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Student story: Overcoming anxiety around not fitting in as an obstacle to college

This student shares their experience transitioning from a majority black community to a diverse college. They found a strong sense of belonging and support at Brown University, making friends and connecting with the black community. Programs helped them adjust, and they formed lasting friendships.

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Video transcript

- Where I come from, I come from a majority black community, about 70% of my county is black, and my school was 90% black. And because there was this shared experience, there was a strong sense of community between all of us. And all the schools that I was looking at, I was looking at schools like Brown. And I knew that (laughs) the schools weren't gonna be like where I was comin' from. And so I was very concerned about fitting in, and about finding people who would know where I was coming from, and my experience. And I definitely found that here. I fit in, I made so many friends. The black community is very strong, and there were a lot of programs to help me with that transition, and that was really helpful. (laughs) I have a really funny story. So I came to school, I came to Brown in July as part of a pre-orientation program called Catalyst. And it was for disadvantaged students, or underrepresented minority students, who were interested in studying science at Brown. And so I came on campus and barely, no one was there, because it was July. And when I went to the bookstore, I met the very first student at Brown I will ever meet, and her name's Jamelle, and she's my best friend now. And I remember her whole family was there. And I was just walking and being shy. She comes up to me and goes, "Are you a freshman at Brown? "I'm a freshman at Brown. Where are you coming from? "This is my family." Talking to me like we'd known each other for years. I was like, that's what I'm gonna be expecting, comin' to this school. And yeah, as I said before, we spend every Thanksgiving together now. And I was just so excited that day. And that's just how Brown has been for me.