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11 Lessons College Forgot To Teach You About The Real World


One of the most pivotal moments of our twenty something lives was having the full blown college experience. Getting your degree is equivalent to a green card. We're taught that it provides a foundation for our future, but how much did we really apply to the real world-- especially if we deterred away from the traditional jobs or additional schooling that many are expected to get right after?

Here are some lessons college conveniently avoided.


1. Building Your Own Brand

You learn many things in college about how to be an employee, which used to be beneficial to the 9-5 dreamer. If your future endeavor is to land a position for a major corporation like Google, college can certainly provide the fundamentals needed to flourish in the workplace. But what if you have an entrepreneurial mind set? Few universities are fortunate to provide entrepreneurship courses accustomed to your major, but where were the classes on social media?  Thriving in the social media world allows us to use self marketing to our advantage. Seeing as how many UN-traditional jobs  calculate your twitter following,  who knew social media presence could play a major role in definitively determining your next career move?

All Photo Credits: Getty


2. Networking Is Your Job Application

Long live the days where getting a job was as facile as submitting an online application. Nowadays, there is a great chance your resume is being casted into cyber space along with thousands of other suitable applicants. On many career paths, networking is your most guaranteed admission into a new position. But, did you learn that in your early years of college? Aside from controlled networks like sororities, frats and even organizations, college didn't place emphasis on the power of developing and expanding your network over the archaic online route. How many internships--negated of the importance on networking with different departments and managers-- did you complete just to solely meet graduation criteria?
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3.  Math Classes Will Never Come In Handy

How many pointless math classes did you have to endure just to break into your desired field those last two years? Somehow, in order to study journalism, I had to jump through calculus hoops to prove that my mathematical senses were still in tact. I remember one day during a meticulous calculus 1 course, I asked my teacher mid lesson," how I will apply these formulas later in life?" I interpreted my professor's cold blank stare as a response of; "You won't, but do it anyways." In college, I knew there would be no correlation to my headache in solving for "x" in my path of journalism. 

4. The Art Of Negotiating A Raise

So after college, you landed the job of your dreams or at least a stable gig to keep the bills paid.  Now, it's nearing the time to go out on a ledge and ask for that raise you've been awaiting or too fearful to approach. If only there was a college course on the art of demanding higher salaries, we'd all be better off.
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6. Professional Emailing

You may have had a playful relationship with your professors, where addressing them in nicknames and starting a sentence with "hey" could be pulled off, but at this stage in your professional career, you should be well aware that all initial emails consists of "Dear Mr. So and So," "Good Afternoon" or "Hi." Learning proper email etiquette will better equip you for those entry level or executive positions.
  career woman 3

7. Outside of Select Professions, You'll Never Send A Transcript

Earlier last month, I conducted a short survey amongst friends and random stranger within different career fields-- law, engineering, entertainment, publishing, sales, marketing and PR. Of a selection of over 50 individuals, only 8 were requested a transcript from an employer in their field. No surprise that those 8 were in law and engineering. Doesn't it seem like your transcript is just a friendly reminder that you paid a fortune for college, rather than a necessity to landing a great job?
  Woman Computer Studying

7. The Ins And Outs of Finances

Where were the college courses on how to budget and manage your bank account? Or how to hold yourself financially responsible for spending money on restaurants? Or designer bags you can't afford?

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8. How To Effectively Pay Back Your Student Loans With Low Paying Jobs

There are the handful of students who immediately jump into the workforce with six figure positions amongst a reputable corporation. The other handful are forced to fend for themselves in low paying entry level jobs and paying back those student loans they're expected to immediately afford. Now that we're inducted into this real world, were was the heads up course that life responsibilities would slap you in the face as soon as you sign off and sign out?
 Black Woman sad

10. Your First Three Years Post College Will Suck

Despite all of your preparation for venturing out into the world, we're still on our journey. Our twenties tend to be a pertinent time for soul searching, making it make sense, and landing on our feet. Unfortunately, our degrees didn't come accompanied with a cheat sheet to life and a black card. Worries of when to move out, how to afford rent and awaiting the day your parents will cut you off completely in all financial capacities are just a few of the hiccups to the post grad struggle. Understand that these are the years to find answers, so don't overlook this period or discouraged because life may suck for awhile. 

