A few days ago I went to the Should, Could, Dream Tour by my brother Cheers at Morgan State University. Seeing these incoming freshman glued to every word as he speaks with such passion is setting these kids up for greatness. College will create some of your greatest memories known to man, but going to a national treasure and a HBCU at the same damn time- future voice is an adventure that only a select few can talk about. HBCU’s have such an influence that it is often imitated by other schools only just to fall flat on their face as the melanin of these students continue to flourish and make a mark on history.
As I was looking in the audience, I began to think what if Should, Could, Dream was around in 2001 and 17 year old Sonny heard this message. Oh well since it wasn’t, this is 33 year old Sonny talking to 17 year old Sonny. Relax and take notes.
- Expand your boundaries
Listen kid, you are a Baltimore guy to the fullest. All you know is Baltimore but as dad once said, “Son, in order to be successful in life young man you must expand your boundaries”. Yeah, Baltimore vs. Y’all Whores makes an excellent t-shirt but that mentality will get you nowhere in life. Don’t listen to Drake, No New Friends. You will need new friends in order to be successful in life. Some of my closest friends in my life are from Philly, DC, PG, Jersey and New York City.
Who knows one of those guys or girls will help you find a job in the near future.
- Support your own
“It’s a secret society all we ask is trust”- Jay-Z voice…”We all we got” like Nino Brown eloquently said in New Jack City. In today’s world we are all we got. Support your own people man. We as black men and women are capable of creating some dope shit. Following Hov is cool and all but your man’s that’s starting from the ground up needs your support just the same. Whether, it’s a clothing line or a mixtape show that person the same support you show to those billionaires that don’t give a flying fuck about you.
3. Campus Life
Campus life is the SHIT. There really isn’t any other way to explain it. Campus life can be described in just 6 letters: B R I D G E. Oh Lord, the bridge is a combination of the corner mixed with a fashion show and that slick talk. Face it; there will be days were you will say fuck school and just chill on campus all day. You will put on your best combination just to walk back and forth across campus because everybody must see your new outfit. On this bridge, you will discuss sports, music, politics, TV shows, women and possibly ruin your academic eligibility because you can easily be on the bridge from sun up to sun down. And when the weather is poppin and the women are dressed so elegantly you can forget it. Govern yourself accordingly because if someone yells, “what are those???” you might as well respond with “Worldstar” and drop him.
- Financial Aid
Financial aid is a necessary evil. Financial aid sometimes reminds me of Mrs. Trenchbull from Matilda; they mean well but their delivery can be a little unorthodox. As 76ers fans would say, “Trust the process”. We just want a refund and our classes not to drop. Financial aid can have you in there longer than Martin in the DMV on his day off or you could be out of there quicker than Usain Bolt running the 100 meters Please come prepared to fill out paperwork and have all your shit together. Make copies of everything and hope for the best.
- Refund Checks
After a few months of struggling eating nothing but cafeteria food or saving just enough money for a Chicken box from Sunny’s or Stoko’s you may be presented a refund check for all your hard work you put in with for filling out you FAFSA. We all know when niggas get a refund because y’all use your damn mind. Just last week you were treating the cafeteria food like restaurant week now you see ladies in class with a MCM bag, 30 inch hair and heels knowing you walking on cobblestone and you only got a 8 am class. To make matters worse you walk like a baby horse after birth. Fellas will buy some Dopes or go to the club in a Versace shirt looking like an extra in a Migos video. Do it look like I was left off the video? Please be responsible. Don’t be like that Jadakiss lyric, “go to work for 2 weeks to buy Jordan’s just to be broke again”.
Homecoming is the mecca of your college experience. It’s a weekend filled with debauchery, scandal and bad decisions. Nothing like the smell of Hennessy, weed, fried chicken, grilled food and desperation. Gorgeous women walking in packs. Fellas plotting harder than a Shonda Rhimes episode. It is poetry in motion, but all I need is a cup of Henny and I’m straight.
- Greek Life
Fraternities and sororities run the yard. Your job if you choose to accept it is to find the best one for you. For the record all the fraternities and sororities are cool with each other so if you express interest to more than one, they will find out. Whether it’s the Kane or Gold Boots choose wisely. Do your research. If you do become a member please under no circumstance switch up on your friends from the beginning and be Greek only. If you only hanging around Greeks, chances are you lame as fuck. Now you lame as fuck with letters. Your organization can’t erase your lameness so be true to yourself at all times. It’s easier said than done I know but don’t do that shit. It’s plenty of women that were quoting Angela Davis rocking afros in August and by March of next year quoting Amber Rose and wearing bundles. Fellas are guilty of this shit too and it’s quite disgusting.
- Probate Season
Every fall or spring there will be a probate or Greek introduction of new members in the pit unless you are AI, 10 Legends from Fall 03 then you probate under the bridge. (Arguably the greatest probate of all time, I’m a little bias since I’m the only big boy on that gig). Nevertheless, this is the rebirth of Greek life as old heads pass the torch and the young ones take over but remember an old head is always ready to pull your ass up so stay ready at all times. There will be always be someone in the crowd talking about how they should, could or dream about being on that line even though they had a 2.0 GPA. But, next year after taking 22 credits during the spring semester, 4 summer classes in Session 1 and 4 more in session 2 and working 60 hours a week they will be ready. Bitch please- AI guys voice
Have fun. Parties will be in endless supply; whether it’s in a dorm room or in the club. You could party from Wednesday to Sunday every week if you want to but that gets old very quick and expensive. Remember your refund check hasn’t hit yet so save your coins. Activate Julius from Everybody Hates Chris mode during these times and just go after the women. Trust me there will be more than enough options for you to choose from. Don’t get too carried away. After a while, Robin Harris voice from House Party will pop in your head and say, “keep your head in them books and off them gals”. Always be safe, know where the exit is and shoot your shot young man. Go Kobe in the year he had Smush Parker, Chris Mihm and Kwame Brown.
10. Man to Woman Ratio
It is safe to say that you will be outnumbered by a 150:1 ratio of women to men. I’m just playing it won’t be that bad but it is nice, real nice (Bernie mac voice). Whitley Gilbert, Freddy, Denise Huxtable, Justine from the Cosby Show, Ashley Banks, Lena James and the list goes on and on will be at your disposal. Please please please do your research. Find out who is who and what is what. 9 times out of 10 they all know each other so you must be a certified sniper like a personal trainer at Planet Fitness. (Sidebar: Personal trainers are assassins with their women clients. Don’t debate me. I have all day). You have to pay attention to their moves, see who they hang with and make your selection at your own risk. Please don’t end up a screenshot in someone’s GroupMe chat. Luckily, technology wasn’t as advanced when I was in school but today…good grief. Proceed with caution. You will win some and you will lose some but you will live to see another day.
I know I threw a lot at you 17 year old Sonny, but it was for your own good. Now go out there and make 33 year old Sonny proud. Flourish young man flourish. Fortune favors the bold so how bold will you be.