As the only black male in the entire undergraduate program of my department I've often felt isolated. Initially, I blamed it on the culture of CMU, where students are often called antisocial. As time passed, I realized this may be a more unique feeling that I was experiencing. I feel a tremendous need to erase parts of my personality in order to just fit in. I feel the need to not completely express myself as I worry about being singled out even more so. I feel criticized when I ask questions in class and they are not taken as seriously. I've struggled in classes where my failing grades have been laughed and not taken seriously. This experiences have made me feel the need to not even take myself seriously, and I've had plenty of nights where I've questioned what I was doing here. The Thanksgiving break of my first year I spent the entirety of it looking up different schools, seeing if I should bother transferring. I decided this was a classic case of "the grass is always greener" and decided I was going crazy. However, as I spent more time here it seems like this is a shared experience with others. I just want don't want to feel more excluded than I already have.

- Anonymous