There is nothing I enjoy more than being young, educated, female, and black. Last year, there was a statistic about Black women ages 18-24 being the highest enrolled in college and I felt ecstatic that I am apart of such a magical group.
However, I know that the hustle and bustle of college can get overwhelming and I myself have wanted to quit more than a few times. Because of this, I’m interested in not only seeing Black women enroll in higher education, but to also graduate and find amazing careers, and not lose ourselves in the process.
Here are a few things to keep YOU going:
Do not apologize for your blackness and don’t apologize for your education. You have a right to be here.
Depending on the demographics of your college campus, your blackness will often be questioned and scrutinized. You may carry the burden of feeling like the official spokeswoman for The Blacks in your all white class, or have trouble getting the hang of the academic world if you are first generation student.
But be unapologetically you.
So what if they don’t get you, so what if they do everything in their power to make you feel worthless. You have a RIGHT to be where you are, no matter how long it takes you.
Just keep going, sis.
Never feel bad for choosing you.
College is a weird transitional period, and sometimes the people who you thought would be around forever are not going to be. Sometimes we may run into toxic friends, relationships, or jobs. Sometimes you have to let these things go in order to move forward. It will hurt, but never feel bad for choosing you. In the long run, you have to be able to sleep peacefully at night knowing you made the best choices for you and your future.
You will make mistakes—And it’s OKAY.
I have noticed that with all the advice out here about college, people tend to gracefully gloss over the mistakes that can and will be made during this period. While I will always advocate for common sense, some things are truly unavoidable. Make your mistakes, but do not feel bad about it. For every mistake, there is also a lesson to be learned.
You gotta get out your own way, Sis.
This is something that I struggle with. But in the midst of my own struggle I’m aware that you miss 50% of the chances you do not take. So what if their GPA is higher. So what if they have more credentials on their resume. So what if they’re more attractive. Forget all that self-doubt and realize that whatever you lack in one area is just room for you to grow in another.
Boxes are for shoes. Don’t let them put you in one.
The world is under a false assumption that women can’t be both intelligent and carefree. Classy and a little ratchet. But of course, I beg to differ.
Pride yourself on being multidimensional. You can make good grades and twerk. Have an extensive vocabulary and curse like a sailor. It is okay not to be crouched into other people’s fantasies of who they think you should be.
No matter who they say you should be, just do you and keep going, Sis.
Take care of yourself, Sis.
You can’t be great if you are spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally burnt out love. You need to take the time make sure YOU are okay, especially if you are always helping someone else. Self-care can be something as simple as taking thirty minutes to journal every night or something more serious like taking an impromptu trip by yourself.
To conclude, it doesn’t matter if you’re a current student, recent graduate, temporary dropout, or working woman. We can ALL use some encouragement, because we all know encouraging words go a long way…
Just keep going, Sis.