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My experiences at Princeton have made me far more aware of my 'blackness' than ever before. I have found that at Princeton, no matter how liberal and open-minded some of my white professors and classmates try to be toward me, I sometimes feel like a visitor on campus; as if I really don't belong.
I was heavily into sport from 10 to 15, I was in all the teams, and it was everything to me. But I was very young for my school year and when puberty kicked in for my classmates I got left behind.
At school I pretended I had a normal life, but I felt lonely all the time and different from everyone else. I never felt like I fit in, and I wasn't allowed to participate in after-school activities, go to sports events or parties or date boys. Many times I had to make up stories about why I couldn't do anything with my classmates.
The first several years of my life were used to upload incredible amounts of fear, and I just became afraid of everything. I was afraid of my parents, afraid of my classmates, afraid of the streets of Washington, D.C. I would flinch at every gesture.
Middle age is when your old classmates are so grey and wrinkled and bald they don't recognize you.