Adjusting to UK life as an African American student


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Kayla Crittle

College itself already comes with a great deal of stress. Whether it’s because you’re trying to get adjusted to classes or find your way around campus, it can become all too overwhelming.

However, for most black students, a whole new level of stress is placed on them upon entering college— especially if they’re attending a predominately white institution.

Being outnumbered on a campus like UK’s causes many black students to feel alienated and unwelcomed. When classrooms lack diversity, they turn to organizations and clubs to feel a sense of comfort. The problem that many black students on campus face is that they are unaware of all the resources they have.

If you’re a black student on campus looking to get more adjusted and involved next semester, here are some things you can find that can help you find a sense of belonging.

1. The counseling center in Frazee Hall. One of the main goals of the UK counseling center is inclusivity. So that means no matter what race, creed, gender or sexual orientation you identify as or with, you are always welcome to talk to someone on campus about your problems. In the black community, it’s sort of taboo to seek out therapy, but you can end the stigma. Never neglect your mental health.

2. Clubs and Organizations. There’s a plethora of clubs dedicated to the advancement of black students on campus. Some of them are Underground Perspectives, Black Student Union, UK NAACP and the National Association of Black Journalists. These student organizations are always hosting fun events. Meetings are usually held once a week, giving you plenty of get-together opportunities. They are always open to newcomers.

3. The Martin Luther King Center in the Gatton Student Center. The MLK Center in the student center offers a space where students can come to study and socialize in an atmosphere where they feel comfortable. They also host film screenings, workshops, dialogues and so much more.

4. Social media. It may sound crazy, but there are plenty of black students at UK on social media who are looking to befriend other black students. For a professional route, you can look on LinkedIn for fellow black students who share your interests or perhaps major.

You may have to be more proactive about finding groups with which to socialize, but never let that be an excuse to isolate yourself. Seek out people you can be friends with and you will have an enriched college experience as a result.