4 Challenges Black Women Overcome In College

From an early age, black women have been taught to adjust, so that she may better suit the world around her. She is constantly scrutinized for her appearance due to  the world's European standard of beauty and lack of representation. She learns to be caring and brave at the expense of her own peace of mind. The idea that we must work four times harder to receive half as much is accepted as practice, and extreme circumstances that may interfere with our ability or motivation to achieve success are ruled invalid.  This culture of dysfunction does not end when we pursue a college education.

For women attempting to heal from trauma and working to provide their most basic needs while attending school, self-care is sometimes ignored. It’s important to remember that mental and physical health is indeed an accomplishment.


Photograph by Thought Catalog


Identify What Hurts

Acknowledging a condition that is painful or difficult is the first step to attaining a healthier state of being. Women must identify what makes them anxious and why. Admitting that a situation is problematic, enables us to implement real change. Learning who we are, and why we feel specific emotions give women power to achieve a sense of control.


Create an Environment that Promotes Stability

What we are surrounded by in the physical world impacts how we feel emotionally. Organizing our space promotes a stronger sense of stability. Clean your room. Declutter your closet. Get rid of products you don’t use. Think about your favorite thing to wear, and how it makes you feel. A minimal lifestyle approach alleviates stress and anxiety. Making decisions about the things you can control at a basic level, extends confidence and surely to other areas in your life. 

Do you want to know more about adapting a minimalist style? Click here.


Set Goals. Make Choices.

First-generation college students take on the task of accomplishing aspirations that in unfamiliar environments seem daunting. Set goals and make explicit choices to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Long-term and short-term goals set clear guidelines for what you want and what you don’t. 

Create a schedule and stick to it. Decide how you will spend your time by prioritizing what’s most important to you. If you work and go to school, ask for your work schedule in advance. Designate time to study and unwind. Choose days/times during the week when you are able to exercise. Find ways to make your social life productive, by inviting your friends to events that will help you reach your goals.  


Photograph by Tolu Bamwo


Don’t be Afraid to Allow Opportunity to Find You

In the digital age, we all have a fear of missing out. College is a unique place where dynamic women from different backgrounds are able to connect. That being said, the temptation to compare yourself is strong. We must believe that no matter where we are on our timeline, it is appointed for us to succeed. It takes courage to follow your heart and not the trends. In school, we have to know that what is for us will be, and have the discipline to continuously pursue what edifies you. Opportunity will find us proactive and prepared for our destiny, and we don’t have to compromise who we are to discover it.