Welcome Week: Serving our Student Retreat

When deciding which college I should go to, I heavily considered going to a historically blacIMG_2771 [107537]k college or university (HBCU) because I spent the majority of my academic career at predominantly white institutions (PWIs). I grew up in an environment that made me feel as though I was “too white” for the black kids and “too black” for the white kids. It took me a long time to begin to accept and embrace my own definition of blackness. I ultimately decided to go to a PWI with the hope that I could find my place amongst people who look just like me.

With fear tucked away in my back pocket, I moved into Rhodes College two days early to attend a serving our student (SOS) retreat. I honestly had no clue what I was getting myself into, but I knew I wanted to move in before my roommate so I could pick my side of the room. During the retreat, I got insight into what it meant to IMG_2777 [106629]be a student of color (SOC) at Rhodes. I learned about the problems I may have to confront as a SOC and the strides towards diversity that Rhodes is making. More than anything, I felt totally embraced by my community for the first time in my life.

I don’t think I could possibly put into words how much that feeling of acceptance means to me. But one thing I will say, is that it made me feel reassured about my decision to attend Rhodes. While I know my journey at Rhodes will be filled with a lot of ups, I am confident that I can rely on this community of people to have my back during the downs. We have already made some amazing memories together, and I am excited to see what the future holds.

Until next time,

Bri

Brianna Betton
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Brianna Betton

Rhodes College 2020. Molecular Biology and Spanish major.
Brianna Betton
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