The Sag

Taken from The New York Times via Google Images

I haven’t written in a long time (I’ve been busy with school, work, etc.) but an incident yesterday ignited my desire to make a new post.  I had just gotten out of class and waswalking back to my dorm.  On the way, there was a boy walking in front of me.  His pants were sagging like most of the boys on campus.  I live on a college campus so I see baggy pants all the time.  However, this particular boy had his pants so low that not only did he have to hold them with his hand as he walked to avoid indecent exposure, but I could also see his thigh as he walked across the street!  Yes, I mean the part where the boxer shorts end and the thighs begin.  That just disgusted me.  I mean, why even wear the pants at all at that point?

I am in no way trying to impede on someone’s right to where what they want but we have to draw the line somewhere.  I understand that baggy pants are in style but there is a fine line between baggy and sagging to the point of mild nudity.  What I really can not comprehend is why someone would sag to the point that it prevents them from walking normally!  The whole sagging pants scenario is even more disturbing on grown men.  If I see a teenage boy at the mall sagging his pants I think he looks immature but I cut him slack.  A 16 year-old boy battling puberty may not have the same common sense as his 22 year-old counter part.  But what excuse can a grown man use?  If you’re in college then you’re an adult.  Adults SHOULD have sense enough to pull up their pants when they get dressed in the morning.

A more important question I would like to have answered is, “Why do men sag their pants?” (notice I said “men” not  “boys”).  It can’t be to attract women because, like myself, many women find it unattractive, “ghetto”, and sloppy.  It can’t be just for style either because most sensible people dislike the fad.  I’ve come to my own conclusion that it must be a way of identifying with hip hop culture.  I’d bet any amount of money that if Lil Wayne consistently pulled his pants up and denounced the trend then we would see a sharp decrease in sagging pants.  Dressing to identify with hip hop culture makes sense for artists in that genre but grown men in a prestigious university need to answer to a different standard.  Your occupation is a student or you’re already in the work world.  So, you should dress as such.  If I worked at ABC news or was in Harvard Law School, I wouldn’t be walking around like a Go-go dancer in my own free time.  If you’re not a rapper and you’re not a child, please have some maturity and pull up your pants!

Should You Wait For Him/Her?

Most of us have heard it all before… “I’m just not ready for a committment.”, “I’ve been hurt before.”, “Why can’t we just take things slow?”, etc.  It’s never easy when that special someone doesn’t want to take that next step with you.  That step could be anything from marriage to introducing you to the family, or even proclaiming an official relationship.  But how can you tell when you’re just wasting your time?  Should you wait, or is it time to move on?

Taken from kissingknowhow.com via Google Images

It’s not an easy question and you may not even want to know the answer.  When I had this issue I first consulted my closest friends(as most women would).  The problem with doing this is that friends often care about you so much to the point that they’re overly defensive and protective of you.  If you’re going to look for relationship advice from a friend, make sure its someone who can be semi-objective.  Otherwise you may get my results: a never ending tirade that the guy is a jerk and you need to drop him ASAP.  I made up my mind to be hard-headed, ignore my friends, and do what felt right to me.  While watching Sex and The City 2 (I love Sex and the City!), the main character, Carrie Bradshaw, said something very interesting that somewhat resonated with me.  She asked herself, can people on the outside truly understand what goes on between two people in an intimate relationship?  In my opinion, although friends may be able to help, only you have a complete understanding of the relationship that you are in.

In the end you may have to just listen to yourself and determine what you want.  If the two of you are already on the rocks then it may not be worth it to wait.  You also don’t want to be the doormat that waits and begs for six years with no result.  If you know that they care deeply about you and are sincere (in every aspect of their life), they might just be worth the wait….but make it clear that you can’t wait around forever.

Grow Natural Black Hair Longer

Taken from http://www.fromgrandmaskitchen.com via Google Images

I struggled trying to grow my hair for years.  I got a relaxer when I was around 11 or 12 and my hair completely broke off.  That was how I learned my hair was very sensitive.  My mother put braids in my hair on and off throughout my life.  Then, after the relaxer incident, we kept it in braids assuming (like most people) that it would make my hair grow.  It may have recovered somewhat but we didn’t see great results.  After that I started going to the hair dresser and my hair slowly got better.

