Sun. May 26th, 2024

If I had to describe my college experience from freshman year to senior year in three words, the words I would choose are: resilience, open-minded and learning. I would say my experience was resilient because I had to keep myself going. I never got stuck and tried to stay the way I have always been. Honestly, that was hard and every time I was faced with new challenges, I tried and did push through it without fail. If I had to pick a memorable experience that defines my college journey, I would pick performing at Meet the Greeks as a proud member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. I would say that is my most memorable experience because I performed by myself in a gym full of people and that was nerve-wracking. To know that a lot of people back down from doing it alone showed me how strong I was to be as independent as I was. I think that during our whole college experience we always searched for our clan and our people, the people that we would grow up with — but for me, in any situation that I went into, I always had to stand alone. So my solo performance at Meet the Greeks showed me that there is nothing wrong with being alone and it’s okay to be alone. 

Reflecting back, there isn’t really anything that I would do differently during my time here at West Chester University. I just take my experience for what it is. I would say that I did become more open to experiences as well as more open-minded to people and their perception of the world. Looking ahead, my plans after graduation are just to try to live in as many different places as possible even if it’s just for a month or a couple of weeks. I would say that my college experience has helped open me up to different kinds of people, even if it’s for work or just for the sake of having the experience.

I would say that the sense of belonging here at West Chester University made me feel comfortable to be active in different organizations and clubs and to become a member of their boards as well. Those experiences have allowed me to feel comfortable with being myself because I believe that eventually you will find “your people.” With that, I had to learn to balance academics, extracurricular activities and my social life and how I did that was by establishing boundaries. If I didn’t feel like doing something, I wasn’t going to do it and I always put academics first because that’s what I came here for.

A challenge I have faced as an African American student at a PWI is being one out of 30 African American students in my criminal justice classes as I am a criminal justice major with a minor in psychology. I overcame that challenge by speaking up and trying to educate and give a perspective to those outside of the Black community. It wasn’t difficult doing this, I just don’t like ignorance. If I had to give myself any advice before starting college, I would just tell her, “Enjoy the ride, fuck it” and “Don’t lose yourself — keep that in mind — it’s so easy to lose yourself big dawg.” Everybody experiences the same thing, just through their own perceptions, whenever you feel alone you’re not alone, there’s someone feeling the same thing you are feeling. Take into consideration the idea that everyone is blindfolded touching a different part of the elephant, but at the end of the day it’s still an elephant.

 


Ivori Reid is a fourth-year Psychology major. IR955503@wcupa.edu.

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