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

HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE, HEALTHIER YOU

So, it’s summer and of course we wanna be “summertime fine” for the szn. Curls poppin’ (or bundles for my weaved-up sistahs), melanin skin glowin’, highlight on the cheeks and don’t forget the lipgloss hunty. *ques Lil Mama’s “Lipgloss” in the background* But maybe you’re not sure where to start or even how to start. Don’t sweat it (in the worrying aspect of course), Meag got a few tips for you!

 

*disclaimer: all of my black sistahs are beautiful not matter what shape or size you are. From the skinny mini’s to my P.H.A.T. (Pretty Hot And Thick) girlz, you slay no matter what!*

*disclaimer 2: I know I mentioned the ladies in this post but fellas, feel free to take from this post also!*

 

Tip #1:

We hear all the time that the first thing to realize when on a healthier journey is that “it starts in the kitchen”. Absolutely. Believe it or not, you can not eat trash every day and then try to work it off and then expect to see results. Honestly, you’ve probably eaten more calories than you burned so then it will be twice as hard to knock them off. Now I’m not saying watch labels on everything you eat or don’t eat a good hamburger every once in a while because then, I’d be a hypocrite. What I’m saying is, you can eat those things but in MODERATION. Treat yourself! Hell, I do. I still eat Cane’s just about every week lol. But a great regimen that I love is *drumroll*….. MEAL PREPPING!…. and here’s why. Meal prepping helps in a few ways actually. Not only does it help you health wise but saves you some $$$ too. Think of it this way, you have made a healthy meal that you can look forward to for the week and not you don’t have to purchase a meal every day! Killin’ two birds with one stone. I recommend Pinterest for the best meal prep ideas!IMG_4000

 

Tip #2:

Next thing to realize is coming up with a good workout regimen. I do know that some people would prefer to hire a personal trainer or have a workout partner for whatever reason but even so, a regimen is still in order. However, if you’d prefer to workout on your own, its best to make up your routine and try to stick with it. You can switch it out whenever you like. How I came up with my regimen was through research and trying new things in the gym or even looking at other people in the gym. Literally, I may see someone on a machine doing something that I feel may help enhance my workout and say “bet” *added*. Me personally, with the exception that this past semester has kicked my ass, I usually work 3x a week. I have a leg day, arm day and ab day full of cardio and weight lifting and I end my workouts with 500 abs. Before and after I make sure to stretch, VERY IMPORTANT because you don’t want to pull anything. You’ll already be sore from the workout. As the saying goes, “no pain no gain”. So if you don’t feel sore after a workout, it means you didn’t work hard enough. If you don’t have access to a gym, there are PLENTY of apps where you can get many workouts from but my favorite is the Nike app.

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Tip #3:

The last and most important tip, have CONFIDENCE, be PATIENT, and DON’T COMPARE YOUR JOURNEY TO ANYONE ELSES! I know that may have been 3 tips in one, but ya’ll get my point. You must remember that our bodies are forever evolving and that everyone’s journey is different. So just because your changes aren’t showing as fast as someone else’s don’t get discouraged. You’re on your way! You must be confident throughout your journey from beginning to forever. Start off with the mindset that no matter how you feel about your body, that you’re fine as wine boo! No matter what your aim is whether it’s weight loss, toning up, etc etc. Don’t get down and don’t allow anyone to get you down! My old high school track coach used to tell us “don’t stop until you can’t go anymore”. Think of it that way. Stay on that journey until you can’t anymore.

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Hope this helps! For any questions or tips, please feel free to contact me. I’d love to help!

 

-Meagan G.

 

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

When are you Finally going to Graduat…*STFU*

wIhn erE yUUh fENelY GoeN Tuh gRadUete?!?

-A Letter to the Delayed but not Denied

It’s that time, Graduation season. College students are posting #Tbt pictures from 2 weeks ago and those poor high school seniors are eagerly dancing across the stage into a world they aren’t close to being  ready for…and then there’s us. We’re in that “close but not close enough” section. How many of you have had to go home for holidays and have your nosey auntie say “I feel like you been in school forever, you not ready to graduate?”, or even worse having people around campus say “Oh, I thought you was getting out of here this semester”, and Every time you have to throw on a smile and through your teeth give a “no..not yet”. Well this one is for you!

