My Academic Coming Out #phdchat #bphd #blackedu #hiphoped

I’ve been in hiding for a long time. I broke up with my abusive boyfriend 4.5 years ago & it has been almost 3 years since I last heard from him. The past 5 years have been spent in constant fear that he would find me and hurt me or begin tearing my life apart. FIVE. YEARS. That’s half a decade!!! I’m tired of hiding and I’m tired of constantly looking over my actual & virtual shoulders.

This photo was originally posted on the front page of The University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration website in Fall 2011. The photo was taken on the first day of orientation, when we were brand-spankin’-new & excited to embark on our journey. I had it taken down because I was afraid.

SSA Doctoral Class

I really wish I could get back into those pants.

My department is the first school of social work in the US. We currently rank 3rd in the country; the entire U of C is number 10 in the world. THE WORLD! (Yeah, I’m floored every time I think about it.) There are days when I love this program and there are days when I hate it, but I am here. That simple fact has afforded me opportunities of which I had never even dreamt. But I realized some time ago: the longer I stay, the more people I meet, and the harder it becomes to keep my “secret”. I used to be quite strong in my decision to remain hidden, but now I’m embarrassed and frustrated, so no more! Reading Adria Richards’ story also helped quite a bit. She’s right, if something should happen, at least people will know where to look for me. (Thank you for sharing, Adria!)

I’ll be updating my online profiles as I have time (read: I’ll probably get all excited & do it as soon as I get back from PT, lol), but it feels good to get this out now. And yes, for those of you who have been walking on eggshells, it’s safe to reference the university in public forums now, LOL!

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