Photo by Jordan Bell, Humans of the Dub
So we’re going to start it off kind of generic and kind of broad. So, how were you affected by Hurricane Florence?
Well, one of the ways I was personally affected by Hurricane Florence was… in my hometown, it flooded fairly bad– not nearly as bad as Matthew, and we were without power for about a week. Then, coming back to UNCW made ways that our staff lost housing and the greater part of our residents lost housing in the University Apartments. So that took our staff of 15 down to 6. So those are two of the major ways that I was impacted by Hurricane Florence.
What has been the hardest part about your time at UNCW for you?
Oh! That’s a good question. I think one of the hardest parts about coming to college, in general, is like that initial influx of people you meet. Because when you first come here you just want to know people. You just want to be surrounded by people constantly because you’re kind of nervous to be alone. Then I think you have that transition into people who actually care about you and actually share interests with you. Those who are your genuine friends and not just those acquaintances you see on a daily basis. So, I think for me there was that curve of balancing and weeding out those who were more so just acquaintances and those who were going to be in my inner circle and my actual friend group. So I think that was one of the main things that I found most challenging.
How do you feel like you’ve personally grown with your time here and over the years and semesters?
I would say the first thing that comes to mind when I think of how I’ve grown being here at UNCW is definitely having an understanding of my own leadership style. Like being the youngest of three and both of my brothers have really strong personalities, so there’s definitely a point where I felt weird then, and now not necessarily being constantly around them I’ve definitely been able to see my own personal self. Not that I’ve ever been overshadowed or anything, but just being able to develop into my own… what’s the word…
Yeah! Kind of like my own identity. And then, another thing I would say is like I am more confident in what I came here to do. Because I’m a creative writing and film studies double major, and when I first came here I was creative writing and business. I would write, but I would never share that for the most part. Like I would share with my family from time to time, but I wasn’t really public with it until the summer of my sophomore year when I started a blog. We’re not gonna talk about how often I post though.
But yeah I started a blog and became more comfortable performing spoken word and things like that. That has definitely been a growth in me that has happened in a more– a shorter period of time. But, it’s also been exponential– like an exponential amount of growth in a very short period of time for me. …What else. But yeah. I would say that. Being more comfortable in my own abilities and whatnot.
What does diversity mean to you personally? And what does diversity mean to you at UNCW?
Personally, what diversity means to me is the inclusion of everyone. And not just checking off a box and having that token. A lot of times in TV we’ll see the token black guy that everyone kind of jokes about. But a lot of times from show to show and from movie to movie they’re similar characters. They’re not very dynamic or fleshed out. And I think diversity to me personally is seeing people of a certain marginalized group, but seeing the diversity within that marginalized group. So like if you are showing a black person and they’re checking off a bunch of stereotypes– say they’re good at basketball or they rap and that’s all you’re showing, then you’re not showing the black person who likes anime or the black person that is maybe afro-latina. All of these different facets or characteristics that we don’t normally attribute to being black or any marginalized group. Then I think you’re doing a disservice to what diversity truly is, and you’re just perpetuating stereotypes. And it’s just more of the same where you’re checking off a box saying “We have a person of color and we have a person of this sexual orientation.” or anything along those lines.
For the last question, what’s one thing you wish you could change about the world?
I think someone asked me this question like last week! More specifically for the United States, I would change our history. Because it’s founded on hatred. I think another this I would change is the large wave that has kind of paved across the world and celebrated westernized ideals and beauty standards. I wish there was an appreciation for everyone’s individual culture and what they bring to the table. Kind of like the idea of the United States as a melting pot. That highlights assimilation where everyone comes together to form one standard, but we should be more of a tossed salad where everyone is bringing something where everything is mixed together and nobody loses those parts of them that makes them unique and themselves, but rather makes the result richer.
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