Summer is coming to an end and many of you girls will be returning to campus or setting foot on ‘the yard’ for the first time. Aww! I feel like I was just in your shoes myself. It hasn’t been that long, but you’ll find out someday that when it’s over, it feels like you’ve aged 20 years and that your youth is behind you.

*Stares out the window wistfully*

I digress. This is such an exciting time in your lives and we, your big sisters of Clutch are rooting for you all the way! I have a few pieces of advice I’d like to share and I ask that other Clutchettes who’ve turned their tassels also offer some words to the wise of their own.

-Go To Class: It sounds like common sense, but once you realize that no one is gonna put you in detention or call your mom because you skipped English, it may become awful tempting to skip out on that which you deem to be less interesting than clocking honeys in the caf or getting a few extra hours of sleep. Trust me, I know; I’d started the bad habit in high school when they could call my parents. Get your work ethic in check now. You (or your family or the org that provided you a scholarship) are paying a lot of money for those classes. Don’t play yourself. Go.

-Party Plenty…Just Remember Why You Are There: I went to Howard and there was always something to do; if it wasn’t a club night, there was a house party. No house party? Someone had a box of wine and a good DVD. Don’t feel compelled to be at everything! Go to the library or the computer lab and be social there. At least you can try and get some work done. And don’t wait until the end of the semester, either.

-Mind Your Health: The freshman 15 is not a myth! I personally gained the freshman 25 (working at the campus Starbucks didn’t help) and put on weight every year until I graduated and got married to the gym. Why? Because I didn’t work out at ALL in school, I drank like a fish and my diet, while not abhorrent, was inconsistent and marred by skipped meals and late night eating. While it will be fun to go back to my reunion and stunt a little bit, I hate looking back at my pics and seeing how out of shape I was.

-Carry Your Own Condoms: Stash a few in your purse and in your dorm room. If you are far too “good” to ever randomly find yourself having sex, just keep them for a homegirl who may need to borrow one in a pinch and hand it over without judgement.

-Don’t Follow The Crowd: You don’t wanna drink, then don’t drink. Don’t feel comfortable having sex, then keep your feet firmly on the ground. If the other girls wear 4 inch heels to class and you feel better in flats, wear your damn flats! This is your time to explore and develop your identity. Figure out what you like and rock it!

-Explore Your Surroundings: I took a bus to Georgetown (the neighborhood) within two weeks of arriving at Howard, much to the suprise of friends who waited almost a year before taking the time to get to know DC. Don’t limit your world to the campus! Don’t do anything stupid like wandering in an unfamiliar area by yourself late at night, but do take the time to allow yourself to become integrated into the local culture. And please don’t treat the natives like anything less than your equals; no one deserves to have their city overrun with uppity college kids who look down on them for not having the same opportunities that they’ve had.

(Photo source)


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