When I first walked onto Grambling’s campus, I expected a number of things. It was a new experience and I was not prepared.
As I stepped onto the yard, I tightened my extra strength bulletproof vest that I had strapped on chokingly tight that morning. I layered clothes over it so I would not draw attention to myself. I did not bring a backpack filled with pens and paper, because I was not aware I would have to attend class or even know which way class was.
In my backpack, I stored an extra revealing outfit with the perfect pair of stilettos to match for the fashion show that took place on campus every day, right around the time classes were to be attended.
As a victim of near fatal asthma, I stocked up on inhalers to prepare me for the cloud of smoke that lingered throughout campus due to “weedstock.”
I tried to figure out a way to take a puff with one hand, while using my inhaler with the other, just so I could fit into the daily lives of Grambling students.
I was ready to be molded into someone I was not, because here you get eaten alive if you don’t fit in.
No, fellow students, I was not prepared at all for what awaited me here at Grambling.
Who would have thought that I could ever relate to these students?
Being a Latina in Louisiana, I’m often the minority within the minority.
I know firsthand what it is like to be stereotyped on sight due to my complexion, my looks, and occasional accent.
Yes, I have a Social Security number. Yes, I speak English. No, I have never been to Mexico. Where was I born? A United States of America Air Force base in Minot, North Dakota.
Being close-minded and following a one-track way of thinking is one of the most poisonous ways to live your life.
It kills my soul to know that people have such degrading and negative stereotypes about different groups of people in society. Grambling students are often incorrectly labeled.
Grambling is stereotyped as a negative university because it is a historically black college/university. In reality, that is what makes it so appealing.
There are so many various personalities from different parts of the world coming together and making up the student body. You cannot possibly bunch them into one group and smack them with a label.
So, close-minded readers, I hope you are happy to know that after my first week on campus, I am still alive. Grambling did not eat me up and spit me out. The only disappointment I faced while on campus was that I actually had to attend class.
Tina Marie Alvarenga, is a senior Tech journalism major at Louisiana Tech, is from New Orleans.