Now let me be clear, THIS IS NOT A BITTER POST! I would never take away from someone making the amazing accomplishment of getting a Degree in any way. I personally try to catch every ceremony that I can and go out the way to personally congratulate them with a sincere smile. Honestly, Truly! Because I know when it’s FINALLY my time I want the same in return. It may be tough for some but sitting back and watching someone progress their life with Envy in your Heart will absolutely Block your Blessings!

The important thing to remember, my delayed but not denied Brothers and Sister, is to never compare your time in school to another. If you finish in 4 years Great, if you take 5 year Cool, enjoy what I call your “Victory Lap”. If you’re on your 6th or 7th year or even if you are someone that decided to come back and finish getting a degree, DO YOU ! I’m a 23 year old Super Senior and at this point when I get a cute comment about still being in school my only answer is “My God’s got a plan, I’m not questioning it anymore”.

A wise and old Instagram post once said “Delayed graduation in college is never shameful. College is not a race on who finishes first.What is important is that you didn’t give up on your quest for a diploma. No one is too old to obtain a dream. You just need to keep going and defy the odds.”

THIS is to let you know you are not alone, THIS is to remind you that your time is coming, THIS is the time where we hold our heads up, push aside our pride and march on our time. Chance the Rapper said it best in his song “All my days, I prayed and prayed and now I see the finish line, I’m Gonna finish mine YE-AH! ”

Remember, the Humble don’t Crumble

 

-Nick S.

Failure – Life’s Necessary Evil.

Failure. It sounds scary right? And the older we get, the more permanent failure sounds. But what if I told you failure was life’s necessary evil? That’s right, not only is failure inevitable but its also necessary. Will we ever look forward to failure? Probably not. But, let me clue you in to this secret and show you why failure can be your key to success. Keep up.

Last summer I interned at RetailMeNot Inc. where I was given the opportunity to work amongst many bright individuals and gain a real world experience on how products are built. For those not business savy, stay with me, I’m going somewhere. One of the first books my mentor provided me with was called The Lean Startup. While this book, ultimately, is about startups and how to prevent failure, the mantra they use in this book can be applied to real and everyday life.

In the business world, and in life, failure comes with a price. Whether it’s money or time, failure is not free! But, again, failure is necessary. The most successful businesses – and people – can attest to this. Eric Ryes calls it “validated learning.” In context, this phrase basically entails that while failure is inherent, perceiving and treating these “failures” as validated learning instead of mistakes will give you the tools you need to quickly and efficiently continue towards your goal.

Let me bring it closer to home. You know that class you failed freshmen year in college? No? Ok, how about that ex. You know, the one that you shouldn’t have gave one minute but you ended up giving them one year? (or three). Okay, cool. Let me ask you this, whats worse than breaking up with your man or woman of 10 years when you found out he/she was cheating the whole time?

Breaking up with your man or woman of 10 years when you KNEW he/she was cheating the whole time.

The difference you ask? The difference is, you had the chance to gain validated learning from your experience, but instead you settled until you couldn’t settle no more. The difference is, you knew better but you didn’t do better. The difference is, that situation was completely, unnecessary. The only thing worse than not being given an opportunity is a missed opportunity.

Failure is an opportunity. 

Sis, you may have gave that man more time than he deserved, but this time around, you know yourself and you know your worth. And brother, you may have flunked that class freshmen year, but at least you’re not about to invest another three years into a subject you have no interest in. I think George Bush put it best . . .

“There’s an old saying in Tennessee – I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee – that says, fool me once, shame on – shame on you. Fool me – you can’t get fooled again. ”

Time is something you’ll never be able to get back. Don’t wait until you get older to start being appreciative. Those bitter oldheads that’s always complaining? Their not mad because of the things they did do, their mad because of the things they DIDN’T do. Whatever it is that you are afraid of failing at, go do that! Today. In the words of my mama, “the worst they can tell you is no.”

So whether you sink or swim, my advice to you is to please, just try! Failure sucks, but it’s a necessary evil. Don’t let your pride keep you from accepting defeat and moving on to something better. And don’t let fear keep you from ever trying in the first place. Just be humble. And fail as much and as fast as you can so you can get busy succeeding already.

xoxo.

Melanie