My 1 year experience in my PhD program at Indiana University was riddled with peculiar reflections on the fact that I wasn’t white. I dond’t think I was ever so starkly aware of it in my entire life. The same goes for my interview at UGA. Sure, I had white teachers. My high school had a decent representation of people of multiple ethnicities. Still… I’ve always lived in predominantly black environments and metropolitan areas. UGA would have been and IU definitely was my first experience living in a small, predominantly white, college town. A fish out of water. Culture shock for sure. Despite black grad and undergrad student organizations, culturally I had never felt so alone and malnourished. I never realized all the things I needed to feel comfortable until all those things were lacking. To have a better chance in that situation I would have needed to seek out this community and be hellbent on inbedding myself into it. But I didn’t know to take it that serious. I didn't know how much preparation I needed.
There’s so much to say about it that I think I still haven't identified and could possibly say here. Point is, white controlled and dominated spaces are not only hard to access but hard to exist in. It, I think, has a certain detrimental impact on the psyche, especialy if you aren’t prepped and ready. If you have’t put in the necessary factors to refuel yourself. Yes there were other colored folks in grad school, but I was still overtaken by the void that is whiteness.