Diversify Your Mind
Many colleges are like "melting pots"; you are bound to find students from a variety of ethnic, religious and economic backgrounds at most college campuses in America. While many students seek to increase their world knowledge and embrace the differences of other cultures, there are a few who actually rebel against diversity. It is this group of students who can make college a challenge for minority groups on campus.
In recent years, college campuses have seen a rise in hate crimes. Some incidents may have been fueled by the terrorist attacks on 9/11/01, while others may have arisen from a lack of knowledge or understanding. Regardless of the reasoning, college is no place for hate, and students should not have to live in fear while walking to class or living in the dorms. Racial slurs, hate graffiti and violence should never be a part of the college curriculum.
Thankfully, many college campuses are now offering diversity classes to help open students' minds to the many benefits of living (and learning) in a diverse environment. Dr. Aaron Thompson, formerly a professor of sociology at Eastern Kentucky University and now the senior vice president of Academic Affairs for the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, sees diversity as a necessary ingredient for future success. By learning about others, you enhance your creative abilities, become more aware of our global society and prepare yourself for working in a diverse workplace. In fact, minority groups in the American workforce are expected to rise to 55% of all employees by 2050. By reaching out while you are in college and getting to know students with backgrounds that are different than your own, you will open your mind and your heart to greater life experiences and better relationships with others.
Think of college as a buffet. Would you go to an all-you-can-eat restaurant and only sample one item? It's doubtful, and if you did, that sure seems like a waste of money! When you are given the chance to sample foods with a variety of flavors, smells and tastes – DIVE IN! The same holds true for college. Don’t place yourself in a bubble, surrounded by familiar things and faces. Explore and challenge yourself to learn about other cultures and religions. By learning about others, you will actually learn more about yourself.