Ok we all know that America is a huge place. The 300 million of us live on such a huge land mass that we have no idea what is really going on in the next state. Myself, I come from a very rural area, I have spent my days at work with horses and dogs. I really did not know just how much of a sheltered life I had led until I had to travel to my new college.
I have been surrounded since birth by people just like me. I assume they would be called ultra conservative people. I never ever saw any non-whites except on the TV. And in my naivety and stupidity I assumed that my little rural area therefore must be the norm. At home we challenged nothing. Everything that was happening and that was said by the so called elders was just accepted as is.
I was warned by people in my locality that I was going to find it very difficult to mix with other people. The only reason I can even go to college is thanks to a scholarship and a large loan my father has taken out. That in itself surely is enough pressure to put on me. But I have to face other pressures of mixing with people who are NOT like me.
I do not believe in any way that I can be called a racist, but I can be called very naïve when dealing with people from another State, let alone another country. I have never seen an Asian person until I arrived at college. I have never ever seen a black skinned person until I arrived at college. I stupidly did not know what to say to these new people. I felt ashamed because I knew I was the one so out of step with the rest of the college. I was the only one that might have been caught staring.
I have a Deep South accent, and it seems so out of place here. Don’t get me wrong, there is nobody being rude. There is no hassle at all. The problem is probably all in my mind. I suppose it could even be that I am suffering from an outburst of severe curiosity.
As I sit next to my new classmates of all sizes and colors, I wish to ask them a hundred questions, but instead I just put my head down and do essay editing. Even at social events I am unable to ask those questions so I do not look stupid, and the fact that everybody else does not seem to have that curiosity.
I am hoping that when the days pass I will be able to sit down with my new friends and ask them about the way they were brought up and how they lived their lives as a child? I am not just talking about ethnic friends, but I am realizing just how different every American is from another American. I do not think essay editing is going to give me all the information I need and crave.
College is the place to break down barriers and preconceptions. It is the place to really begin to understand that we all live in a very diverse world.
Harry Twon is now asking those questions he should have asked years ago, and in the process has made some great new friends.