Being a Student of Color @ the U

Going back to the videos of this Monday’s lecture, I feel that it did brought up a good point of how one’s race can make them feel indifferent or closed out by other groups of people around them.

Thinking back to the first year student orientation, I noticed that the students tend to associate themselves with other students within their race because I figured it was “the most comfortable way to start knowing people?” But the through out the day, nothing much changed; students were still within their social race, although they do interact with others outside of their race. But overall, orientation was a wonderful experience, in that I got to meet new people and at least did make a couple of new friends; who aren’t my race.

As I went on to attend multiple events here at the U of M, such as Welcoming Week, CLA’s activities, and the PES Fall Conference, I noticed being a Hmong student in many part of these events was almost like I was a representative of my people, in that I did not feel comfortable at all. But I knew I had to make a good impression of myself to meet new people and absorb new knowledge.

In a way, being Hmong has made me feel unique, because I know that I have a rich culture and tradition to embrace. But maybe most of the time I forget to be thankful for it, in that I maybe too caught up into “fitting in?”

Yet, for the longest time, I haven’t really thought much of how race separated me from my peers who are not Hmong like me. I always thought that everyone is respected and viewed equality. But as I grow to see more and more of diversity and ethnicity play into the roles of how one can be left out, or feel that they have to put up this fake mask to fit in or even hide emotions sometimes; it makes me curious about how does one fully fits into a predominantly “white society?”

For me honestly, I think fitting in is part of being a student here at the U. So whatever race you might be, white, black, Latino or Hmong, we are all human beings. I feel that if people just stop to think about being who they truly are with no holding back to fit in, then there won’t be such a thing as the “white society.”

***http://www.csasc.org/index_files/csa2007_ej_hss-05.pdf***

In addition, I’m actually writing a paper base on this article in my Sociology class. So I thought that this week’s lecture did good job in raising some critical thinking for me. Please read/ skim through this article for you’ll get a better feel of what I am trying to get at with the lesson and material we saw in Monday’s lecture.

***Furthermore, I’ll be doing interviews to reach out to all students of colors to see their views on how does one fit in @ the U of M. *** I’m excited to see what the answers are and how they will help me to get a further knowledge of race and ethnicity here at the U. **

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