Tyra Banks graduates from Harvard Business School

11. GPA's Don't Equate To Higher Pay

Remember all of the time, effort and pride dedicated towards late night studying, and formulating weekly final groups to maintain the perfect 4.0? In most careers, life doesn't always acknowledge your past achievements and I'm sure you've witnessed the little to absolutely zero effect it has on your pay grade.

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Vivica A. Fox Explains Past Hesitance Behind 'Two Can Play That Game' Script

In a new interview with Essence, actress Vivica A. Fox discussed how she initially turned down her role in Two Can Play That Game based on the script. The established entertainer said it's her mission to ensure that black people are positively portrayed onscreen, and noticed the aforementioned film's prose didn't live up to those standards.

"I think the reason why—no I know the reason why—I've been doing this for such a long time is that I fight," Fox said. "When we did Two Can Play That Game, I fought for the way we talked, walked, the way we loved each other." The Set It Off actress continued to state that she consistently declined Two Can Play That Game before signing on to play the lead role. "Because the script, when I first got it, I turned it down three times because it just wasn't a good representation of African-Americans, so I fought them on everything," she noted. "I want to make sure that the images of African-Americans are as positive and as true as they can possibly be."

In 2001, the romantic comedy debuted to fanfare, boasting an all-star cast of Morris Chestnut, Mo'Nique, Anthony Anderson, Bobby Brown, Gabrielle Union, Wendy Raquel Robinson, and more. Directed by Mark Brown (Barbershop, Iverson, How To Be A Player), Fox plays a career driven person named Shante Smith who navigates a curveball when her boyfriend Keith Fenton (Chestnut) cheats on her with a co-worker.

After its release, Two Can Play That Game raked in over $22 million at the box office.

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Actress Gabrielle Union attends the Being Mary Jane premiere, screening, and party on January 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET)
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BET To Unveil Edible Billboard For 'Being Mary Jane' Wedding Finale

As Being Mary Jane comes to an end, BET is willing to offer fans a taste of what's to come in the series finale.

The network has enlisted the help of Ayesha Curry, celebrity cook and cookbook author, to create an edible billboard that also doubles as a wedding cake. The sweet treat will commemorate Mary Jane's (played by Gabrielle Union) nuptials in the two-hour series finale.

On April 20 from 1:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. at Brooklyn's Atlantic Terminal in New York, fans will be presented with the edible billboard. At the intersection of Ashland Place and Hanson Place, the closer Being Mary Jane enthusiasts get to the billboard the quicker they'll notice that the four-tiered wedding cake is created from individual boxes, each containing a slice of Curry's prized wedding cake.

All fans have to do is pull a box from the billboard, snap a picture for the 'Gram, take a bite and enjoy. Although lovers of the show won't be able to celebrate with Mary Jane herself, biting into a slice of her wedding cake, for free, is the next best thing.

Don't forget to tune into the series finale of Being Mary Jane on Tues. (April 23) at 8/7 c.

Also, check out what's to come on the series of Being Mary Jane below.

Save the date! 👰🏾It'll be worth the wait. Join us for the series finale of #BeingMaryJane TUES APR 23 8/7c only on @BET!

— #BeingMaryJane (@beingmaryjane) March 29, 2019

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The North Face

Ella Mai On The North Face's 'Explore Mode' Campaign, New Music And Living In The Moment

Ella Mai is in her own age of exploration. Her eponymous debut album scored her a platinum plaque with her breakout hit, "Boo'd Up" earning her a Grammy for Best R&B Song. But the accolades aren't driving her creative path. The arc in her compass is all about the places she's traveled, the people she's met and the lessons learned along the way.

"To be honest, personally, exploration is like growth. I feel like if you don't explore new things, whether it's going outside, meeting people or trying new food, you won't ever grow because you're just stuck in your little comfort zone which can be super scary to come out of," she tells VIBE at The North Face's Explore Mode event in New York on Monday (April 15). The singer is one of three women (including model-activist Gabrielle Richardson and chef Angela Dimayuga) who teamed up with the brand to share a message of enjoying the outside world without digital confinement and the global initiative to make Earth Day a national holiday.

