4 Years Worth of Quotes From My "Woke" White Roommate

I have had the same roommate for the last four years. I didn’t know anyone in my incoming class back in 2015, so I used to the student roommate service to pair me with a complete stranger. Coming from a predominantly black environment, I thought it would be beneficial for me to live with a different kind of roommate for the next few years. The school I was going to was pretty diverse anyway, so I thought that I might as well immerse myself as much as I could. When selecting my roommate preferences, I confirmed that I did not have a preference for race (yes, we got to choose those kinds of details for a roommate). “Here goes nothing,” I thought.

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The day I was notified of my roommate, I immediately looked her up on Facebook. There it was. I was paired with a white roommate. I was already expecting some awkward conversations to occur as far as hair, music choices, etc. I will say, I am pretty disappointed in myself for making these assumptions because I definitely lucked out on my roommate selection. We stayed roommates for all four years of college (with the exception of last semester when she studied abroad) and she literally became one of my best friends.

For the purpose of her future plans, and to be as real as possible, I’m going to be calling her by a different name in this article. I think Stephanie is a good choice. I could call her Becky for obvious reasons, but I’ll hold off on being too cliche.

We’ve shared numerous memories together and I hope there are countless more to come. Stephanie was pretty “woke” before she came to Agnes, but she still had some learning to do when it came to black culture. She was so open-minded and light-hearted about everything she discovered. I came up with the idea of compiling all that she learned into an article at some point while I was in college. So here it is--12 hilarious and eye-opening moments that she experienced with me during undergrad, in the order that they occurred, that helped her become more “woke” than when she came in.

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First-Year

Rhonda from Empire died and she finally understands how every black person feels during a horror movie.

If you are familiar with the show “Empire,” you know that the cast is predominantly black. In season 2, Rhonda’s character dies off of the show. Our friend group would gather on Wednesday nights at 8:00 pm in the lounge of one of the first-year dorms and try not to make too much noise as we watched an episode. When Rhonda’s character was killed off, Stephanie was feeling some type of way. “She was the only character I identified with,” she says. Now at least she knows how it feels for us black people when we get killed off in horror movies.

Realizing what "woke" means

I can’t remember the exact moment of when she realized this, but I do know she learned quite a few new terms and phrases. It’s kind of ironic since this article uses that word to describe her.

Figuring out what an HBCU was

Another term she learned while she was here. The exact moment I explained to her what it was, we were sitting in our room and I was telling her about Morehouse College. She ended up Googling it and pointing out to me that a lot of “cool people” such as Samuel L. Jackson went there. Yes, Stephanie. A lot of “cool” black men attended Morehouse College. She also had a chance to come down to the Spelhouse for tailgate one year. An experience it was for her.

(Image via Blavity)

“Is Twitter mainly used by Black people?”

She had a Twitter account before she came to Agnes, but she had barely used it. When she made her new one she followed me on Twitter. I follow a lot of accounts on Black Twitter, so, of course, she would always see my retweets from other people on those accounts. I was pleasantly amused when she asked me if Twitter was mainly for Black people. No, Stephanie, I just didn’t have the most diverse following on Twitter. My following is always lit, though.

When we first slept in the same room together, she wondered why I wrapped a scarf around my head at night.

Of all the things I was anticipating her to ask me about, I was definitely expecting this. However, she never said anything to me initially. She brought it up in conversation with our friend group and me and my other black friends proceeded to school her on everything black hair. She even ended up buying me a silk pillowcase one year, which I still think is one of the most thoughtful things she has ever done for me.

 

Sophomore Year

She had a slight obsession with Gucci Mane

For some reason, Stephanie developed a slight obsession with Gucci Mane. I think this started when Gucci was set to be released from prison which had long been anticipated by many. Maybe Stephanie heard of the news from black twitter, but her curiosity was so utterly amusing, I couldn’t help but to school her on Gucci’s life. I remember telling her that even though he went to Decatur High School, it wasn’t the same Decatur High that we knew today. She was so invested on why he was sent to prison in the first place, she actually ended schooling me. Stephanie is glad you are back home, Gucci. But she also thought your wedding wasn’t all that great.

(Image via ThugZone)

Realized what CP time was

Another term that Stephanie learned at Agnes. I think our friend group was lounging around as usual and one of the black girls in the group mentioned arriving somewhere on CP time. Stephanie looked at us in confusion as we explained the term to her.

Pronunciation of “Kasiim” Reid

I’ll let you know that Stephanie knew how to pronounce the new Mayor of Atlanta’s name, Mrs. Keisha Lance-Bottoms. ”I got a mayor named Keisha” and my roommate knew how to pronounce it! But I can’t say the same for our former mayor, Mr. “KAH-SEEM” Reid. Her initial pronunciation was “KIZ-EM” Reid. She’s been on a long journey of learning to pronounce names with sauce, mine included.

She called P-Diddy “Diddy Smalls”

Although this is funny to laugh at, I can’t really blame her for this one (completely). Combining Diddy and Biggie’s name together at least told me that she had heard of the duo together before. But my goodness, what a combination.

 

Junior Year

She had never seen “Stomp the Yard” but wanted to join the step team in middle school

Stephanie went to a pretty diverse middle school, and she was able to witness the step team perform a few times. I’m certain “Stomp the Yard” was mentioned in casual conversation amongst our friend group, which she had no idea what the movie was about, and as we explained the movie to her, she mentioned that she wanted to join the step team of her middle school once. How could she join the step team when she literally had never seen the best movie about stepping?

She doesn't wash her feet in the shower

She actually wasn’t alone with this one. Another person in our friend group (who was not black) also told us that they also do not wash their feet in the shower. I’ve inserted a reply to a tweet that explains my thoughts properly.


 

Senior Year

“This is the first class at Agnes where I'm the only white person”

We took our senior seminar class in economics together this semester. After one of the first few classes, she looked at me and said, “This is the first class I’ve taken at Agnes where I’m the only white person.” Granted the class only comprised of five people, she was right. There were two black people (three if I count the professor), two south Asian people, and her. She was a minority in our classroom. Considering the diversity of Agnes Scott, I would expect that a few white students may have experienced this as well.

As I mentioned before, I definitely lucked out on my roommate experience, especially considering that we both went into this blindly. Stephanie spent her time at Agnes mentoring black girls at a local high school, educated herself on the living wage campaign for Agnes Scott staff who are mostly black, completed her senior seminar in political science on gentrification in Decatur, and is now planning to pursue her Master’s degree in Conflict Transformation and Social Justice at Queen’s University in Belfast, Germany.

Yeah, she’s one of the good ones and she’s my best friend.

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