Eventually I started learning enough to care for my hair on my own.  Once my hair was stronger, I wanted to grow it out as long as possible.  I knew it wouldn’t be easy so I started hunting around on the internet for hair care help.  I was surprised to find out that a lot of what I was told about my “Black” hair was wrong.  There was also a lot about caring for my hair that I simply didn’t know.  So, I’ve put together some of the tips I picked up that helped my hair get stronger and start growing:

  1. WET YOUR HAIR!  This is one thing I was always told never to do.  As far as I was concerned my Black hair needed to stay as far away from water as possible.  Well that’s a complete falsehood.  Your hair love water.  Water is moisture and hair (especially Black hair) needs it badly.  I wet my hair everyday now in the shower and it loves it. NOTE: wetting your hair does not mean shampooing.
  2. Keep your hair clean.  Many Black girls are told not to wash your hair often.  It is true that we don’t have to wash our hair as much as others with less curly locks, but we still need to keep it clean.  You should wash your hair about once a week (give or take).  DO NOT do it everyday.  Also, try to find a natural shampoo or do conditioner washes.  Conditioners can loosen up dirt without stripping the hair the way most store-bought shampoos do.  Most over the counter shampoos are very harsh on Black hair.
  3. Moisturize your hair EVERY DAY.  Black hair needs moisture.  Find a moisturizer with natural ingredients.  Avoid Petrolatum and silicones which are found in most hair care products.
  4. Lightly oil your hair AFTER adding moisture to lock it in.  Olive, Jojoba, Coconut are just some of the natural oils that are good for the hair.
  5. DO NOT brush your hair when it’s wet.  You can comb through it with a wide tooth comb from ends to roots to get rid of tangles.  Brushing while wet weakens the hair strands by stretching them and causes split ends.
  6. If you have split ends, cut them.  They will only get worse and travel up the hair strand.  Tell whoever trims your hair not to get “scissor happy”.  You only need to cut 1/4-1/2 an inch every four to eight weeks or so.  Some people also say 12 weeks.
  7. Wear a silk or satin scarf to bed.  If you don’t wear scarves then put plastic over your pillow case and braid up your hair so you don’t get unnecessary tangles.
  8. Try not to flat-iron, blowdry, curl, or use any type of heat on your hair.  If you must, do it sparingly.
  9. Braid Extensions can help your hair grow but remember to still take care of your hair and moisturizer and clean your scalp while your hairs in the braids.  Also, make sure they aren’t braided too tight.  That can put stress on the hair strand.
  10. Deep condition with heat and do hot oil treatments every now and then.  How often you should do it depends on the condition of your hair.  Some do once a week, some every other week, some once a month.

Well, like I said these are just a couple of things I’ve learned through all of my research and experimenting.  There’s a world of information out there so I encourage everyone to read up if there interested in growing their hair longer!

Broadcasting Prego Teens?

Taken from Google Images

So I recently got into watching MTV’s Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant.  I’m not big on MTV programming ever since the “music” television station ceased to have anything to do with music, but i digress… I started to watch mostly because there was nothing on tv one night, but also to see what all the former raucous was about.  Even before I started watching the show I heard the bad rap about it promoting/glorifying teen pregnancy.  People argued that by giving pregnant teens their own show MTV was making it seem “cool” to get knocked up.  I pretty much agreed despite the fact I had never really watched the show in detail.  However, after tuning in,  I perceived the show very differently.  Now I’m wondering if all the people who badmouth it ever watched it to begin with.

Most of the girls in the show (at least when I started watching it) deal with some real issues.  Dating violence, verbal abuse, health issues and financial struggles are just a few of the obvious issues you will see in the show.  All of the teens deal with different issues and have different outcomes and consequences for their actions.  There are some couples like Teen Mom’s Leah and Corey who take the struggles head on and handle the stress fairly well for their age.  Then there are others like Jenelle who need a reality check on what it means to be a parent.  If anything the show emphasizes how teens are certainly not ready for pregnancy or parenthood.

If you want to complain about a show that glorifies teen pregnancy look no further than The Secret Life of the American Teenager.  Now, let me say first off that I love the show.  I’ve watched from the very beginning so I have that strange television addiction where you just have to see it out until the end.  Nevertheless, there is no denying that the secret life world is majorly warped.  When you watch you don’t feel bad for the actors. One girl on the show is pregnant and another is a mother.  They don’t seem to have any major struggles or obstacles.  They are still leading fairly normal teenage lives, and even talking about marriage constantly.  It’s the furthest thing from reality.

As I said before, I like Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant.  I also enjoy The Secret Life of the American Teenager.  I’m also mature enough to know the difference between reality and television.  I think the most important thing is to teach your kids what’s real and what’s not.  After all, they see and hear plenty of things in the media that aren’t necessarily true.

