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    alake2
    alake2
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    Am I happy at my PWI? how should I put this… No.
    Okay, let’s get some background for this. I was a senior in high school when this decision was cast upon me. I applied to QuestBridge and after surviving the first round and making it to college match, I was faced with three choices: Continue Posse, Apply for College Match, or Apply for The Chick Evans. For those who don’t know what those are, Posse is a selective schools support group. You go to a certain school with other friends that you meet from your state going there too. College match is a match between you and an elite institution that Quest Bridge is partners with. The Chick Evans is a Caddie Scholarship that you interview to receive to a school of your choice from their list of partner schools. I decided that I was going to turn down Posse to continue to apply for Questbridge. Maybe this was one of the best decisions or the worse decisions, depends on how you look at it. Another choice was turning down Chick Evans and going to U of I to come to the University of Chicago. Here I struggle academically, mentally, and emotionally. I have been and seen quite a few ups and downs during my first year here. Many days and nights I questioned my decision to even come here, some nights going as far as to ask myself why I decided college was even a thing for me. There were breakdowns, tears, fits, depression, and more constantly crashing like waves in my mind and in my life throughout my first year. These thoughts are heavy and painful to carry around each and every day. They create a world of stress that only you understand completely no matter who you talk to or who has been in your shoes before. No one will understand the uniqueness of your situation but you. Not family, friends, peers, co-workers, or even a support group full of people with like-minded situations. The Stress that you then endure as a result of being a minority (in the more general sense) can also weigh heavy on the mind. The ins and outs of days of seeing how you or someone around you suffer from the micro and macro aggressions that are sent through the world and listening to the ignorance that may circulate throughout your campus. The taxing effort to find a space where someone does either A.) Say some reckless Sh** B.) Try to invade and seize the space for their own personal gain or self-focus or C.) take away the funds, rooms, or create some form of systematic attack on the space you feel comfortable in.
    I say all this to say I may not be happy but I’m determined. I’m happy for those who support me and those I support around me. I’m happy for the family I have at home, here on campus, and throughout the country as other minority and non-minority college students. I’m happy for some of the experiences I got to have through some of the opportunities I took during my short time here. I’m blessed with the network of people I have created to prosper and show the world what I and other are capable of doing and becoming. If you find yourself like me, unhappy with your PWI, don’t settle for less and convince yourself that you are just to feel better. Be unhappy but be determined to change it. become the change on campus you want and ignite that change in everyone you come across. Find outlets to speak against the damages and faults that the PWI you attend has brought into your life. You are responsible for yourself and with that responsibility to command the moment when you find yourself or your identity threatened by your PWI. Challenge back. You are this far why decide it is the farthest you can get so early?

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