“You should always be willing to let someone else in–if you trust them.”
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Transcript for Rah Rah Guy
I would describe Valpo as a culture shock. You go from a place like Gary or Merrillville where you’re used to seeing a lot of Latino individuals or a lot of Black students or a lot of, you know… and Valpo is primarily white, and that took a toll on me. And when I got here, I felt like I was out of place. I felt like there’s nothing but Caucasian students here. They don’t understand what I’m going through, they won’t get my humor. They won’t get my struggle that I go through on a day to day basis. They won’t understand what it means to be a black student. They won’t understand this and that, only because I didn’t trust it, you know.
I didn’t want to believe that there were people out there who could actually understand what I went through without being there with me. You know, I sort of felt like the only people that could understand me are other black students who went through the same thing. And I learned that that was wrong. You know, that’s the wrong way to think.
You should always be willing to let someone else in, you know, if you trust them. And when I started to do that, I learned that, you know, a lot of students have different struggles, and I learned to appreciate where a lot of students were coming from, and they learned to appreciate where I was coming from, and that helped me out in a lot of different ways, whereas I can make my college experience more about growing and learning and education and not about, you know, the past.
When I first went into Core, I didn’t want to talk. You know, I didn’t want to say anything. I didn’t want to put myself out there. But that was my own personal biases that I had, and once I put those aside, I felt like, and I feel like even now as a junior year, that Valpo is my home. Like I can go up to any student here or any professor here and talk to them and they’ll be open arms and willing to help me out or willing to just give an ear to what I want to say or just go out and have fun with me.
But, yeah, Valpo really chose me. I never really thought I would be one of those ‘rah-rah’ guys for any type of schools. Even at high school, I wasn’t a ‘rah-rah’ guy, but coming to Valparaiso University and just feeling this… the way that the whole school spirit is here sort of made me one of those people.