Going to a university as a minority female can certainly prove to be a challenge. Upon first arriving, you may feel weird, or excluded from the rest of the campus. You will want a roommate who you can relate to. This is not always an option at some universities, but there are things you can do to fit in. Some universities have a Facebook page for incoming freshman. You can use this to find roommates with similar backgrounds.
Another thing that can help, as a minority students are summer programs. While this may not be available everywhere it is certainly an option to look into. Summer programs are often targeted to students who are likely to need help adjusting.
Being a minority female on campus comes with a lot of obstacles. One major obstacle is the stereotype of who you are. You may feel as if people look at you differently, or do not expect you to succeed. On every campus, there are people around campus who genuinely want to see you succeed.
It is important to find a mentor. The mentor does not have to be another minority female, but finding one who is may help you feel more comfortable and understood. A mentor can help you become more acquainted with the school and events that take place on and around campus. Your mentor will probably introduce you to others who will end up becoming friends.
Another major challenge is homesickness. When you see very few people like yourself around campus, you want nothing more than to be back home with people who understood you and relate to you. But give yourself some time. Eventually your friends of all races will start to gather around you and show you so much love that leaving will not be an option.
Getting discouraged and becoming homesick is not something unusual. Some may take this feeling and immediately act on it, leaving the school behind. But you need to try to get involved, and participate on campus before just giving up.
Many campuses have some sort of organization for minority students and female students. The organizations will probably be listed on the school’s website of organizations. Many majors have particular organizations as well.
In summary here are things you can do:
- Use Facebook to find friends and a roommate you can relate to.
- Reach out to others, no matter their race. Universities are great places to experience other races and cultures.
- Don’t run away and return home until you have given yourself a chance to make the campus your new home.
Get involved. Connecting with other students with similar interests can help you overcome homesickness..