Beginners Guide To College for First Generation Haitian-American College Students

My parents migrated from Haiti in hopes of providing their children with a better life. They came into this country with nothing; they came into this country hoping for something.

I am of the first generation youth to be born in America and the first to attend college. I can not tell you how or what made me pursue college education. However,  I was encouraged to attend college under the notions that I would live and lead a better life. As they raised me, it was ingrained in my mental that receiving a college education was the end goal. And this, I achieved.

As I venture through the process of receiving a college education, I offer a beginners guide to college that explains how to pay for college and who can help you throughout your college career.

College Transition Programs

Prior to applying to college, early awareness is key. College transition programs encourage students to think about college and provides support services for students in need prior to entering college. These, often called Bridge Programs, vary by state, by high school, and by college. I encourage starting as early as your Junior year in High School and no later then the summer prior to the start of the Fall term.

Finding funding for college was out of sight and out of mind to my mother. She did not not tell me how I was going to afford my college education, she just told me I had to go. This was definitely due to her lack of knowledge on college, financial aid, scholarships, grants, and other sources of funding for my undergraduate education. Due to this lack of knowledge, it was my duty to educate her and myself.

How do you afford college?

Scholarships and Grants these words are used interchangeably and are need-based (based on a students financial need) forms of funding for college students. Also, they can be academic-base, athletic-base, or merit-base and are awarded based on those abilities.

They are offered by:

  • Government

The federal government offers the largest source of gifted aid. Usually, in the form of a Pell Grant known as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

FAFSA is the first step to receiving majority of the grant or scholarship opportunities that are federally funded ad need-based. This federal program is used as a determinant of financial aid consideration. Information about you and your family is collected through an online application in order to determine your qualifying attributes.

The application typically opens October 1st, giving you time to apply any time after that. The application deadline is June 30th for the 2018-2019 academic year. It is recommended that you apply early to receive priority consideration.

  • Colleges

Though stricter in requirements, colleges offer grants and scholarships to attendees of the institution. These fundings are either merit-based, need-based, or combined. Be sure to check the institutions Financial aide page information of visit the financial aid office for more information on scholarships available to you based on your attributes (Transfer student, first generation, Haitian-descent, underrepresented group, etc).

  • Private Organizations

Many companies (i.e. McDonalds), foundations (i.e. the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), clubs, and community organizations (i.e. nonprofits or charities) offer grants or scholarships. Consider asking your employer if they offer tuition assistance or tuition reimbursement. Look into any club, foundation, or community organization that you are an active member of for assistance. Your parents employer may even offer assistance to their children as a form of external scholarship opportunities.

Loans are borrowed money that is expected to be repaid. Colleges, banks, and the government offers loan money to students with specific terms. Before considering loans from private institutions such as banks, exhausting Federal loans is the safest. This is due to the fact that Federal loans offer the most flexible repayment options compared with private loans.

*Rule of thumb, scholarships before loans.*

Who do you turn to for help?

Adult Advisors and Peer Mentors 

Because your parents are unaware of the opportunities available at universities not educational avenues you may pursue, finding an adult advisor or peer mentor will be beneficial.

Who can be an adult advisor or peer mentor?

An adult advisor can be your high school teacher, a guidance counselor, a professor, work supervisor/manager/director with college education, a pastor/priest, or a university/college faculty member to name a few.

A peer mentor is typically a college student who has already achieved what you are searching to succeed in college. Typically this individual is a Junior or Senior-standing student who has completed core coursework in your major of study or similar. Peer mentors are just as important as an adult advisor. Even though they have not achieved a Bachelors, they are further ahead in the process than someone who is an incoming-Freshman, Freshman, and Sophomore-standing.

While college may appear to be a challenge for first-generation students, it offers a variety of rewards. This serves as a guide to provide you with keys to your college funding and the individuals who can assist you along the way.

 

How to Naturally Lubricate Your Vagina

Let’s talk about your vagina ladies! Your holy grail; your girl power.

We need to be more comfortable talking about our version of the male package. We notice the common issues shared amongst women across the world, yet we ignore the conversations that need to be held in regards to those issues.

Around 17% of women aged 18-50 experience problems with vaginal dryness during sex.

Women’s Health Concern 

A concern that many women have is there vagina’s natural lubrication. A silent problem popularly known as vaginal dryness.

