I attend a PWI, The University of Tennessee to be exact. For those who don't know PWI stands for Predominately White Institute. I see some things that I never thought I would see in my entire life. Here is a list of some things that only fellow Black students understand if you attend a PWI. Listen, this is just a little light-hearted fun about common experiences for Black students. Please don't take any offense.
That Initial Moment When You Told Your Parents You Weren't Going to an HBCU (Historically Black College/University)
What you mean you not goin' to TSU? If you now attend a PWI, you may have experienced that moment when you told your parents you weren't going to their alma mater or an HBCU. Your parents, aunties, and uncles probably all shot you a rather nasty look and shook their heads at the Christmas table, I know mine did.
Going to Visit and Realizing Your Family the ONLY Black Family in the Group
It's... just... us? I don't think how many times my mother and father made this exact face while walking around Rocky Top. My parents were not ready for that first visit.
Attending the First Day of Lecture and Trying to Find Another Black Student
So it's.... eight of us... cool. That awful moment when you walk into a huge lecture hall of about 200 kids deep and trying to spot another Black student to sit next to because.... we gotta stick together.
That Joyous Moment When You Find Another Black Student to Sit With
Aye, lemme get your number! When you finally find another Black student and y'all become the best of friends only in that class.
Going to a Dining Hall and realize there's NO SEASONING
WHO DID THIS?! Let me tell y'all something. The first time I ate at a dining hall, I took a bite of that food and nearly died! Where was the seasoning? Why did the green beans taste like water? Who authorized this???
When the Debate on Race Gets Heated and You Start Dragging Other Students
What you're not about to do is sit here and lie during this debate. "I'm not saying you can't have an opinion, I'm just saying your opinion is wrong and your argument is trash."
Not Being Able to Miss Class Because It's Only Three Black Kids and Someone Will Notice
I can't miss because the professor will know I'm gone but also I don't care. It's difficult when you can count all the Black kids on one hand because if one person missing, we all gone know.
When Somebody Says Something Wildly Racist in Class in the Middle of a Debate
Whoa whoa whoa, run that back! What you mean the wall is a good idea? What you mean Black Lives Matter is a terrorist group? What you mean?!?
Trying to Understand the Concept of Rushing, Date Parties, Darties, etc.
No but seriously I don't get it.
No, but seriously I don't get it. Why y'all gotta wear costumes on a Wednesday to go party in The Fort? Why y'all doing shots on a Thursday? Are you gonna be able to come to class?
Finding Out Another Black Student has Graduated, Received a Job, Internship, etc
We so proud of you, fam.
We so proud of you, fam. Listen, every year when people graduate from UT, I shed a few tears because a.) those are my friends and b.) they survived. They made it through and now they're out there in the world being successful Black doctors, lawyers, teachers, etc.