When students are deciding what school to attend for college, they focus on a number of issues; Do I want my school in a city or on a campus? How far away from home do I want to be? Do they have the major I want? Some students, like I did when applying and deciding colleges, also focus on the diversity on campus—what is the percentage of minority students? How many Catholic students are there in the student body? What is the male-to-female ration?
Choosing your future school is obviously a personal choice, so it’s important do what will make you most comfortable and enjoy the experience! But for those students unsure of whether or not to attend a school with a lot of variety or the same mix of people, here’s some reasons why I find it important to focus on college diversity when applying or deciding on colleges.
Diversity will add to your college experience.
Being on college campuses where there is a mix of people with different backgrounds and different interests will educate you and allow you to meet people you may not have met had you gone to a less diverse school. Going to a college with a less homogeneous student body also gives you the opportunity to shed light on hobbies, religions, ethnicities, or backgrounds you may have not been exposed to before, and you can really learn a lot from various exposure of different types of people! A girl on my floor in my dorm is from China, and on the first day we all arrived, she handed my roommates and me small packages of candy and tea from China; that’s when we learned that it was a Chinese tradition to give people you visit or room with little gifts. You learn something new every day!
You’ll be more prepared for life after graduation.
Let’s face it—once you graduate college, you’re headed into a world of unpredictability. Who knows who you’ll meet, what your career will be, or where you’ll live? Going to a school with a diverse student body can help prepare you to interact with people of another background or interest than you, which you may not have experienced before. Being at a school with little diversity will keep you in close contact with people similar to yourself, and although that is not an issue, it may benefit you to meet people of different backgrounds, ethnicities, ideas, and beliefs because out of college, it is most likely you will be encountering diverse people.
Diversity will make you a more social person.
When you talk to people who are different from you, it may be difficult in the beginning, especially since there could be major differences. But as you increasingly talk to people who are different than you, you will come to adjust to a multitude of conversations and enjoy talking to people who are different than you. By opening your mind to the diversity your campus and the world has to offer, it will allow you to talk to people a lot more openly and exchange ideas, beliefs, and lifestyles. At any school with an emphasis on diversity, it’s difficult not to find someone who is very different from you, and it really makes socializing a more interesting and enjoyable activity.
Recently, many professors and other educational professionals are looking into how diversity can affect your college experience for the better. Click here to read more reasons why diversity matters in college!
With these guidelines, it’s up to you to decide to what degree college diversity will play in your college plans. For more information, check out the articles under the College Diversity section on CollegeXpress.