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Finding Culture Shock at an HBCU


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My transition from high school to college was quite interesting. My whole life I went to a predominately white Catholic schools. Every day, I had to wear these dreadful uniforms, all while attempting to avoid the negative vibes of strict teachers.

Although I wasn’t Catholic, I was raised in a religious environment which made transitioning to an HBCU a complete culture shock.

During the process of selecting universities, I always wanted to attend an HBCU due to the great experiences that my mother and other family members had. This transition showed me how different the cultures would be.

My first shocking cultural experience happened on the first day of class in a math course. The professor was explaining the material and asked the class a question. Coming from high school, I was taught to raise your hand and to answer when called on; instead students just blurted out the answer. Their lack of maturity and respect left me thinking ‘we aren’t in grade school anymore, raise your hand, and be respectful of the teacher and other students.’ However, that wasn’t anything hard to adjust to, depending on who the instructor was.

The next disparity I discovered was HBCU students are obsessed with their appearance. It is like a fashion show across campus. In high school, everyone wore a uniform, so we all looked the same. The only way to make a statement was through shoes and hairstyles. This wasn’t so much a culture shock; I just personally hate picking out items to wear every day, and found it much easier to pick between a couple pre-selected skirts and shirts.

A good number of instructors I’ve had throughout my life were nuns and brothers, so being exposed to p was definitely a change. When I arrived at college, I noticed that some students have little to no respect for authority or the students around them. In certain instances, I’ve witnessed an instructor stop class due to some type of student disturbance. I found that ridiculous considering that we are young adults capapble of showing respect to authority. Although, my transition wasn’t much of a culture shock, I did find some differences in the two types of schools; some of which I don’t believe would at a predominately white institution.

Dominique Young – Reporter

– Email Dominique at [email protected] and follow the Register on Twitter and Instagram @theatregister

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Finding Culture Shock at an HBCU