Male Economics and Film Double Major C/O 2019
How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
It’s definitely more collaborative. It’s still competitive, but not to the point that you feel suffocated. People want to do well for themselves, but everyone will still help you to an extent.
How was transitioning to Clark as a first-generation student? Were there any systems in place to help you adjust?
At my high school, we didn’t have a lot of students who are White, so it was difficult to adjust to a different system. Also, everybody does well in classes here, so I felt like I got imposter syndrome. In high school, I was on honor roll and there were students who were not, but at Clark, everybody was on honor roll and had done so much more, and I wondered if I belonged there. I got over that by realizing I got myself into this school.
Clark offers two programs that I did. One is called ACE, which is a program for students of color and first-gen students. You come to Clark two weeks before and take two classes to earn one credit. You also get mentors and are supported the whole year. The other program that I did is Connections, which is a program for students of color. You don’t do academic work, you just come in to meet people of color and talk about your struggles and how to keep your cultural values. It’s pretty much to show you that there are other people like you and it’s more fun. I’m now a mentor and I meet with my mentees every month.