I, myself, do not struggle with vaginal dryness. But, for the purposes of learning if I can improve, I conducted a self-study.

For 3 months I worked on increasing my natural lubrication to something as moist as a waterfall. And, here is how:

Water

Drinking plenty of water helps with everything. I know! I can not stress it enough: in order to retain moisture, you must be hydrated.  Likewise, in the last 3 months I have increased my water consumption by 40% and I definitely can see the changes in my body in general. Especially the smell and lubrication of my vagina.

No Soaps, No Douches

This is common practice for me. I only cleanse my vagina with water. And, if there is anything that is the devil to your vagina, it would be douches, soap, and how you clean your vagina.

Douching

Studies show that there are a correlation between vaginal douching and its risks to vagina as an agent to vaginal dryness. This is due to the fragrance and toxic chemicals that come in contact with vaginal mucous membranes. Since those mucous membranes are absorptive, they take in the chemicals. Over time, drying up from those chemicals.

Soap

Soaps that contain chemicals and fragrances should not be near a system as PH sensitive as the vagina.

Cleaning

This is common practice for me: being intentional when cleaning my vagina.

You have to be more intentional with your vaginal cleaning and adopt careful cleaning of her. I:

  • Do not over wash. The rule of thumb is no more than twice a day, as it self cleanses.
  • Make sure to wipe front to back to ensure no spread of bacteria from the anus to the vagina.
  • Wipe with a clean, hot rag after intercourse.

Underwear

As sexy as I love feeling in underwear, there are a few I had to do without in this experiment. I had to eliminate high cut styles panties (boy shorts, thongs, cheeksters, and g-strings), tight underwear, and any underwear with synthetic fabrics (lace or satin).

Unfortunately, that was pretty much my entire underwear draw, so, I wore seamless underwear 10% of the time, I devoted 10% of my time to sexy, lace underwear, and I free-balled the remainder.

giphy

Yes, I said it!

I did not wear underwear, so I can let my vagina breathe and be free of anything constricting. To expand, if the place or event I was going to had no risk of me exploiting my nether regions, I did not wear any underwear. This was a challenge in itself, especially being how much my vaginal lubrication increased due to this study. But, that is a story we can save for another post.

Kegel Exercises

This is an exercise done to strengthen and tighten the pelvic floor muscles in your vagina. They can be done anywhere, whenever, and no one will notice. In turn, promoting the overall health function of tissues in your vagina. In due time, this promotes an increase in vaginal lubrication.

Masturbation

In order to recognize a notable difference, I increased my Shirls time from once a week, to twice a day. The more frequent I masturbate, the wetter my vagina gets throughout the day even after cleaning up the residual fluids from orgasm. By the time I got into my sex session mode, I was drenched from the slightest kiss behind neck or passionate stare into my eyes.

Foreplay

Foreplay is the root to comfortable sex. You can not just dive in to the water without prior lessons. If you do, you increase your likelihood of drowning. Pun intended! Build your sexual desire before having sexual intercourse. Extending your foreplay will help with becoming more aroused psychologically and physiologically. Just, get the juices flowing!

Woman-to-woman, hopefully, my self-exploration can help alleviate any concerns you may have with your vagina. Happy lubricating!

Haitian men are so: 13 Things That Will End The Slander of Haitian Men

Feature image: Instagram.com/1neglakay

I asked Florida Haitian Student Organization’s (HSOs), Haitian Twitter, and the Haitians Who Blog community to name great things about Haitian men. And they narrowed down all the great qualities of Haitian men to 13 characteristics that will end the slander of Haitian men.

Continue reading “Haitian men are so: 13 Things That Will End The Slander of Haitian Men”

The Season to Embrace Singlehood

“For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called”. (NRSVCE)

Feature image: xoquinntographer

Today you will see posts about couples expressing love for their partners, single’s appreciation day, self-love, anti-valentine, bitterness, the demystification of side chicks or, what ever! Now, I am not a fan of the celebration of Valentine but, I am an admirer of glorifying and celebrating love, especially black love. In summary, I do not believe that Valentines day is the one day individuals should express their utmost gratitude or appreciation for their partner, but, I digress.

While we celebrate a day of love we should, also, recognize single-hood.

