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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

OPINION: Men’s Basketball just won’t back down
Abigail Taylor, Contributing writer • February 27, 2024

College blues

My father and I on a life changing day for me, my freshman move-in day.
My father and I on a life changing day for me, my freshman move-in day.

By: Essence Buckman, Staff Writer

I remember my high school graduation day like it wasn’t too long ago. I was so ready to get away from my classmates and experience something new. I knew that in three months, I would finally be attending college—Woffo rd college, that is. I just really wish I was better informed.

This college was never an option of mine, and I never heard of it until my high school French teacher recommended it to me. So I just did the application.  I was accepted and some of my other choices didn’t work out, but one of my top choices, Clemson, was in competition with Wofford as my final choice. I was given a private tour here by an upperclassmen and liked the way the campus looked; I did my research and liked that the class sizes would be small. Clemson’s size was simply a turn off for me, and I believed that I made the right choice choosing a small, private school that would accommodate my academic needs, but that’s about all this place does.

I don’t know if it was fate that resulted in me choosing this college and still attending, but from the first week of orientation until now, adjusting to this atmosphere has been a struggle. I was not deterred by the fact that I was attending a predominantly white institution or PWI because I always look at the bigger picture of things and know of other PWIs that are at least manageable by students of color. Unfortunately, I must say this particular one is very different compared to others due to the fact that there are not many outlets here for students of color to feel involved or comfortable for that matter.

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During orientation week, I was very upset to find out that there was no historically black sororities available on campus, when I was told that there were. I was also bothered that not many students here were very friendly and looked at me with judging eyes obviously because of the color of my skin. I knew that this could happen anywhere, but I found out that it will be hard to have a real organization-like family to fall back on since this campus is athlete and Greek-life revolved—if you’re not a part of those, no matter what color, you’re going to have a hard time.

Due to all of these situations, on top of feeling like I just do not belong here, I was vocal with my parents about transferring. I explained to them that the academic life here is already stressful, so to feel like I don’t even have a welcoming social or residence life to fall back on due to attending a conservative school, was terrible. I knew Clemson had similar issues like this, but deep inside I felt like I would be able to find what I was looking for to keep me happy. I didn’t want to be stressed out of for the majority of my experience here, but my parents kept insisting that I push through because “there is a light at the end of the tunnel.” So they will not let me transfer.

I have a few jobs here now, and I am trying to be more involved, but I still feel that disconnect. I still feel like I can’t call this college home, because “home is [supposed to be] where the heart is.” I have formed a family becoming a Resident Assistant, but to this day, I still feel like I made the wrong choice in choosing this college since every aspect of life here seems so exclusive to certain groups, not including me. Considering that fact that the atmosphere here is not the best, I feel like I was and still am robbed out of a happy college experience.

However, due to the diversity and race dialogue in Olin Theatre on Feb. 24, I am extremely hopeful that my experience, along with others’ will be noticed by many and taken into action. After this discussion, I am optimistic that the opinions I have formed about Wofford can be changed. Only time can tell.

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