Picking a college isn’t easy. For teens weighing their options there are a lot of factors to consider. YR Media’s Valencia White says her racial identity played a big role.
As a senior, the question I get asked the most is: Where do you want to go to college? My answer is always the same. I want to go to Howard University or Spelman College, both of which are historically Black colleges. But sometimes I ask myself, "Am I Black enough to go to an HBCU? "
I’m biracial — my mom is mixed with Black and Filipino and my dad is white. In seventh grade, my parents switched me from a majority-white Catholic school to a more diverse school. I quickly realized how little diversity I had been exposed to at my old school. I was happy for once not to be the only Black kid in the class.
But adjusting to a new school didn’t come easily.
Kids would ask me, “Why do you act so white?” I felt like I had to change my personality just to be accepted. I know I’m Black and that’s something I’ve never doubted. But when my peers constantly doubted my blackness, I started to question my identity.