The London native's urge to explore came in handy over the weekend when she performed in the brisk desert of Coachella. Inspired by artists like Rihanna and Ms. Lauryn Hill, Mai helped fans enjoy the hazy sunset as she performed hits like "Trip" and her latest No. 1 song, "Shot Clock."

"It's such a good feeling, especially when it comes to radio," she shared about her track reaching No. 1 on the airplay chart. "I wasn't even sure if people listened to the radio because people have so much access to streaming platforms, but obviously having all three of my singles from my debut album, go number one on urban radio is incredible."

That energy was brought to the Coachella stage with the festival being her biggest artistic exploration so far.

"My favorite part of the performance would have to be when I performed "Naked" and because it was dark, and I performed when the sun went down, I couldn't see how far the crowd actually went back. But during "Naked," it was such an intimate moment I asked everyone to put their lights up (phones) and when I saw how far it went back I was like, "Woah." That moment sealed it for me."

"Even there were two people in the audience, I still would've done my best," she added. "But just to see the crowd be so engaged, even if they didn't know the music, was a really good feeling. I had so much fun."

As the festival energy in Indio, Calif. continued to thrive, another rested on the streets of Los Angeles following the loss of Nipsey Hussle. With the singer having ties to those close to the rapper like DJ Mustard, she says the shift in the city was hard to ignore.

"As weird as it sounds, you felt it," she said. "Even in the weather, it was super hot and then everyone got the news and it started raining. Just a weird energy shift." As a new L.A. resident, the singer says Nipsey's influence cannot be denied.

"I feel like the energy shift went both ways; everyone was really sad, grieving and mourning but everyone feels more inspired by what he was doing that they want to go out and do something and change in their community. It's still a very touchy subject in L.A., especially the people that I'm around since they were very close to him. I think everyone is super inspired to do better and try to be more like him, which is great to see. YG's whole set at Coachella was dedicated to him, I know Khalid had a dedication to Mac Miller. Everyone is super aware of what Nipsey was trying to do and how he wanted to change the world."

Engaging in The North Face's mission to explore seemed to be in the cards for Mai. Like many of us, Mai was familiar with the brand's effective coolness factor. "I remember running home and telling my mom that I needed a Jester Backpack because my cousin had one as well, and it's similar to the other stories, I wanted to be like my older cousin (laughs) so my mom ended up getting me one." But there's also the incentive to showcase the importance of stepping away from the phone screens and into leafy green forests.

"I'm such a live-in-the-moment person," she says of her lack of identity on social media. While she might share a thought or two on social media, Mai is interested in appreciating the world around her. "I feel like everyone is so consumed about documenting the day, you don't really get to live the day. You just watch it back but I like to have the memories in my head. Of course, sometimes, I'll take out my phone but I try to live in the moment as much as possible."

Part of that mission is ensuring Earth Day is celebrated the right way. With the support of Mai, Richardson, and Dimayuga, The North Face officially launched a petition to make Earth Day a national holiday.

“The North Face is no stranger to exploration and this Earth Day we are proud to join our partners and fellow explorers in a global effort to make Earth Day a national holiday,” said Global General Manager of Lifestyle at The North Face, Tim Bantle. “We believe that when people take time to appreciate the Earth, they feel more connected to it and are more likely to protect it. Explore Mode urges us to unplug from our digital lives to connect in real life to the world, each other, and ourselves in the effort to move the world forward.”

Mai hasn't hit her all of her exploration goals just yet. "I really want to go to Indonesia or Bali," she said. "That's one of my Bucket List places I really, really, really wanna go." For her essentials, the singer knows she has to bring along a windbreaker set and of course, a jester backpack. "I think the backpack is the most important thing."

In addition to a few trips around the globe, one destination includes the studio for new music. While she hasn't had time to lock down a moment to record, the inspiration is sizzling.

"When I work in the studio, I like to be like there for a good amount of time," she explains. "I like to block off two to three weeks at a time, I don't like to go to different studios and different places, it's just a comfort thing but I'm very excited to get back cause I have a lot of talk about. I've seen so many different places and met so many new people and a lot that I didn't get to experience last year."

Learn more about The North Face's petition for Earth Day here.

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