Save A Little Money In College

After attending a university for a number of years, I’ve found ways to save my cash.  I’ve also been just plain dumbfounded at how much students waste their money (or their parent’s in most cases).  College is expensive enough.  Even with financial aid and scholarships in place, paying for tuition, books, food, travel etc. is a fortune!  Here’s just some random tips that might help you save a bit of money…

  • I’m going into my junior year and have not bought school supplies since I first arrived freshmen year.  Reuse your notebooks and binders.  I find so many in the garbage at the end of the year.  I’ve never had a class that use up an entire notebook on notes.  At the end of the year I rip out the notes from that class and I have plenty of fresh paper for the next semester.  The same goes for the binders.
  • You should also keep EVERY book you buy for classes.  Students tend to throw those out.  You can resell them! Even if your school doesn’t buy them back you can sell them to other students or on amazon.com.  Some schools even make Facebook groups where students can bargain amongst themselves.  Someone always needs a book…sell it!
  • Another thing I see in the dorms (mostly freshmen dorms) is perfectly good furnishings, appliances, and other household/dorm items going in the garbage.  I’ve kept everything in my dorm and intend to bring it all home with me once I graduate.  The stuff you use in your dorm you can use every semester and even  in your first apartment.  Think long-term.
  • My next point (that I struggle to follow) is don’t eat out constantly.  Most schools have a meal plan.  If you have a fixed amount of meals per day that you already paid for then use them.  Why pay for takeout when you’ve already prepaid for dinner in the cafeteria?
  • I also try not to buy the candy bars in the vending machines.  Does anyone else notice those prices seem to get more ridiculous every year!? In my school they’re mostly 85 cents and at others I’ve heard a dollar or even two!  Save yourself the trouble and go to a corner store or even Wal-Mart.
  • Last but not least is Carpool! Carpool! Carpool! For those students that can’t bring a car their first year, try not to take a cab everywhere.  If you’re at the airport and see someone sporting your school sweatshirt, ask them how they’re getting back on campus.  You may get a free ride or at least be able to split cab fare.

That’s all I can think of at the moment.  I’ll add more to this post if it comes to me!

Preparing for College vs. Preparing for Graduate School

Taken from culpeperschools.org via Google images

Preparing for college was a rigorous process when I was in high school.  From the moment I entered the classroom for my junior year my instructors and advisors were talking about college.  They stressed how important it was to start looking at colleges and universities well in advance.  I remember having to join collegeboard.com where I could take an in-depth look at any university I wanted and fine tune my search to find the school for me.  However, now that I’m in college, I’ve been told that soon even a Bachelor’s degree isn’t going to be very much because anyone and everyone can go to college these days.  So, graduate school should be considered.

Soon after entering a university, I made the decision that I wanted to continue my education and attend graduate school.  I am now at the end of my junior year and I have come to find out that although there is a “college process” in most high schools, there is no “graduate school” process in college.  None of my advisors or teachers have spoken to me about graduate school.  It wasn’t until midway through my junior year that I realized I had to start looking into schools and the GRE before it was too late.  It’s not just my school either.  I have friends at schools in other states who have experienced the same issue.  In high school we were encouraged to go to college.  Now in college, we are not encouraged or influenced to go above and beyond in furthering our education.

I know that college is different from high school.  We’re adults now, not teenagers.  We don’t need anyone to hold our hands and push us to do something that we should take the initiative to do on our own (especially if it’s something we really want).  At the same time, I feel graduate school should still be mentioned and the major steps discussed so that students aren’t left in the dark.  Even after looking online I found no website that was the graduate equivalent of collegeboard.com.  After extensive research I did find my top two schools as well as a date to take the GRE.  However, it still would have been nice to receive some guidance in the process and be pointed in the right direction.

Fat…But Not Too Fat

Taken from Billivorylarson.com via Google images

Weight loss, weight gain, exercise, diet…the subject of staying in shape has become a huge aspect of most people’s daily lives.  The pressure to be thin becomes more and more pressing by the day.  You can tell just by looking at Hollywood.  Many celebs either lose weight soon after getting famous or succumb to the pressure a bit later on.  Kelly Osbourne, Jennifer Hudson, Nicole Richie and Khloe Kardashian are just a few examples.  Sometimes it’s a healthy choice.  Jennifer Hudson, for example, looks amazing.  Look at Star Jones!  Mo’Nique also lost a great deal of weight.  Other times it isn’t such a healthy choice…I’ll leave names out of that one.  But how are we supposed to know the difference?

