Free Nameprofessorclass Essay Example
Becoming Someone Different
The life and experiences of a 26-year old black male from Newark New Jersey are different in some ways from those of a young white male from the Madison New Jersey suburbs. In other ways, the lives of two young men attending FDU are similar. The basics are the same. This is a not a big state college but rather a private school, it is coed and it is not based on any particular religion. Because of these differences, there is not a lot of pressure as far as joining a specific church or Christian group like there is at other schools. The FDU student population is a manageable, hovering somewhere between 10,000 and 12,000 undergraduates (Fairleigh Dickinson University 2015). This means there is not the legions of students to deal with such as there are at the University of Texas or University of Central Florida where just the undergraduate population is over 50,000 (US News and World Report 2014). Still there are the Greek organizations to contend with, but as a 26-year old man, black, white, or otherwise, the time for joining a fraternity and parties has passed and hold no appeal. Although it is impossible to overlook the fact that the Greek populations, both male and female, are overwhelmingly white and very young.
Relating to classmates as an 18 or 19-year old black student is much different than relating to classmates from the perspective of a 26-year old black man trying to finish a degree. As a fully-grown man trying to finish a degree, FDU seems more like a commuter campus to me than anything else. The new that is of interest to someone at this stage of life is the news that applies to people who work full-time and earn MBAs or other advanced degrees. Goals for a man in his late twenties include getting a good job, paying off student loans, not what party is going on that weekend. That does not me that there is no social life for someone in my position at FDU, it just means that I naturally gravitate toward people who are more like me and who face the same challenges of working full time, commuting, and getting a degree.
I am a native of New Jersey and that is one of the main reasons I am attending FDU. It is close to my apartment, my job, and my parents’ home. I feel I have about a 100 percent chance of graduating as long as I do the work. Just as FDU is not a huge University of Texas type operation neither is it some elite university where there is reportedly a section of snobs with important parents. There is no “Skull and Bones Society” at FDU, at least to my knowledge.
The school has a fairly active outreach program as far as recruiting Veterans is concerned and I have more in common with that group than with the younger crowd. They are closer to me in age and experience. Most of the Vets are at least 25-years old and many of them are black men. As a Veteran myself I understand how the GI Bill works and why it puts so many young black men on college campuses. I qualify for the work related programs and the people in that office are generous with information. I take note of who in the greater community might be hiring an FDU graduate for a good position in the near future. It is of course drummed into our heads during high school that as blacks we will face all sorts of hurdles and racism in the work place. I am not so sure this is actually true today. What is apparent is that the older generation is still bitter and on the alert for racism much of the time. However, from my perspective, having joined the military out of necessity (there was no way my parent could have paid for college for me) might not be a dream come true but it gave me a chance to grow up. Would it have been easier to have parents who saved and sent me to college when I was 18-years old, yes it would have certainly been easier. I am just not sure it would have been better for me in the long run.
There is plenty of black culture to be had in New Jersey. For example, just this month, Angie Stone, Avery Sunshine, and Jonathan Martin were all at the Newark Symphony Hall. Some of the men who are Veterans and who are black like me wanted to attend this Neo-Soul Concert. It was a benefit for sickle cell (Newark Symphony Hall 2015). I doubt many of the younger black FDU students would have been interested in attending. I am positive none of the young white kids would have enjoyed it; however, they certainly would have been welcome. Students that young have a whole set of interests much different from the mature students on campus.
The campus is about half white, about a quarter of the student population is Hispanic, and about ten percent is black. The rest is a mix. The male-female ratio is lopsided with many more females than males on campus. I have heard that there are a lot of complaints about that ratio and the lack of social life for students who live in campus. These complaints are largely irrelevant to a mature student focused on finishing his degree. As far as I am concerned this school is more about getting the degree, getting the job, and less about the whole collegiate coming-of-age experience. Maybe if I was younger, my perspective would be different and I, too, would feel like I was missing out.
It cannot be overlooked, and although it does not seem to matter, the fact is that the FDU administration and faculty is overwhelmingly white. I will qualify for the regular FDU Alumni Association, which apparently connects to over one hundred thousand FDU graduates. There is a Black Alumni Association that does not seem to have itself as well together as the other organizations. From the FDU website it is possible to connect to all of the alumni associations except the Black Alumni Association, that links takes the viewer straight to Facebook to log on. (Fairleigh Dickinson University 2015). This seems less than professional or desirable. Additionally, it makes it seems as if the Black Alumni Association is somehow not sanctioned by FDU. Even the FDU-Vancouver Alumni Association has an internal page. The Black Alumni Association is the only one that leads to an external URL and that is not even an official domain. According to the statistics, more than half the FDU campus student population qualifies as people “of color” in the United States. This plays into the emphasis on diversity that seems to be a mainstay in dialogs about campus life and post-graduation life in the United States. That said, it seems to me the whole diversity thing should work in my favor after graduation when I am applying for better, higher paying jobs than the one I have now. I know, for example, that some companies have specific hiring missions that address issues of diversity (Abuse 2015). That bodes well for my future life. As a young black man with a college degree, it may in fact be easier for me than it is for a very young white graduate to get a job with a Fortune 500 company.
According to Pew Research, by 2025 most everyone in the United States will be Hispanic and old. That is not really an exaggeration. At the current rate the Hispanic population will have tripled and the elderly population doubled by 2025. This seems to indicate that a 26 year-old black male with a college degree would still be a minority and able to take advantage of diversity programs (D’Vera & Passel 2015). My 2025 counterpart will probably be better at foreign languages than I am today because in 2025, one in five Americans will be immigrants. It will definitely be more crowded, with another 177 million more people trying to fit into the same space. I hope that transportation will be better and more efficient. Maybe if it were 2025, I would not be taking any classes on campus at all, maybe it would all be tele-learning, and so maybe would my future job .
Abuse, S. “Managing Diversity in Corporate America.” www.rand.com, 2015.
D’Vera, Cohn and Jeffrey Passel. “U.S. Population projections: 2005-2050.” Pew Research Center, 2015.
Fairleigh Dickinson University. www.fdu.edu, 2015.
Newark Symphony Hall. www.newarksymphonyhall.org, 2015.
US News and World Report. “ 10 Universities with the Largest Undergraduate Student.” www.usnews.com, 2014.