When I was in college, the Florida State football team was not the best team by a long shot. I recall many Saturdays just watching in horror at how badly some teams whopped up on us. Truly, it was the dark days for football at Florida State. How many of us remember the big cheating scandal that happened and took 4 wins off our overall school in 2007 bringing our record to an unsightly 0-6? For some reason, people still talk about that (I noticed its usually someone from UF). Or what about a few years later when we laid the smackdown on UF and beat them 31-7? That was my last year (and last football game as a student) at FSU and by far, that win was our championship game after being beaten by the Gators 6 years in a row!
It looks like old habits die hard as we’re back to a pretty slow start to the season at a 2-3 record. Now, to the new FSU fans, this record doesn’t bother the OGs. Nah, this record doesn’t get to us because we’ve been down before and know what it’s like to bounce back. Like so many people say, a loss is just a lesson in disguise. Hopefully our team will tighten up and start getting back to that mamba mentality. Despite our not so hot record, one of the few things that I’ve enjoyed about this season is being in agony with my fellow alumni watching the game. Everyone is skressed and the same feelings of anxiousness that I feel, I can breathe somewhat easy because I know there are quite a few people across the world feeling the same. You wouldn’t get it if you didn’t go to a school where Saturdays are sacred territory for college football.
As I reflect on my time at FSU, I’ve come to realize that I just love the folks that I went to FSU with more and more after our time in Union Wednesdays, especially my Black folk. I don’t know what it is, but it seems like my peers are truly on the move and really making positive change out in the world. When a fellow alum releases a new product or shares some news (good/bad), I want to support them. No, I don’t support everyone if I’m going to be honest because I feel like some things aren’t of quality (if you get mad, oh well). But I do try to support when I can or when I see something that I like (s/o to JE White). When someone says something out of pocket, I love to see my Noles critically analyze, debunk, and shutdown the foolishness that was prevailing at the time. I feel like when one of us does well, we all try to celebrate the win in one way or another. For me, the love that I received from my Noles during my big life moments was amazing and are always appreciated.
Attending a PWI (predominantly white institution) provides a Black experience that not many people will understand or even connect with.I try to share my experience with my mentees and they just don’t get it. When I started at FSU, Black students accounted for approximately 11 percent of the student population and although we were surrounded by a sea of whiteness, it didn’t always feel like it. We had our own community with our own norms and operated as such. If you didn’t want to connect, that was fine, BUT, if you did, you found a place to call home. That might have been BSU, NCNW, Greek Life, Progressive Black Men, Inc. or any other organization on campus. To be honest, a lot of my fellow alum inspire me to do more and influence change in my realm of life. To keep going when the chips are down. That unconquered spirit is in all of us and I need all of my fellow Noles to know that: I’m rooting for all the Black people…especially if they graduated from THEE Florida State University.