A doctor will probably have you check your BMI (Body Mass Index) to determine if you have a healthy weight.  A healthy BMI is from 18.5 to 25.  Twenty-five to thirty is overweight and over 30 is obese.  I have an issue with this system.  The BMI system is based on weight and height alone.  Everyone who is 5’2, as an example, does not have the same body type.  So why are they lumped into one standard of what their weight should be.  Granted, the system does leave room for differentiations (someone who is 5’2 can be from 101-136 lbs. to be considered normal), but I’m not sure it’s enough.  I knew a girl who was 5’5 and 172 pounds.  According to the BMI system she was overweight and getting close to the obese category.  When you looked at her she looked like a regular girl.  She did have extra pounds but she didn’t look too overweight.  I wouldn’t have guessed her BMI was so high.  Another girl I know is 5’5 and 155 pounds.  Most people I see on a regular basis are about her size.  She is what I see as normal but her BMI crosses into overweight as well.  I had a friend once who lost some weight (she was already skinny) and her mother actually started worrying for her health….but if you checked her BMI she was in the normal category.  I think something’s wrong with this.

I’m not saying we should completely ignore our doctors and BMI.  They are both helpful tools that can keep you healthy.  Nevertheless, if your BMI is 25-30 (overweight range)  I don’t think there’s a need to panic.  If you look in the mirror and like what you see, don’t stress it.  That said, let me add that we should all try our best to stay healthy.  Mo’Nique once said she was inspired to lose weight because her husband said she had gained too much to be healthy.  He wanted to spend the rest of his life with her and didn’t want it shortened by avoidable health issues.  When weight gain gets to that point then, in my opinion, fast action should definitely be taken.  My point is: don’t let a BMI calculator or statistic get you down.  Do what’s healthy and comfortable for you.

Marriage In 2011?

So I want to talk about marriage in our modern-day.  This is a subject that has occupied my mind (as well as some friends) for quite some time.  Now its no secret that the U.S. has the highest divorce rate in the world, but why?  Most reasons I hear people use are that we no longer know what love means….I don’t think this is always the case.  Here are some reasons why I think the divorce epidemic is so out of control:

  1. Young and ignorant people think they’re in love after three months of infatuation and get married.  Then they have the audacity to be  shocked and depressed when a year later they’re in negotiations for a divorce.  Some say it takes a year to become truly emotionally attached to a person.  Some say it even takes two years before those unconditional feelings of love arise.  Either way, a couple of months DOES NOT make the cut.

    taken from thesocietypages.org via Google images
  2. Some people have completely lost sight of the fact that marriage was meant to be a lifelong contract.  I’ve seen many people comment on their marriage as if it’s something temporary.  I was watching Bridezillas on television and one woman said it was her “first wedding” so she wanted it to be special or something?….I wanted to ask her “I’m sorry but, are you planning on having a 2nd or 3rd?”.  I basically feel like people view marriage as something fun to do or something that will help them on their taxes, rather than a lifelong commitment.
  3. Then of course there’s the couple that fell in love, got married, thought it would be perfect but 5, 10, or 20 years down the road things start to fall to pieces.  They’re stressed, tired and angry.  They don’t have the time or patience to deal with each other so they get a divorce and claim they fell out of love.  Now naturally, not everyone is going to stay married.  Sometimes things just don’t work out.  However, I often see people hit rough patches and call it quits rather than try to work through things.  Our daily lives in 2011 are filled with so many stressors and obstacles, that we just can’t handle coming home to excess issues.  So we give up.

Now why is this subject so important to me that I had to make it my first post?  I WANT TO GET MARRIED PEOPLE!!  I have always wanted a very large and close-knit family.  It would be fairly easy for me to get married but it feels almost impossible that I will find someone in this day and age that values the institution of marriage as much as I do.  I was raised to understand that marriage is for life.  I want someone with those same values who won’t ask me for a divorce when the going gets tough.  Is that so much to ask?

Apparently it is because most people I know say they either don’t want to get married or aren’t sure, especially the guys.  Many people in my age group don’t even believe in marriage.  At an age when our parents were married with a baby on the way (not saying it was always right), we are instead out living the single life until age 29 and then wondering why we’re in our 30’s and struggling to start families.  I just feel like my generation is in need of a reality check.  If you don’t understand what marriage is then please don’t get married.  You’re worsening the divorce rate!  If you do want to get married and have a family, maybe you shouldn’t wait until the last-minute.  Freedom is great when your young.  I’m young and I don’t plan to settle down any time soon.  However, I don’t allow my temporary fun and freedom to make me forget my LONG TERM goals.