Conquering the captivity of your comfort zone

Zipporah Baldwin | Staff Writer

Whether it’s shooting your shot, performing at an open mic night or just contributing to a class discussion, each day, we are faced with new opportunities to step out of our comfort zones.

However, we often refuse to follow through, simply due to fear. It is time to change things up and become free from unproductive, self-imposed limitations, if considering new positive opportunities will contribute to our growth.

Hampton students have experienced success when they stepped out of their comfort zone. Take, for example, graduating senior Mion Edwards.

“I found a deeper part of myself by having the courage to go for opportunities that would enhance me,” Edwards said. “I found that the only way to truly grow was to explore things that I’ve never done.”

Fellow graduating senior Da’Quan Jones agreed.

“Stepping out of my comfort zone has allowed me to meet numerous individuals that I probably would not have met otherwise,” Jones said. “It has also developed my social skills, so I feel like I can communicate with anyone because I have interacted with people from all over.”

With a shift in perspective, a motivation for self-elevation and undeniable courage, march toward victory as you claim success, hurdling each obstacle of fear. You can start today.

Are you addicted?

Zipporah Baldwin | Staff Writer

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Shutterstock.com

Do you find yourself binge drinking the pain away or sparking up to forget it all? This article may be for you.

Addiction is something that a great deal of us, at one point or another, may experience throughout our lives. Whether a battle with drugs, a dependency on alcohol or even an obsession with social media, many have experienced – or witnessed a loved one experience –

the detrimental effects of addiction. As we grow consumed in our poor habits, we forget how we are impacting our families, our friends and even ourselves.

Despite the temporary relief found in addiction, according to American Addiction Centers, “individuals before their mid-20s have the potential to increase addiction later on in life due to the lack of development of the brain.” Gain control now, while you still can.

In elementary school, we were taught to ask the Five W’s, “who, what, when, where, and why,” to see the bigger picture of a story. Let’s see the bigger picture of our own stories:

Who are you becoming on this path that you are on?

If this dependency is restricting your opportunities, determine for yourself if it is really worth it.

What is your stronghold?

Whether daily dependence on weed, steady binge eating or indulgent overuse of the internet, evaluate what consumes you in an unhealthy manner on a consistent basis.

When will you move forward?

Determine what it will take for you to turn away from these habits and put a plan in place to follow through.

Where are these addictions fed?

Does your environment contribute the continuation of your addiction? We tend to shy away from severing relationships, even if they are toxic, typically due to the length or history of the relationship, alongside the fear of being alone. But if the people who you call friends are only feeding the fire, consider taking at least a temporary break. Be sure to reinforce your support group with people who have your best interest at heart during recovery.

Why are you dependent on this addiction?

If you are using to cope, what are the things that you are covering up with these habits? Is it emotional pain? Is it a lack of interest? Is it self-hatred? Whatever that cause may be, it may be time to address the problem head on, instead of using your dependency as a coping strategy.

How will you plan to overcome? Seek a medical health care professional if necessary.

Whether on campus in the counseling center or off campus with a specialized practice, get the additional tools that you need to conquer your addiction and maintain victory over it.

Black Panther and A Wrinkle in Time: Dominating the box office

Naomi Ludlow | Arts & Entertainment Editor

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marvel.com

 Black Panther and A Wrinkle in Time have taken over the box office.

Black Panther has been the No. 1 movie in the world for five consecutive weeks, and A Wrinkle in Time has been trailing right behind it since its opening weekend.

Both movies had African American directors and were provided with substantial budgets of at least $100 million. Ava DuVernay, the director for A Wrinkle in Time, is the first female African American director to ever hold this high of a position in a big-name studio.

In just five weeks of being in theaters, Black Panther surpassed the $1 billion mark worldwide. In every country that it has been released, the film has done exceedingly well, as if it were in the states.

The director behind this magic is Ryan Coogler, who previously directed the movies Fruitvale Station and Creed.

His work in these two movies has led to the more creative and distinctive side of his career.

A Wrinkle in Time, on the other hand, had a diverse cast starring Storm Reid, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and many others.

The movie derived from the book by Madeleine L’Engle and sought to attract families with children between ages 8 and 14. However, following the weekend opening, A Wrinkle in Time wasn’t so successful.

Winfrey and the other stars heavily promoted the movie, with the timing for the release being around spring break. Although the results weren’t exactly as expected, the movie still ranked high with a No. 2 spot in the box office.

The movie is expected to do even better in Australia, Brazil, Mexico and Britain.

The value of Black Panther goes beyond dollar figures.

A tweet about Black Panther said, “[The film had the] most Black people, as dark as me, on screen that I’ve ever seen that wasn’t a comedy or period piece about slavery.”

It is important, especially for younger generations, to have positive representations of African Americans in movies for inspiration. From the directors to the cast, it is imperative to portray positive depictions of the black community.

