You have just came to the college of your dreams. The food is amazing, the classes are perfect, your major is the exact one you were looking for and these next four years are gearing up to be the BEST of your life. There’s just one problem.
You’re the only one who looks like you for miles.
Of course there’s the occasional other black person in your class (or two if you’re really lucky) but other than that you’re sure you stand out like a sore thumb. You’re so different and in a way you’re never felt different before. To be quite honest, you’re floored. The college brochure and the website definitely made it seem like there was plenty more of well… “you” (and before this point you didn’t even know you were a “you”.) Now you’re not only very uncomfortable but you also find yourself scrolling through the social media of your friends from back home.
You gasp in full dramatic effect as you spot your friends all having the time of their lives at their respective HBCUs. This starts you on your long journey of battling regretting your decision in choice of schools as well as praying to black Jesus for more black friends.
Now, in the midst of all the regret and self shame, you realize something. Social media is literally painting you this picture that could otherwise be completely distorted. Your friends are all out having a good time with their new black friends and your still trying to FIND the other black kids on campus.
Things like twitter, tumblr, facebook and especially snapchat will all lead you to believing your missing out. All you see are the images of people who look like you having the time of their lives. You understand the references, the slang, the music, the clothing and even the simple eye rolls. These are all of the things that are make you feel like your missing out.
Snapchat by itself can really make you feel like your missing out. Though, twitter even with the famous black twitter and facebook sometimes makes you ooze with jealousy for your friends lifestyles, they truly don’t grasp the life like snapchat will. For those brief 24 hours, you see what everyone’s doing in that exact moment. Tumblr can make anyone believe anything so it’s not quite central idea. More often than not, it appears to be that their having a way better time. While this is the case in most social friend groups, it can also be that in the case of people (primarily minority groups) who feel isolated from their communities. The central idea of belonging can be overwhelmed by the apparent “I’m different from everyone” feelings.
But there’s good news! You can build your own sense of community by joining various clubs. Clubs such as the black student union, the Caribbean Association, the African society and the NAACP. These things can combat those feelings and make you feel more integrated into your society.
Once you realize you can’t change the school, just your outlook, then you’ll finally come to peace with your school as well as your life.