as my bestfriend, I can not see you any other way. If I could see myself with you one day, that ain’t no friend, that’s a friend zone. I can’t make this up y’all. The same female that was claiming this guy was her bestfriend, later told me, verbatim “I don’t want to be just his friend. I genuinely love and care about him.” Classic sideline material. Thats cool and all sis but, what is GENUINE about lying to everybody (and most importantly, yourself) when you really just in the bleachers waiting for his ole lady to fumble. That’s not genuine sis, that’s fraudulent. A great woman once said – Pick a side, pick a side.

In closing, while I myself have been SHOOK by the levels of triflen and tragedy that can unfold from hetero-friendship, let it be noted that although it is not common, males and females can be bestfriends. As long as you understand the concept of BOUNDARIES, then you too, can succeed out here.

But as John Mayer would tell you, “Friends, lovers, or nothing. There can only be one.” Nothing in between. It’s just that simple!

xoxo,

Melanie