Your first few weeks on campus are some of the most important in your college career. It’s when you’ll establish the social groups that will be with you all 4 years and beyond. It’s also when those social groups are the most flexible and open. Get out there and meet people! We know that a lot of POC can feel isolated on campus, so it’s important to get out there and find your peeps right off the bat. You’ll have a support network to get you through all the ups and downs, and friends to make the college life exciting and engaging!
Here are some places to check out when you get onto campus for the first time:
-Activity fairs and club shows
-Multicultural, global living programs
-Black Student Unions
-POC-specific events. If there’s nothing happening that appeals to you, start your own! Every school class has a FB group, so put some ideas out there, and start finding people you click with! Think outside the box!
Since a lot of high schools these days are doing a poor job of providing sex ed to their students, it’s important for you to be brushing up on your knowledge and resources before you hit campus.
While many universities have started mandatory sex, alcohol, and drug education programs before the school year even starts, there are plenty that don’t.
So, for the rest of you, here’s all the key things your school SHOULD be teaching you, even if it’s not.
That’s right, the big “C” word. Consent is the #1 most important concept to learn when you become a sexually active adult. Consent is the key to all safe sexual behaviors, and it’s often misunderstood. Here’s the low-down: before you engage in any intimate activity, no matter how “understood” you think the mood might be, you check for consent. Asking doesn’t have to be a big deal, but it does have to happen. All you say is, “do you want to keep going?” or “is this alright”? It’s not a mood killer. Trust us. The real mood killer is when things go too far, and someone feels hurt.
Here’s a few rules.
-No means no. It doesn’t mean “later,” and it doesn’t mean “keep asking.”
-If they’re too drunk or high to answer you, they’re not “in the mood”, they need your help.
-It’s always better to be on the safe side. Even if something seems small, ask. It doesn’t hurt, and the worst it can do is make the other person feel safer and more assured.
On the other end, always make sure you feel comfortable saying no if things are happening a bit too fast, or are going further than you intended.
Now that we’ve covered consent, let’s review the other basics:
Protection: Use it. Always use it. It’s that simple. It’s available freely around most campuses, and through community health centers in most cities.
Get tested, stay safe: Most schools offer some kinds of STD and STI screenings on campus, usually for free or for a low cost to students. If that’s not offered at your school, try a local Planned Parenthood or other community organization. There are free resources everywhere-use them!
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