20. Hearing some white person argue that saying the n-word is no big deal because they love Kanye, Kendrick, Nicki, and rap culture.
19. Seeing your friends who go to an HBCU and thinking of what could’ve been.
18. Inviting your friends to a function only for them to back out once they find out it's mostly for POC.
17. When you have to constantly hear the struggles of white gay men compare their struggles to your struggles as a woman of color.
16. When your white friend tells you about this new “natural product” being sold at Urban for $15 only to realize it’s the same natural hair product you’ve been using your entire life that costs $4 at the corner beauty supply store.
15. The look of shock your roommate and professors have when your name doesn’t match their stereotype of your race.
14. Having to say “No, I cannot twerk/no, I will not teach you/no, I don’t want to see you wall twerk.”
13. Wearing your hair natural for the first time and not having your peers recognize you.
12. Realizing your minority community is small enough that you can all have one group message.
11. When you have to explain what “trap” means and later on, most of Nicki Minaj and Fetty Wap’s discography too.
10. Having people ask you what your parents do (so that you could afford to go here).
9. Seeing a symbol of your culture or religion used as a fashion statement or piece of decoration for your peers.
8. When people are constantly (and rightfully) correcting the preferred pronouns of trans celebs but for some reason, you have to debate why non-Black people can’t say the n-word.
7. When you’re turning up at a mostly white party and you hear the whole room yell the n-word to “Gold Digger” and “Alright.”
6. When you’re in a race studies class talking about your people and everyone avoids eye contact with you or your professor keeps asking what you think of the topic.
5. Having such a small community of WOC that your white peers and teachers mistake you for three other people because you have similar skin tones/hair.
4. Having to create your own platforms to get experience in your major because the school doesn’t provide them for students of color.
3. Having people ask you "Where are you from?" "What are you?" “Do you speak______?”
2. Having a classmate say your protest in the Dining Hall was “inconvenient” for them because they couldn’t get to the pizza.
1. When you start comparing what is worth more: your identity as a POC or the value of your education and future.
Taylor Carlington is a sophomore at Emerson College from Georgia.