Culture Shock

174By Myliyah Hanna


It is my pleasure to admit you into a predominantly white institution! Since the creation of this outstanding university, a plethora of students have attended and left their mark on the classrooms, on peers and future colleagues. As you join us now, you may experience a feeling of success and pride in the accomplishments that have brought you to our door. For that, we welcome you. We only choose the best of the best, and you are but another example of what this great nation has to offer.

We cannot guarantee that your peers will feel the same way. As a general disclaimer, we cannot promise that you will feel welcome as the only student of color in your small seminars, where classmates or even teachers will make racially charged statements. We can promise, however, that you will come to know that those stories of microaggressions and overt racism told at the dinner table by your parents are indeed true. Your peers will question your intelligence and interrogate your abilities, as you couldn’t have possibly gotten into this leading institution without some kind of help.

At this university, we prescribe to making sure our students feel safe as they walk to and from their classes and their club activities and feel capable of expressing themselves without any reservation. We will, however, ask that you do not question the creation of this university, aspire to changing its curriculums to create a more inclusive and intersectional dialogue or challenge your peers when they question your socioeconomic background.

Know that you are a valuable asset to the continuation of this university. You, with brown skin and curly hair and an appetite for knowledge like no other, are welcomed. You are our future, though at times it will be impossible to feel, with this institution’s “diverse” demographics hanging around your neck and your hallmates reminding you that you were lucky enough to get in. You will change the course of history. You will shape the minds of the generations to come.

We hope this letter finds you well, and, once again, we welcome you to our esteemed class.