Students Should Celebrate Diversity, Not Attack It
“You can get into any school you want!” “It’s like you don’t even have to try.” “It’s only because you’re black.
” If I had a dime for every time someone has told me that, I’d have enough money to pay for my own college tuition. It was just last week that a classmate told me that I could apply to Harvard with a 19 on my ACT and get in because they had a quota for black students. The Harvard University? I laughed it off with a face of disbelief. It was supposed to be that easy. I’m black, remember? I had affirmative action on my side.
Affirmative action is a federal agenda used in college admissions to specifically promote diversity on campus, bringing a mixture of backgrounds, values, and upbringings to institutions that thrive on the concept of uniqueness. But somewhere along the way, affirmative action became a heated debate on perceived discrimination, misconstrued through a game of Telephone by our peers. But the problem isn’t affirmative action itself, it’s how it’s perceived by us as students. The problem is that affirmative action is seen as a handout and a free pass to unqualified students. It’s that minority students in college admissions are seen as taking the spot of someone who was rejected. We’re seen as someone less deserving in comparison to our counterparts, someone who doesn’t have what it takes to be successful on their own efforts.
As though it is impossible to be successful on our own merits. Forget hard work, forget determination , forget applying oneself. Who needs that when you’re black and don’t have to try, right? The problem with that is that the last time I checked a college application consisted of their accomplishments, hobbies, andexperiences, not simply a picture of one’s face. We are not a number. We are not a shiny quota. We are not bound to success by our color.
No.We are defined by the efforts we make to get there. Instead of discrediting the effort of those different than us, why don’t we celebrate the successes of our peers? The world is a diverse and beautiful place, we should embrace that. Embrace each other’s differences and experiences. Respect the determination. Celebrate the drive.
Getting into college is no easy feat for anyone, so give credit where it’s due. Nothing in life is handed out. We all work hard for success. It’s about time we start celebrating it.