Making my choice

Bradyn Johnson | The Chronicle

Being a black teenage girl in a predominately white high school has made me look at life through a different lens. I had to become strong enough to be comfortable in my skin. And with the stereotypical black jokes to the culturally insensitive actions that made me feel uncomfortable, I always found myself wanting to escape the socially awkward diversity faux pas. And with my High School career coming to an abrupt halt I find myself looking towards my future opportunities that involve college. This topic comes with the inevitable question: which college should I attend? And with this I am met with two choices, one option would consist of attending a PWI, which stands for a Predominately White Institution, and another is to attend an HBCU, which is a Historically Black College and University.

Unfortunately, I am new to this whole college thing. Ultimately, when I choose a place that I want to go to, I want to be a part of the majority for once. Thankfully I have a mother that attended one of the top HBCUs in the country, Hampton University, which is located in Virginia. Throughout my years of being a kid, my mom has slowly but surely implemented the idea of applying to an HBCU, but I always seemed to turn her down because I wasn’t sure about what I wanted at the time. She often shares the pride she feels being a graduate of a school that celebrates diversity, reinforces the learning of black history, and promotes their students in their endless pursuit of any profession they love. She would always tell me to give Hampton a try, and I would tease her and tell her I didn’t want to go to the school she went to. But now, I seem to constantly question myself. Do I really want to spend another 4 years being a part of the minority once again?

When I’m researching different schools I often find myself typing two words: diversity demographics. And when I scroll down I see that there is a limited number of minorities, and for a second it catches me off guard.

I am in the process of researching schools and really trying to hone in on what is important to me. I know that my love for writing and my pursuit of being a journalist will drive my decision. However, of secondary importance is my desire to be in an environment where my culture is celebrated and not appropriated.

Essentially what is important to me is being able to choose a school that caters to my intended profession, and fosters my desire to be included in something bigger than me. And as of now, I am still unsure of what lies ahead.

Illustration by Alisha Verma