by Lily Papenfus 2 years ago in humanity

Diversity in College Experiences


Diversity is a value shown in mutual respect and appreciation of the similarities and differences such as age, culture, education, ethnicity, experience, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, and the list goes on and on. These are the things that make us a unique society.

Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes

Privilege is normally invisible because no one is going to bring up or report, if you will, that they are getting privileged things. For me, if I get a promotion over someone who is colored, I am going to just be happy that I got the promotion. I am going to think that I got the promotion because of all the hard work I had been doing. The exercise with Jane Elliott I think would definitely affect colored students more because they would understand what was happening. For some of them, this type of stuff happens on a daily basis while the White students just think she is being ridiculous.

Thinking About Race, Ethnicity and Culture

Race and ethnicity were never really discussed in great detail in my family. It was discussed that you were to treat everyone the same way you would want to be treated, but that is about it. My family’s primary ethnicity is German, but I wouldn’t really say that we demonstrated any of it, per se. Some cultural differences that I have experienced have not happened until recently; once I started college. One of my roommates is from Latino descent and is very rich in her ethnic background. She is used to eating different food than me, listening to different music, and sometimes even celebrating different holidays. I value my ethnicity and am grateful for what kind of person it has made me, but there are not any particular ways that I show that I am proud of it.

Self Check/Cultural Competence

I think my friends represent diversity. I seem to become friends with people who are polar opposites of me in every way. It helps me, though, because it pushes me out of my comfort zone. I do not judge people based on any surface differences from me. We look different. So what, right? All people have the same basic needs and same basic thoughts, no matter the surface appearances or differences. I do try to understand events and situations through other people’s perspectives. How are you going to stand for whatever you think is right if you don’t understand the other side and what they stand for? This is a very basic example, but if I do not like brussels sprouts but my friend loves them, I can keep thinking that they are gross, but I can also say "I would like to learn and understand why you like them." This could also help me in an argument about something. You need to understand things in multiple perspectives so you can say why your perspective is the right one.

Diversity and Your Relationships With Others

This section made me a little upset with the question of “ How can I become more at ease with differences and diversity?” This pushed my buttons a little because I don’t see the hardship of accepting other's differences and ethnic backgrounds. There is nothing to become “at ease” with. Every single person, no matter their weight, height, skin color, sexual orientation, etc. is still a person. If they are doing just as good of a job as me, then why should they be stripped of that accomplishment of being promoted just because I got it because the color of my skin?

I do not think it is hard to build lasting relationships and deal with conflict as long as you are both open to hearing each other out before ripping their beliefs and the way they think to shreds. You can’t argue with someone about something you know nothing about. My advice to people, and ultimately to myself, is to get educated about diversity and ethnic issues. It will help you when you are trying to help a friend who maybe is experiencing this type of awful discrimination figure out what they need to do.

Lily Papenfus
Lily Papenfus
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Lily Papenfus

18 year old college student at Lourdes University. My passions include photography, art things, and teaching young children. Follower of Jesus Christ and regular attender at CedarCreek Church.

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