Office of Student Life

Counseling and Consultation Service

Success for Male Students of African Descent

Recognize When You Need Academic Help

One of the most telling differences between successful and unsuccessful students is that successful students identify early if they are in academic trouble and are willing to ask for help. 

WARNING SIGNS that you need help:

  • Decreased interest and motivation for a class or classes.
  • Sleeping through or otherwise failing to attend a class or classes.
  • Scores below class average on quizzes and assignments.
  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Increased use of distractions. Internet, TV, video games, partying, or hanging out.
  • A sense of confusion or falling behind during lectures and discussions.
  • Decreased self-esteem or loss of faith in one’s ability and intellect.

Establish a Positive African Centered Identity

As you contemplate your own racial identity, as well as that of those that you encounter, finding a framework that fits you may prove beneficial.

  • Learn about identity development.
  • Find a mentor.
  • Attend events on campus which are targeted for persons of color.
  • Engage in critical dialogues.
  • Consider a course in African American Studies. (AAAS)
  • Consider the ways in which your family and friends have shaped your views about being African American.
  • Stay abreast and look critically at media images, including television, music and print.
  • Acknowledge both overt and covert racism on campus. 

Manage Negative Emotions and Unproductive Behaviors

From time to time the pressures of college may become overwhelming. A loss of a loved one, a difficult relationship, financial problems, balancing work/school or other stressful life circumstances can sometimes result in increased stress and/or depression. For many men, it may be difficult to acknowledge these feelings and ask for help. Often such feelings are dealt with by using alcohol or drugs, throwing self into school work or overeating. Knowing where to get counseling services can help.

Develop Mature Interpersonal Relationships

Nurturing relationships requires that you devote time and energy to getting to know those who are new to you (e.g., roommates, hall mates, professors, advisor, etc.). It also involves maintaining existing connections with those who have supported you in the past (e.g., nuclear and extended family, friends from home, spiritual leaders, etc.). 

Create a Campus Resource Network

When you tie yourself into any of the following network of individuals they will help you personalize your college experience and turn offices into individuals who are committed to your success at college.

Office of Diversity and Inclusion Research and Grants

Prepare for Collegiate Life at Ohio State

Early Arrival - Find out about the Early Arrival Program

Ongoing Involvement - Attend the Student Life Multicultural Center's Family Affair and Reunion

Giving Back - Plan for success and get involved with a relevant student org like Band of Brothers and Leadership Institute.

Financing Your Education

A variety of financial help is very likely available to you in the form of scholarships, grants, loans and part-time employment. Part of being a successful college student is learning how to capitalize on these sources of financial support.


Prepare for Academic and Career Success at Ohio State

Develop good study habits

  • Recognize that college will be more challenging than high school.
  • Minimize distractions. Sit near the front of the class.
  • Ask questions when you don’t understand.
  • Study in a quiet place and always study in that same place.
  • Attend office hours, learning labs and reviews when available/offered.