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#NOLADarling Series: The Non-conventional Feminists and Dickologist

Close your eyes, I’ll wait. Take a second and envision #BlackGirlMagic. Now open them. What ever you thought it was, erase it. If you didn’t find her, here she is:

#BlackGirlMagic is Nola Darling, honey.

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Dipped in honey, sprinkled with chocolate, dawning tantalizing honey-brown eyes, as I watch the eccentric, earth-toned Nola Darling, I can only envision my spirit animal #BlackGirlMagic. Nola Darling, you are so me and I am so you. Hello, my “sex positive, polyamorous, pansexual”  hyper-sexual twin!

As I release my Snapchat question and answers on some “the truth must be spoken” type shit, the universe and my snapchatters,  led me to the 2017 Sex in the City, She’s Gotta Have It.  So, Sese, Antwan, and the many spectators who put me on, this is for you.

Post major release of emotions: rape-ish, death of a loved one, end of a relationship

and

Post major release of positive emotions acceptance: offers, graduation, celebration of single-hood, start of graduate school,

I am at the stage of:

Continue reading “#NOLADarling Series: The Non-conventional Feminists and Dickologist”

#NOLADarling Series: The Feelings of Assault

In light of the recent mass sexual assault, sexual harassment, and assault cases near the end of 2017, I sit and listen to my peers curiosity about the sudden “trend”. I attend to their theories of disbelief as I feed my own.  My views were similar to their own, until, I saw She’s Gotta Have It.

As I binge watch the Netflix Original in one sitting, I am impressed by the story of a black woman without the after taste of the male-interpretation. In her assault (2017), as light as it may appear, viewers witness a catalyst of negative emotions transformed to her bold, feminist, artistic release. Similarly, the catalyst of sexual assault cases on the media may be the eye-opener for the many women hiding behind their truths.

Speaking of truths, Nola Darling, I have to define “assault” for the readers. Specifically, “sexual assault”.

Continue reading “#NOLADarling Series: The Feelings of Assault”

I Will Never Let Another Man…

Oh no! *inserts rolling eyes emoji*. Not another hate,  shaming blog post about Haitian men,  Black men, or men in general.
Well,  you have dodged a bullet because you are absolutely right! It is another post about men. Although, I would not place it in the “shaming of men” category. This post is, more of, a thanks to my exes because I will never let another man:

1. Underestimate my worth.

Throughout social media I see individuals exclaiming “know your worth”. I, unfortunately, overlooked the overall meaning of this trending phrase.  In my continuous search for “the” one, “the” only relationship,  I realized that I try my hardest to prove my worth to men who are not paying attention. Continue reading “I Will Never Let Another Man…”

Side Chick Chronicles: Sub Rosa

Feature image by: Photo by William Stitt on Unsplash

I am not one for secrets and believe my life should be an open-book test in the simplest class you have taken in your whole college career. Not only that, my life is pretty fucking interesting!

There was a period in time, of my life, where I had a huge crush on being loved by another person. We can blame it on the lack of expression of love from my parents throughout my childhood. Nevertheless, despite being heartbroken by an asshole, I was too in love to see that I was a side chick! 

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GASP! Shirley!

Sub-rosa! Its a secret! Well…

Fuck it!

I am letting it be known.

Continue reading “Side Chick Chronicles: Sub Rosa”

Surviving a Long Distance Relationship

So, you have decided to pursue a long distance relationship or you are currently in a long distance relationship and find it difficult. Hey friend 👋! You are not on your own.

I romanticized long distance relationships but, being in one changed my whole perspective of relationships. I am use to bitter women downplaying their relationship because it is over. I will not be that blogger. My LDR taught me more good than harm.
A great friend of mine said to me, “I don’t think relationships were meant to be in long distance”.

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I Choose to be a “Slut”.

Feature image @awfulmadre via tumblr.

I did not get the chance to be promiscuous, what I consider “promiscuity”, when I was younger (despite the rumors your ears picked up). I kept my sexuality at a low by subjecting to long-term relationships. A serial monogamist. So, since the good ol’ day of losing my innocence,  I maintained long-term, monogamous, relationships. Until, someone broke my heart, again.

I was done! I was done with trying; I was over looking for “the man” to spend the rest of my life with. So, I accepted that I would be

Continue reading “I Choose to be a “Slut”.”