Advice to young black men about to attend college

William T. Robinson, Jr.

William T. Robinson, Jr.

Times are turbulent especially for young black men about to embark upon the college path. There are things all male should know or be aware of, especially young men of color. There is a pertinent conversation that should take place between young men and their parent or parents. Preferably, this should be a conversation or cautious advice from a concerned male who may have encountered some of the circumstances or situations they are about to share with the young black man. This is a conversation that may save the young man from making decisions or choices that could have some negative life altering consequences in their lives.

Sheltered and confident as some young men may be, there are extenuating circumstances that supersede one’s economic and social status. Though no fault of the young black man, chances he will be exposed to prejudices and practices unknown to his white male counterparts. He must be aware and cautious of places and situations he encounters. Unfortunately, in many cases he will be treated and judge differently because of his race.

This is a time when many young men feel liberated and grown, thinking they know it all and are impervious to advice from older adults. Many of these young men feel that the problems of the world don’t necessarily apply to them and the approval and vindication from their peers take top priority.

Although college should be a rewarding and unforgettable learning experience inundated with academics and meaningful socialization, there are pending pitfalls for young black men to avoid. The lure of unprotected sex, drugs, and accept ion by peers who may not necessarily be worthy of your friendship are awaiting demons, especially for the gullible or unaware. This is a time when all college students, especially young men, should practice self-control and forbearance.

It is almost inevitable young athletes especially black male athletes, will be approached and enticed by young women who main goal is to seduce them for ulterior motives. This is especially the case of black athletes in predominantly white universities seduced by some ambitious white girls looking to cash in on a prospective NBA or NFL potential. Allegations of rape can be the result from a scorned and vindictive young lady who you felt engaged in consensual sex.

Drugs and excessive alcohol usage is prevalent on most college campuses and has been the bane of destruction or downfall for many students. As corny as it may sound, it is okay to add the word no to your vocabulary and mean it. It would be wise to align yourself with a reliable person or group that looks after each other and share your values.

There is a balance between academics and socializing that must be adhered too for success. The freedom to exercise your sexual desires with the opposite sex or others may be your prelude to STDs, unwanted pregnancies, and sexual improprieties provoking allegations of sexual assault. While sexual assault is nothing new it will behoove every young man to be cognizant that no means no from a young lady, regardless of how you may look at the situation. Sexual desires, which are inherent and natural, must be approached with caution and careful thought. Consensual sex without a condom is unacceptable and just plain foolish and irresponsible.

Dictating a young person moral compass is almost impossible because inevitably it is a personal choice. Sex and the lure of drugs will probably be the two greatest threats awaiting college students whether male or female Unfortunately, over emphasizing the dos and don’ts seems to provoke the listener to gravitate to the negative, but regardless they can’t say they weren’t warned. The listener should not feel attacked or made to feel irresponsible but to know they have a concerned party caring about their wellbeing in a new environment.

One of the biggest problem families make, is assuming these young black men already know what they are about to encounter. It will be wise to make sure there is a mentor or reliable party available in which the young man can feel comfortable in confining. Attending college functions, football and basketball games, or pledging fraternities are activities to enhance your memories but don’t forget the main objective is to gain an education and graduate.

What I feel is a must, is instilling a sense of spirituality in the young man to know that he can always rely on God as a friend and confidant that is always there and will never fail them.

Too many times, young people put God on the backburner while attending college so they won’t feel as guilty in partaking of lascivious and sinful activities. Self-control and prayer must be your greatest assets ensuring a productive and rewarding college experience.

Enjoy your college experience but always think before you act.