Spelhouse homecoming, Oct. 21, 2017; please note the presence of a golf cart in the middle of the crowd on the longest road to nowhere of all time. (Panama Jackson)

For me, the 2017 homecoming season has reached its conclusion. Samesies for several other schools that celebrated their homecoming this past weekend, like Howard, Hampton and our homecoming co-defendants at Morehouse, Spelman College. Lots of other schools will be celebrating into the next few weeks as we all reminisce on days yonder or, for current students, try to figure out how to finesse your way into turning in a late paper. Do dogs still eat homework?

Well, there is one tradition that all HBCU homecoming participants know too well: homecoming withdrawal. Everybody hates leaving. Shit, we all hate the winding down of the tailgate, since it means that Sunday is approaching, which for most of us means we’ll be heading back to our regularly scheduled programming. As the sun starts to fall, the urgency for hugs, laughs and shooting game that’s failed for 20 years starts to set in. Why homecoming isn’t a biannual thing is beyond me.

Well, part of the homecoming withdrawal process is the utterance of any number of the 10 phrases below. If you went to an HBCU homecoming, you’ve heard or said at least one, if not all 10, because you’re part of the Talented Tenth and there are levels to this shit.

1. Yo ... where were you?

We ALL lose friends out there during tailgate. It’s tradition. Some dude you rolled in with got separated from the group, and you don’t find him until too much later, sitting alone on a curb crying because he’s beyond drunk and can’t find his friends. Or that woman you came with who found a dude she always wanted to talk to and stayed at his tent THE WHOLE DAY. Or ...

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You: What happened, bruh? Where were you?

Him: Man ... XYZ trippin’. We got into it about me going to hang with my boys and it turned into a seven-hour argument.

You: Break up now.

2. I MISS COLLEGE SO MUCH!

Pretty self-explanatory.

3. These kids don’t know how good they have it.

True story: All they really have to do is go to school, stay on effective birth control and enjoy the shit out of the four years. Oversimplification when black college means financial-aid-office shenanigans and that life can life the fuck out of you? Yes. Yes, it is. But can it be that it was all so simple then? Yes. Yes, it can be.

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4a. Did you see XYZ? She hasn’t lost a step! She’s still bad as fuck!

4b. Did you XYZ? He ate all the steps. Shit.

Homecoming is a time to see people whom most of us haven’t seen in a year. Some variation of this convo is destined to happen. Not about you. I’m talking about somebody else.

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But remember, kiddies, we’re all somebody else to somebody else.

5. I’m NEVER DRINKING AGAIN. (I need water.)

I know, pookie. I know.

6. Guuuuurl, did you know XYZ was Greek? 

Of course you didn’t. Nobody did. They weren’t when you knew them.

7. I can’t wait till homecoming next year!

Also self-explanatory.

8. Dog, what did we do? What did we not do? There were strippers, elephants—you remember Ashinkashay? Maaaaan, she came back from that trip to Easter Island lookin’ right. We tailgated and drank all the dranks and then we bought, like, 400 bottles at the club after because you know we got it like that ... hold on. [Clicks over, back.] Oh, that’s just AT&T asking why I ain’t paid my bill. Fuck them.

Embellishment mine.

9a. Yo, AT&T has GOT to do better. I ain’t get NO service out there, so I couldn’t Snapchat/Instagram/Facebook none of my pictures or life in real time. Not to mention, I ain’t get NO TEXTS FROM NOBODY while I was out there until we LEFT. I had to find people the old-fashioned way by looking for them, which means I got drinks at each tent on the way, which made me drunk, and shit, did I drink nutcracker??? Niggas were selling nutcracker at the tailgate? 

Or was that just me?

9b. Bruh ... who the FUCK thought it was a good idea to try to drive a golf cart THROUGH West End Avenue at, like, 4 p.m. IN THE MIDDLE OF WHAT FELT LIKE 100,000 BLACK PEOPLE?! 

If that was you, you are an idiot.

10. I’m so glad I went to an HBCU, folk!

Because of course we are.