Conservative Christian girl, liberal arts college.

A. Jones
Selinsgrove, PA

Coming from a very small, rural town in Southern Pennsylvania, I was thrown into what seems to me like a melting pot when I came to Susquehanna University. If I had had any idea of what it meant to attend a “liberal arts” college when I was looking at schools as a high school senior, I may very well have looked the other way. Nonetheless, I think it is a good thing that this is where I ended up; it will prepare me well for life outside of Newville. In my small high school, we were all white, with the exception of 1 or 2 black students. And not rich-white either, if you are jumping to that conclusion. Most of us came from middle- to lower-class families, where the overall “median family income” is well below $50,000 a year. I have never considered myself racist, but I was certainly neglectful of the cultural differences. I was, and still am, influenced by the way society thinks of blacks, of Asians, of Hispanics. It’s human nature, I suppose, to assume the majority’s way of thinking. When I came to SU, I was willing to make friends across the racial lines, but I didn’t find that willingness in others. It struck me as odd that the students here seem to segregate themselves, naturally. The black kids stick together, and mostly only talk to other black kids. The Asians are always at the same cafeteria table. I was kind of surprised that it is this way. In my small town, we are certainly not diverse, but we are also not prejudice or racist, for the most part. When I came to college, I was taken aback by the way that students seem to stay within their own bubbles. I think that, with the societal influences and the way the media portrays things, people become very defensive and automatically want to defend their own race.


Tweets by Michele Norris