the millennial struggle. pros and cons of attending a PWI.

millennial

PWI: Predominantly White Institution

Synonyms: America

Antonyms: HBCU

Let me start off by saying, I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at the PWI I attended (University of Nebraska-Lincoln…#GBR), but I always wondered what it would’ve been like to experience college where everyone looked like me and talked like me, and danced…not like me; I can’t dance.

But the point of this blog post was to give some insight on the pros and cons I discovered from attending a PWI so here we go…

As a pro, it was actually very beneficial to attend a college where everybody didn’t look like me as that prepared me for the real world outside of heavily african-american populated areas like say, Atlanta for example. And what I learned pretty quickly was that even though a person may be from a rural, unincorporated town in Nebraska (yes, literally), you might actually have something in common with them.

You’ll at least be able to hold a conversation with them which is more than people assume.

And not to put any pressure on you, but you may literally be the first black person they’ve ever come into actual contact with. If its a pleasant experience, they’ll probably love black people forever.

You go girl/boy; breaking those racial barriers and shiz.

Now going back to that, as a con, since I was usually the one drop of coffee in the cup of milk (had to use the metaphor backwards lol), they expected me to represent the black community.

Yes, the whole thing.

From slavery, to modern day rap culture.

I was the expert.

Which mostly worked in my favor considering I could say what I want and have it taken verbatim.

But can you imagine the pressure of the slavery chat?

#awkward.

A pro and a con though is the fact that you are a standout no matter where you go. If you’re in the bookstore and feel like someone is following you around like you’re really there to steal pencils or something stupid like that, then clearly a con. But when you’re in a room full of your peers and you’re the only one that looks like you, the professor will never forget your name which means when its time to apply for an extension on that final project, guess who gets the hook-up?

That’s right.

Your lucky self.

One of the biggest pros of attending a PWI was that I wasn’t the only black person (or person of color period) on this earth to make that decision. There was a group of us, “somehow” housed in the same dorm… within a few floors of each other as freshman. That automatically turned us into a community. I’m talking black gym partners, black co-ed intramural sports teams, black study groups, etc. It was like having our own little HBCU… except when it was time to actually go to class, or to the gym, or to the rec game.

Then it’s back to white.

But again, not every white person is a flaming racist and not every white person is educated on black culture, so instead of being offended, you get the opportunity to teach them, like “Hey, don’t touch my hair.” or “No, I’m not getting my hair wet in the pool.” or “No, I actually suck at sports and can’t rap to save my life. I’m a normal, untalented human being like you.

LOL I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist. 

Ha, that was funny.

Okay, let me keep going…

Actually, this is already a lot longer than I intended it to be so I’m gonna stop right here. But feel free to leave your own pros and cons in the comments!

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3 thoughts on “the millennial struggle. pros and cons of attending a PWI.

  1. I guess “America” could be a synonym for PWI depending on how you look at it, I guess. While going to an HBCU allowed me to be able to be around black people on a daily basis, it still helped open my eyes to the experiences of my peers of color across America. A black girl from Nebraska and a black girl from D.C. in the same room…Jesus be a fence. I can relate to being one chocolate drop in a pool of clear people. Going to an HBCU doesn’t keep you from this experience, you just don’t experience it in class or on the yard. Everyone doesn’t talk the same, as the slang does vary regionally. (overall, I know what you mean.) The “real world” is relative. Working or being around a whole bunch of white people around doesn’t necessarily mean that’s it.

    ***One more thing that should be on your pro list is not having *gasp* other black people who attend or attended PWI’s think less of you or your education because you went to an HBCU.

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    • Though America is becoming more diversified overall and is definitely diverse in some areas more than others, its still majority white. Not that there’s anything wrong with that but…it is what it is. lol. I love how you mentioned being exposed to the variety amongst our race and that you were able to experience that but being black on a white campus, black is black…period. There is no variation in their eyes. Being black in America, unless you live in an area that is highly concentrated with our race, being around a lot of white people becomes the real world. But I’m assuming that’s where the “relativity” is coming from. Ahh the old HBCU vs. PWI debate lol…can we just be happy that people of color are getting degrees, period?! lol I appreciate your comment though, Dominique!

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      • Yeah, I get it. That is what I meant by “relative.” I hate that debate. I’ve developed a strong side eye because of it. Lol.

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