The Mixture

The Mixture

How College is a Human Salad

What is a normal a person? I feel like I’m a pretty normal person, or at least that’s what I felt before coming to college and becoming aware of my surroundings.  I come from a family of six; a mom, a dad, two sisters, myself, and a dog. I’ve lived in a ranch style house in a safe neighborhood in a semi big city. I went to a local high school and did well in school while playing varsity football and working.  I never was an outgoing person so I blended more into the crowd and didn’t standout or demand attention. I truly felt like I was the definition of what it meant to be a normal person.  I thought that coming to college would just be like high school on steroids, more tests, more paper, more stress, but more freedom.  I thought even though people come from all over they would just blend into college and turn into “normal” people, so to not standout in the masses of people. I was very wrong. Everyone is someone in college and instead of blending everyone was mixed. A long time ago I learned that the difference between a mixture and solution. A solution is a blend where one or more substances dissolves into another. While a mixture is made when multiple substances are combined, but they are not combined into one substance.  The example we would always learn to distinguish the two was that sugar and water would blend into a solution, while the ingredients of a salad would mix together but still be independent substances making up the overall salad, hence being a mixture. College was not the sugar and water making up a mass of “normal” people, but instead the ingredients of a salad being tossed together in a giant bowl.

           Over the past few days I have recorded all the information and interactions I have come across in daily tasks. The first and most obvious information that I receive every day when I step outside and look around, is that I a one of the few minorities attending my school. College mixes all different races of people but there is a reason why blacks, Asians, and Hispanics are considered minorities in a general population. I also realize, as a black male, that I am one of the very few attending my university that is not a student varsity athlete. When I would find a black male they would always have a green Gatorade water bottle that the university gives all their athletes. Even though typically black males struggle in school but tend to excel in sports, I find it a little concerning that at least this school tends to take far more black athletes than students. In the college mixture black males might be a little under represented, but we are still a key ingredient in the salad.

          Another interesting fact I noticed is that in the great college salad the ingredients are broken down past race, but into interests and views. In my English class we found out that Google is customizing what we see as results when we search something based on what the web browser knows about us and what are interests are. It was interesting when we typed in the search bar “Hillary Clinton is/should,” and “Donald Trump is/should” to see what Google came up as suggested searches based on what they knew about us.  Some of my peers who were more conservative had search suggestions that favored Trump, while the more liberals, such as myself, favored Hillary Clinton. 

          I also observed my roommates during the time period I was taking field notes because we are all pretty different.  I’m in a triple room, so partially due to the cramping space in my room we have come to know and realize each other’s cultural differences. Like I said earlier, I’m a black male from Southern Virginia, Dillion is an Asian male from Northern Virginia, and Alex is a white male from Oregon. From the way we speak to what our interests are, are very different. For example, one of us would usually get joked for doing something different/weird by the other two. Alex and Dillion were joking me on Wednesday for having a bit of a southern ascent and using phrases they have never heard of. While they were joking me  we discussed how people talked in Oregon and Northern Virginia since Southern Virginia is such a different dialect according to them. So far my roommates and I are very close despite the occasional argument and us joing on each other for something which is to be expected.  College life demands that we are able to coexist with people very different from us and thrive in a new environment.

          For four days I recorded what I heard and saw, and what I saw is that we are all pretty different people thrown into a semi small school striving to graduate. We are all ingredients throwing into a bowl that due to clubs, classes, parties, sports, etc. we are all mixed into an array of colors, intelligence, interests, views, backgrounds, and talents. So am I a normal person? I have come to believe that there is no such thing as a normal person when it comes to college because we are all mixed into the college culture, or into a giant salad.

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