1 out of 6
Okay, please gather around the tree; we’re just missing one person. One, two, three, four, five, six … nineteen.
Oh, were you here the whole time?
Okay, well, let’s go ahead and introduce ourselves: name, major, and hometown.
“Hi, my name is Sadie Randall, I’m in the engineering school I plan to major in Mechanical Engineering, and I’m from Houston, Texas.”
I’m alone, there is no one here, and I have to go out and introduce myself again until it sticks. I assumed we were tarred together, but I was just a nonstick pan with ingredients being placed in and scooped out. For now, I walk until I see someone and they notice me.
Wait, it’s two, now three, no four. Four of us, and I mean like me. And one is with me. We can make it through this together. But she’s leaving, and I’m not sure if I can stay; nothing is sticking. Can I leave her alone? If I stay, I will not make it, but I know she can, so I think it’s okay. There should be some more on this side, I guess. I’ll be happier, I think, but there’s still a chance I can be alone. No, I met them. I’m not alone; I just have to speak up this time. I’ll be okay.
“Okay, I need help because I don’t want to be here anymore, and I don’t know where to go.”
Well, six options are not bad, maybe four really because how can I explain this to her.
2 out of 6
That will be $413.10.
This shouldn’t be temporary; at least I have friends here. One, two, three, four, … ten, I think. That’s more than one, so this should be fine.
Wait, I see someone, he’s not like the others, so I should be happier here.
She was right now I just need to find, oh wait, there’s more, and they are here to help. How wonderful, okay, so now I just have to remain consistent, and I should be able to make it.
Okay, so nothing is sticking; literally, how will I finish. Now I have to cut my Spring Break short, but it’s not like I have anything else to juggle—just two classes that keep me in one building for over five hours, maybe ten hours.
Well, if she’s doing it, I can do it as well, I mean, she just floats on a cloud, and I’m the rain. Falling, sliding, sticking, gathering, gone. I just need to make it to the end, and then I can relax.
“We regret to inform you, but we cannot offer you a position. Well, that’s alright, what’s meant to be will be.”
It didn’t matter that I wasn’t alone; nothing worked. I should leave and leave it to them; they were here from the beginning.
But should I try again, maybe try a couple of different things this time?
3 out of 6
Okay, so this time I just have to choose between two. Not as large as five, but these should be better than the last two.
The first two were, um, okay. These should be better. I can be like everyone else. Two introductions, and then I’ll be in the six.
Well, this is not that hard, I actually show up every day, and everything is running smoothly.
Finally, oh my gosh, it’s her; I have to meet her and make sure not to mess up.
Okay, this isn’t too bad, not too awkward, and it seems like I have some friends here, so now there’s one, two, three, yea, I’m going to say about ten to twelve here, but it’s only an introduction. It has not been finalized, so I have to wait.
Now it’s up to six of us, and they are friendly and supportive. Is this what I have been missing all along? Why did I even waste my time, but I made friends. So, now all I have to do is just make it in and try to catch up.
I can do that; I joined the right places; I made sure to keep my head down. I’m not standing out too much, but I can try, I think. Hopefully, they don’t think I’m rude or intimidating – not very likely have you heard me.
It’s not like I’m a decade behind in experience that no one else has. I’ll make it someway.
4 out of 6
Every weekend something new, when will a break come. And they just expect us to obey and rollover. What freedoms do we have freedom of what, because it certainly is not free speech? But it’s just swept under the rug, and I go back to anchored problems.
Here’s my last chance, I can’t move forward if I don’t have anything. There’s no way I can just remain alone; can I?
Okay, so I’m a part of the six now more than ever, but now I have to find them. Where are they? I thought they’d be here? Maybe I’m in the wrong place, never belonged in this place, have to run away from this place. No, I have to be okay with my decisions because it’s too late to go back.
So, is it just me left? I think so. Everyone else has been set since they got here. This is my fifth attempt now, and I don’t know what I’m going to do if I don’t make it. Am I just going to be that remaining piece in the completed puzzle? I should be fine. There’s no way I will be that affected, will I?
“Dear Sadie, after careful consideration of your application to the Media Studies major, the Media Studies Admissions Committee has determined your application does not meet the criteria the department has set.”
Careful consideration. What does that mean? Now I am alone, everyone else already has something, and here I am stuck. At least this isn’t too uncommon; I saw the forms. However, I’m stuck in this situation. “Well, I don’t have a major.” I just hope to get in because I have run out of options, and I’m not sure if I’ll make it after this.
5 out of 6
“Dear UVA Student, after careful review, the Media Studies Admissions Committee is pleased to inform you that you have been admitted to the Media Studies major.”
Okay, so I made it. I’m no longer stuck, and I can fit in.
At least I have women teaching me this time and a Black woman as well. It’s looking better already. Wait, I’m the only one again. I thought this would change, but at least I can have some fun, I guess.
I keep my camera off because I don’t want to stand out more than before. It’s clear that they don’t know who I am, but I don’t want to be the person who,
“always makes it about race.”
Why is it only up to me to care and have to mention the opinions? And if I do say it, someone else gets the credit. I find solace behind the screen and create a world that I am no longer a part of. Only an hour, but I’m holding on by a thin thread. It will snap, and what then. Shall the journey be over, or can I start over?
For now, I have to accept what is.
6 out of 6
Here I am, finally.
After this, I start to lose the six and begin to move onto a new one.
What am I to do with the rest of the time I have left? Have I done enough? How dare you ask this?
“I’m not sure what I want to do after I graduate. I just want to be happy.”
I don’t think that’s enough. Everyone else has so many degrees they can stretch across the galaxy. Maybe I do stretch as wide, but how will I know. I don’t speak up, and people don’t listen. I can’t get the thoughts out straight.
The power I felt all that time ago might be coming back, but at what expense. Am I genuinely belonging? Screw belonging. I should not have to check that box. I won’t cross that space, it’s too painful, and yet it’s tradition.
Just wait until you get there. Maybe it’ll feel different, and I will not feel alone. One, two, three, four, five, six.
Only six percent of the undergraduate population at UVA is Black. I am exploring what it feels like to be a part of that population, yet feeling alone while a part of such a small community. I go through the different percents and how they develop on each other.