Standing Out For The Wrong Reasons

Have you ever walked into a classroom, looked around and didn’t see anyone who looked anything like you? Well, that happens to me a lot...

I grew up in the suburbs, so all my life I was used to maybe having only one or two people in my classes that look like me. Then college rolled around. I chose Millersville for many different reasons, one of them being that compared to a lot of similar schools I was looking at, Millersville was actually pretty diverse. In fact, walking around campus you see all types of people which is pretty refreshing! The classrooms, however, not so much.

Granted my major isn't really woman heavy (occupational safety and environmental health) so I understand the unfortunate lack of women, let alone black women. There are only 3 black students in one of my key courses and only one black student in my other, me. My general education classes also have little to no black students, between my math and English class, there only 7 black students in classes with about 30 people in each of them. I understand I don’t attend an HBCU but colleges in general really need to address the lack of diversity in classrooms.

For the most part, I’m okay with being the only black student but sometimes it really takes a toll on me because I feel like I’m standing out for the wrong reasons. I’ve met some amazing people here at Millersville, however, most of them are white. There is nothing wrong with that, but I want to surround myself with all types of people. Trying to find other black students is unnecessarily difficult, I joined clubs to try and diversify my friend group but to no surprise, I’m the only black girl, even at Her Campus. Though I love Her Campus, when I walked in for the first meeting I realized, still no one looked like me.

I know colleges can make their campuses more diverse and make a better effort putting more black students in classes together. It's just of matter of whether or not they care about their students. Next time you walk in a classroom, look around and ask yourself, who doesn't look like me?