To students of color trying to change campus

Priyanka Mara

One of my favorite professors once told me that the University as an institution is a beast, and it will chew you up and spit you out. Seems accurate. To students interested in creating a change on campus, the task of even finding the right person to email is a feat in and of itself. On top of that, you’re on a clock. The average student has four years here, including summers where the student population disperses and any momentum for change you had created disperses with them. 

But you know that. None of this is revolutionary. You don’t need to change a world, an institution and a system that has been built against you all by yourself. You can’t. And when the four years are over and the clock has timed out, be proud of what you have accomplished and know that you are more than what you do here. Your work is important and is making someone’s life on campus better and that is the most important part. 

Your work meant something, and it paved the way for the next girl after you to pick up your sword and continue the fight. 

You see something broken and think to yourself, “Someone has to do it, and if I don’t do it no one else will.” You are so used to giving everything in yourself to everyone around you, but how are you supposed to change the world if there’s nothing left inside of you? You are underpaid, underappreciated, but never unworthy because you are complex. You are angry, you are aggressive, you are powerful. You are important, you are formidable, you are glowing, you are happy. You deserve to be happy.

Priyanka Mara is a humanities and government junior.