 

“Who am I and where am I going?” Defeating identity crises

Zipporah Baldwin | Staff Writer

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Micah McNair | Leenika Belfield-Martin

“Who am I?” and “Where am I going?” are questions that we, college students, ask ourselves on a regular basis.

The discovery of personal purpose is an everyday task, both rewarding and challenging, as we uncover our greatest passions along with our deepest fears.

Whether we’re drowning ourselves in procrastination or obsessing our priorities, we tend to direct our focus everywhere else but to ourselves. Often times, we end up so busy with others, that we forfeit taking the time to get to know ourselves.

According to the American Psychology Association, “The concept of identity is made up of two parts – self-concept and self-esteem.”

In other words, your identity includes your beliefs about yourself and how you feel about those beliefs of yourself.

The self-discovery journey can be a tedious one, but there are steps to help you reach that destination.

Consider your…

POSITIVITY – Are you optimistic about your future and your existence right now in the present? Positivity will be a major fuel behind your success. This includes: positive attitudes, positive beliefs, positive energy, positive thoughts and positive words.         Do away with self-defeating behavior and remember that your quality traits outweigh any and every shortcoming that you see within yourself.

PASSIONS – What are you passionate about? Your passions can typically give you hints to where your purpose lies.

PURSUIT – Are you in pursuit of what you want to get out of life? Maintaining a healthy balance by avoiding idleness and avoiding overexertion is a major key for success.

PERSISTENCE – Are you consistently going after what you want to gain out of life? Destroy self-doubt and fear of the unknown. Be persistent in order to maintain your well-being along your journey.

PERSONAL GROWTH – Are you at peace with who you are becoming? Keep an eye out for signs of your personal growth to guarantee positive, forward-moving productivity, instead of stagnation or decline.

Continue to plant good seed in your purpose, on purpose, so that you may bear a plentiful harvest in due time.

Certainly, the process of self-discovery is not immediate, but it is undoubtedly worthwhile.

“The best part of my self-discovery journey has been finding peace,” senior Desiree Jones said. “The main portion of my peace is realizing who deserves my time and who doesn’t.”

Sophomore Brooke Arrington affirmed, “The best part of my self-discovery journey [has been] the people that I’ve met along the way. They have inspired me to strive to be the best version of myself that I can be.”

The struggle is real for black men who deal with mental health issues

Zipporah Baldwin | Staff Writer

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Courtesy of Zipporah Baldwin

Mental health issues have attempted to snatch the crowns from the heads of black kings, especially through the struggles that only men of color face. Mental health and the black community are rarely associated with one another, but the time is now to address the elephant in the room.

“Mental health issues amongst black men are widespread and highly overlooked,” freshman Bryce McCain said.

Whether it is a past, present or future battle with overthinking, social anxiety, insecurity, self-rejection or depression, alongside other common concerns, take this as a reminder that you are not alone.

According to the Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, “African Americans are 20 percent more likely to experience serious mental health problems than the general population.” This is due to discrimination, racial disparities and more.

“A lot of mental health issues that black men deal with come from discrimination,” said Andre Ray, a sophomore cybersecurity major. “The way that society has treated black men has had a traumatic impact on the way that black men think.”

Tradition says that women are the only individuals who harbor passionate emotion or show any sign of sensitivity. Despite what black social norms tell us, a man is not suddenly a woman simply because he makes the decision to address and resolve his own mental and emotional health matters.

Regarding the correlation between black men and mental health awareness, sophomore Steven Williams said, “There is none. The black man is misunderstood, especially in terms of communication. There needs to be more black representation in the mental health care industry.”

Remember these 3 B’s:

  1. Be YOU!

Why would you ever want to be anything other than the beautiful black king that you are? You are enough.

Others do not define joy for a black man – not family, not friends nor foes. So, cultivate the environment in which you desire to thrive.

 

  1. Be a conqueror.

Recognize the problem by educating yourself on what it means to be mentally, emotionally and spiritually healthy. The resources are readily available to you; it is up to you to increase your awareness on how to identify, prevent and solve the issues.

Address the problem by doing what you can within your power to improve your situation. A powerful method is replacing all negative thoughts concerning yourself with positive self-affirmations. Your words contain power.

Consider embracing a confidant. Whether it’s your mother, sister, a counselor, a mentor or even a trusted professor – consider talking with someone that you trust. Never feel ashamed to seek a specialized health care professional who can provide you with the necessary assistance to move forward.

 

  1. Be a brother.

Once you have secured your black boy joy, consider sharing it with a fellow king. Sometimes, we are unaware of what goes on behind closed doors. Offer a word of encouragement today. A few kind words have the power to positively impact the course of an entire day.

It is OK to feel, it is OK to seek help and it is OK to not be OK, as long as you work toward bettering your circumstances.