Living abroad makes you appreciate home for a number of reasons. For one, your family and friends are at home, and you’re probably gonna miss them, a little bit at least. You’re used to the social and cultural norms at home [I will never get used to driving on the other side, or compulsory tipping]. But on top of all this, I think it’s quite different when you’re already from an ethnic minority in your home country, and then you go somewhere else. The question ‘where are you from?’ becomes a lot longer than it already was, and you see that your double or even triple identity is not that easy to explain. Overall, I’ve realised that my unique position as being Nigerian, Black and British is much more understood at home.
Third year. It’s the year in which… let’s just say, it gets real. Although I’m currently on a year abroad (so I’m on my third of four years), I’m feeling the pain and pressure of all my friends who are going through it, at home. The pain of essays and deadlines, the pressure to find a job/grad scheme or master’s degree. Issa lot. But another thing I’ve clocked, about myself and my friends, is that education… is just tiring. We’re tired. Finished. Dun out.
My problem isn’t ‘education’ itself. I love learning new ideas and new concepts, and educating myself further on the topics that I take interest in. What I have a problem with is the system of education. Whilst university differs from country to country, the idea of coming in, being spoken at for an hour or two, and repeating this every year until graduation is something that we see everywhere. And at this point, it doesn’t really work for me.
Change can be difficult. Whether you’re at uni for the first time, or you’re living abroad, like me, it doesn’t always come easy. You’re away from your loved ones, you’re out of your comfort zone and you don’t know exactly how to function on your own. But it definitely puts things into perspective. At least that’s how I see things.
However; this isn’t a blog post about my year abroad, it’s more to do with some of the emotions I’ve suppressed for so long, but finally had to freedom to acknowledge since I’ve been away.
It’s been four months since I posted my last blog. Disgraceful right? I know, I know. I can’t lie, life has been a complete rollercoaster between the end of my second year at university, and now. There have been so many trials and tribulations, and highs and lows, but anyway, I’m alive!
The relationship between Hip Hop and R&B. The two cultures have crossed over so much that often times, they’re indistinguishable, which is why we often have R&B/Hip Hop listed together as one category. In 1998, we had rappers guest starting on hit R&B records and R&B singers singing the hooks on Rap hits. In 2018, we have rappers singing their own hooks, and singers basically rapping on their verses. And even with artists who are more explicitly one or the other, they’re likely to have worked with, artists from the other. Though R&B is unfortunately, not nearly as commercially successful as it was say twenty years ago, the relationship is still there. With R&B artists like Teyana Taylor being signed to Rap labels, such as GOOD Music, there clearly still is a place for R&B artists in today’s urban scene, but are these artists being handled properly, and are their projects being treated with the same urgency as their labelmates? I don’t think so.
“UNITY, love a Black woman from infinity to infinity… UNITY, love a Black man from infinity to infinity” – Queen Latifah, 1993
“I think it’s time to kill for our women, time to heal our women, be real to our women.” – Tupac, 1993
“Said I’d never understand the plight of a Black man… right, but I’m tryna keep you in my life.” – Foxy Brown, 1996
These are all examples of lyrics that depict some of the conversations that we as Black people have, in relation to gender. It’s interesting that 22-25 years later, whether in the US or UK, not much has seemed to have changed.
At this point, it seems like no one is willing to listen or learn anything. It’s all about shouting the opposing opinion down and scoring points for your side. To be honest, all of that is dead. But as much of a frustrating topic it is, it’s something we need to talk about.
“We’re gonna make it, that’s for sure. If you’re stressed then let it goooo.”
A Tribe Called Quest, 1996
Stress. I can relate. You can relate. We all can. Especially now that Exam SZN is upon us.
I don’t think I realised how stressed I was until my sister told me I was getting stress spots. You might laugh but I took this VERY seriously, especially since I’m trying to join #SkincareTwitter.
But on a serious note, a lot has been going on with me; from uni, to applications, to family stuff. Some good, some not-so-good, but everything has resulted in this overwhelming feeling, which can be positive at times, like when I feel on job, and I’m doing bits. It can also stress me tf outtt! And basically make me shut down. As of right now, I don’t exactly feel like I am terribly stressed out. But what I can say, is that guys, I am tired!
I was toying around with a couple of ideas on what to write about for this blog post, but I thought what would be most fitting is ‘sacrifices’, since tomorrow’s Easter, and alla dat.
Sacrifice is a big thing in Christianity, and in other religions, like Islam. During our religious periods of Lent, Ramadan, etc, we sacrifice some of our favourite things, from sweets, to sex. We even give up our necessities, like food and water, and take to repenting, studying religious texts, and being more prayerful, during these times. But how much of that is done with actual conviction?
Networking, networking, networking. It’s a buzz word that we often see thrown around, everywhere, from uni, to extra curricular, to the TL. ESPECIALLY, the TL. But what does it really mean?
Networking is defined as ‘’interact[ing] with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts.’’
Realistically, networking is something that we all do, regularly, without even knowing. We all have networks, consisting of our family, friends, acquaintances. But of course, it differs in the professional context.