Embracing your diversity and building your identity

In a sea of students, college can make you feel as though you’re lost without purpose or a place to call your own. And while some may say these are the best years of your life, this is your prime opportunity to grasp the moments at hand and make the most of them.

At this time in our lives, it may be tough to deal with things such as finding yourself, determining goals for the future and setting aside enough time to earn a degree — but it’s doable.

I’ve changed my major, held several leadership positions in student organizations on campus and am graduating within four years in May with two majors.

However, this is not an opportunity for me to brag about myself, but rather an opportunity for me to brag about what is possible.

One of the greatest strengths that our university has is the diverse student population.

If you were to peruse our campus, you would see the plethora of religions, races, genders, ages and orientations that come together to make up our Norse family. Non-traditional, traditional, gay, trans, Methodist, Buddhist, Saudi Arabian, Asian, 20-something’s and 60-something’s–the possibilities are endless.

While yes, I am your average, white, American, 20-something-year-old gal hailing from Kentucky, I do understand the idea of not feeling like you belong. I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs, but have managed to find my place amongst the chaos that is college.

I’ve had the honor of honing in on my awkward mannerisms, embraced my big hair and cackle, and have found who I am while at NKU.

Here, you have the opportunity to stand out and be yourself, get involved, make new friends, earn a quality education and still hold true to yourself.

NKU is a family. A family of diversity.

Take the time to stand out and to find your niche. Own your “diverse-ness”, regardless of if it’s only on the surface. Own it. You are who you are for a reason. We all have flaws or differences that set us apart. Learn to love the skin you’re in.  We each contain a unique spirit which helps to create our melting pot of a home at NKU.

I know it can be difficult to feel that sense of belonging.  You can do it.  I have faith in you.  We all are here to further our education, but why not further yourself and embrace your quirks too.

Even if it may be tiresome, make sure to put in that extra effort to build not only your resume, but your identity as well.  Be confident in who you are — for in the long run, that’s what will help you to find where you belong. Where you fit in.