Once upon a time, I was a freshman in college. “Bring it on,” I thought to myself; the girls, the parties and all the freedom from parents I could imagine. A decade later, I look back at how shortsighted my vision for college life was. Sitting at my desk trying to get inspiration for more blog content, it dawns on me that many young men are embarking on that same journey I once travelled. Here are some tips I think will go a long way, curated just for my fellow men.
Financial Aid: So you step foot on campus and wonder how you are going to pay for all this? Here comes financial aid! You filled out your FAFSA, and head to the financial aid office to inquire about your reward. THIS FINNA BE A BREEZE! Pell grant… Good money. State Aid…. Ok, you in the game. Scholarship….. Mama ain’t raise no fool. Loan….. Never had one, but ball is life so we good!
The 1st mistake you can make as a freshman in college is not realizing where your aid comes from. Anything loan related will ultimately have to be paid back; with interest on top! Loans are not a bad thing, in moderation that is. See the system is set up for us to be greedy. The system knows we only need $3k to cover the rest of our expenses, but you “qualify” for a $6k student loan. Check is cut and the excess is passed out in the form of a “refund” check. A little dorm room renovation wouldn’t hurt, or better yet the latest MacBook has your name written all over it. Fellas, do not let financial aid act as a credit card. With a credit card, you buy now and pay later; student loans are even more misleading as you buy now, and pay years later. Although interest rates vary and can be quite low for student loans, the average student loan disbursed is not based on any sort of income! They give you excess money as a student and then base your payments on your wage as a graduate. Ain’t that some shit?
Take it from an OG, you don’t want to become crippled by student loans once you graduate. Fight it by any means and if you do need to take out a loan, repay any excess back to the loan company immediately. Decline an excess amount if you can.
Women: Behind (beside/by) every great man, there is a great woman. This is very true, but in college it is more like this: Besides every aspiring male student, there are 5 aspiring female students. The male/female ratio in college is crazy and everybody is so friendly. Party here, study session there; as a freshman you will have ample opportunities to interact with the opposite sex. I implore you to follow your heart and not your friends when it comes to women. Hear me out; I am not saying you must settle down and be in a relationship while in college, but do not get into the sport of head hunting. Chasing after chicks solely based on friendly competition is a boys game and the after math could be crippling.
Do not become the reason a great woman is unable to love. As I get older, I notice a lot of successful women who can’t let a man get close to them due to the trauma a college relationship gave them. As men, we should aim to protect our women and not prey on them. If you aren’t down for the ride, don’t play along! College is fun and you will meet plenty of women, but be a standup guy and don’t lie about your intentions; you will be surprised how many women want the same good time as you, just without the lies. Post college, you will only find yourself looking for the exact thing you played around with in college and there is the stigma surrounding the guy that has slept with everyone. Try not to become the guy that everyone has a story about. Your woman/wife in the future will appreciate you even more.
Networking: College not only introduces you to a plethora of women, but you will meet people with varying talents. A lot of big ideas and companies take off on college campus due to the teams that can be formed for relatively no cost. I currently make YouTube videos and it takes me a long time to shoot and edit my footage, plus the final product is not as flashy. I spent over $1,000 on equipment to accomplish this. While I was on campus in college, I remember shooting a YouTube video to promote a party I was throwing. My camera man was my good friend Martin who majored in videography. I had the beautiful Chi-Chi as my actress and the hilarious Chike as co-actor. This cast and production cost me $0 and maybe a few campus meals for persuasion. College also acts as a nationwide/international advertisement as you have classmates from different states in the US that can promote for you while they are at home on break. If you have a business idea and start up in college with a team of 5 all with their individual networks from their hometown, every holiday, you are leveraging their reach as they start to promote the company in their hometowns.
The lesson to take away is that your campus is loaded with potential! Don’t be an introvert and shy away from asking people for advice. College students aren’t tasked with 9-5’s and families to take care of, so they are more likely to lend a helping hand. Explore your campus and all it has to offer! I have met some lifelong friends from college and continue to keep in touch with Chike, Martin and Chi-Chi.
Bonus: As a freshman who is just getting to exercise his sexual abilities, you also may think “What’s wrong with having sex as much as possible?” Good question! A lot of men don’t talk about this, but I know friends that suffer from this same issue I’m going to bring up. It’s not breaking news that the more sex you have, the riskier you become. Most men in college at some point will partake in raw sex. Taking the glove off, risking it all, shit is real in the field; at that last minute, will you run to the store or employ that good ole pull out method. The pull-out method per the CDC will leave 27/100 women pregnant and the risks for contracting STD’s are even larger. Another side effect is becoming numb to sex. Post college, you will meet the woman you want to bring home to mama and when it’s time to share that special moment, you realize that a condom doesn’t feel right and you plead to just get the head in. She is a sexually cautious woman and refuses so now you give her the limp/soft stroke. Talk about a first impression.