It is now my sophomore year at Geneseo, but I can remember my first year like it was yesterday. Coming to Geneseo in August 2020, I experienced culture shock as a girl from Brooklyn, New York. The community was very foreign to me and I didn’t always feel welcomed. With the percentage of the BIPOC community being so small, I felt it would be best to get to know the people within it. I joined one of the cultural clubs, Black Student Union, where I started out as a freshman representative and now serve as Vice President. It was very comforting to hear the upperclassmen and first-years tell stories of their own personal experiences, knowing that I wasn’t the only one who felt uneasy in this new environment. It took a lot of thought, learning, and reflection on how to deal with this major life change.
They say that high school prepares you for the real world, but college has taught me the most in such a short period of time. Listening to stories of people who experience being treated differently because of the color of their skin is different from hands-on experiences. From unnecessary stares to microaggressions, you can experience so much being a BIPOC student, and although I do rethink my decision of attending Geneseo at times, I appreciate the life lessons and confidence it has given me. The uneasiness doesn’t stop here and this is only the beginning. I look forward to Geneseo teaching me a lot more as I go through my next two years here. I’ve learned that having a support system and people to talk to is key. There are people worth getting to know of all cultural backgrounds; it’s just a matter of finding them. Thank you, Geneseo, for teaching me life lessons. Thank you for the connections with different types of people I have come into contact with. Most of all, thank you for the deeply supportive friendships I have formed through the Black Student Union and beyond.