HBCU Lifestyle: 9 Tips To Surviving And Conquering HBCU Life

Photo by Brianna Paciorka - HBCU Lifestyle: 9 Tips To Surviving And Conquering HBCU Life

Photo by Brianna Paciorka - HBCU Lifestyle: 9 Tips To Surviving And Conquering HBCU Life

HBCU life is an experience you will never forget! Here are 9 tips to surviving and conquering at your HBCU!

1. Get In Good With The Cafe Workers

The cafe is a major staple at all HBCU colleges! Cafe swipes are some of the most precious commodities you can while in school, but young people like to eat and occasionally…those swipes run out before the end of the week. So what do you do? This is where getting in good with the cafe workers comes in handy. That sweet old lady that works the door might just let you in without any swipes left because you’ve built a relationship and have been respectful all semester long. You might see yourself getting some extra servings on fried chicken Monday because you got cool with the worker who scoops the red rice and beans. Building relationships early on in college is crucial, and there’s no better place to start then with the people who serve you your food. 

2. Go To Class!

So you're not in high school anymore and your mom and dad aren’t there yelling at you to wake up and get ready for school. Your schedule is spread out and some days you may only have 1 or 2 classes with the rest of the day to yourself. That leaves a lot of room to get lazy and the mindset of “i’ll just skip class today and go next time” or getting someone to sign your name on the roll can easily start to sink in. College is certainly not as hard as it’s made out to be but it’s definitely not easy either and it takes a little finessing of the system to get through. A lot of times, just showing up to class consistently, participating, and showing the professor you care will get you the grade you desire, and at the very least you will pass. If you are on the border of a pass fail grade, most professors will not pass you if they have no idea who you are and you waited until the last couple weeks of school to start showing some effort. Stay in your professor’s face and get those grades!

HBCU Lifestyle

3. Have School Pride- Put Some Respeck On Your School Name

Having pride for your HBCU is a must! No one is going to respect your school except the people you go to school with. You have to not only defend your school’s name from your biggest rivals, you have to defend it from the PWI students who will decide to throw shade on your school’s name around every once in a while. 

HBCU pride is a full time job and you signed up for it by agreeing to go to your school. Get you some HBCU apparel and show people why your school is the top HBCU! All black colleges are ultimately in competition with one another to prove who is the best HBCU. When it’s rivalry time, you have to fulfill your duties and get on twitter and instagram and talk the most sh*t you can and pull out your best memes. Never let muscle milk University (Grambling) speak on your timeline without getting checked. Period. 

4. Go To Events - Turn Up!

There’s a time and a place for everything; a time to study, a time to relax, and time to turn up. Going to an HBCU, there will be tons of exciting events; pageants, sporting events, mixers, on campus activities, HOMECOMING, and parties! Make some room for the all of this; the last thing you want is to leave college and say “I wish I wold have went to..” or “I wish I would have did..” Have as much fun as possible, this is the time of your life and most likely you will never be in this kind of environment full time again once you graduate.

Photo by Kevin Coles - Howard Bison Cheerleaders

Photo by Kevin Coles - Howard Bison Cheerleaders

5. Discretion

The last thing you want is to be on campus and everybody knows your business. Outside of the obvious of practicing good morals, your reputation is everything! People will remember you down the line for things that you did in college whether good or bad. Don’t get caught up in the wrong things and wrong people. Do not build a reputation for sleeping with 20 different people your freshman year or getting caught doing something on camera. People will talk, and in a social media age, barely anything worthy of gossip slips by. Have fun, but practice safe sex and be very cautious about who you do things with because not everyone has your best intentions in mind. If ever you need a reminder of discretion, just read some of the posts on HBCU Confessions.

6. Don’t Do 8ams Unless You Absolutely Have To

8ams are the devil. It’s crazy because in high school, you probably started school somewhere around 7am everyday, for 4 years. 8am should be a breeze right? NEGATIVE. Unless you're a certified morning person, or a student athlete that has to have classes done by a certain time, do not load your week up with 8am classes. It’s an almost guarantee that you will be late or miss a few classes because you were up late the night before. Put yourself in the best position to succeed. 

7. Cheat Or Repeat - The Art Of Finesse

Now we’re not telling you to cheat, but you gotta do what you have to do! Eventually you're going to meet your match as far as classes go (biology, law class, economics,etc) and cheat or repeat is the only option! Write some notes on some note cards, take pics on your phone, get with a group of people that are down for the cause and finesse together! Team work makes the dream work. BUT, if you just know you're not a good finesse, DO NOT make an attempt at cheating. Don’t put yourself at jeopardy if you know can’t handle the repercussions. But so we're clear we did not just teach you how to cheat and you didn’t hear this from us!

Photo Credit: @mosope_  - HBCU Deltas

Photo Credit: @mosope_  - HBCU Deltas

8. Join An Organization - Get Active On Campus

There are tons of organizations to get involved in. You can join a community service group, a fraternity, a sorority, SGA, clubs; a social club can help you get out of your shell and comfort zone and develop social skills necessary for the future! Black greeks are prevalent at universities. Do not go 4 years of college without joining some type of organization on campus. Get involved and help your school become better than it was. This will also provide you with networking opportunities and you will build relationships with people you probably never would have talked to on campus. Be open minded to trying new things.

Photo by Brianna Paciorka - Human Jukebox of Southern University

Photo by Brianna Paciorka - Human Jukebox of Southern University

9. Be Social And Network

HBCU life is crazy. There’s people from all over the country, parties, events, and the atmosphere is exactly what you want as a black student. Make as many friends as possible and meet and connect with people you normally wouldn’t talk with on a daily basis. You are all there for the same reason, to get your education and be successful. You never know who’s going to be who 4 to 5 years after graduation and that connection you made in college might just be the connection that leads you to you dream job. Your college friends are extremely valuable and some of these relationships you will carry with you for a long time. Make a serious attempt to make friends and build a positive relationship with them and at the same time, understand that people come around you in seasons. Someone who may be your best of friends your 1st semester, you might not even be talking with them by time junior year rolls around. Shake off the stragglers, see it pushing and stay open to meeting new people.

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