(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is one of a series of seven essays on diversity penned by Trine University students.)
“It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.” — Maya Angelou
In diversity, there is strength. How has diversity strengthened me, then? After reflecting on my time here at Trine University, I’ve had so much diversity to draw on! Diversity in thought, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, everything. And yet, the passion to learn and succeed has united us all.
To me, diversity isn’t about what makes us strangely different; it’s about what makes us unique and how that uniqueness can unite all of us as a stronger, more intelligent cohesive whole.
With this in mind, seeing and becoming friends with numerous international students has allowed me to become so much more open and educated about the universe around me, so my entire perspective has changed.
I love to analyze and think deeply, but with this new perspective of love for all, I now think of how each person and their culture examines everything differently. It’s amazing to see how unique and creative we are in such a small world. How small? Small enough that we have students from every inhabited continent. Think about that: students from every continent have chosen to come here, out of all the universities and areas in the world to select! We’re all the better for it.
Because of their choice, we have a new, dynamic environment that pushes us and allows us to succeed in new ways and seem more attractive to outside individuals or companies. For example, companies love prospective employees who have vast experience with international culture and business, especially now that the world is so interconnected. What does this mean for Trine students? If we connect deeply with the international culture, it means we have business travel opportunities and job positions in other cultures on the other side of the world! Across the world.
Let that sink in. Students from a small school from a small area in Indiana now have the opportunity to travel the world and succeed, all because of the breadth of students here.
I love diversity and international students, so considering traveling abroad is so exciting that I can’t wait to go! The diversity here has allowed for that, and I couldn’t be happier as a result. Want to know my next thought? “Where should I go next?!” I’m looking forward to a diverse, enriching future!
Christian Gaston, of Wabash, is a student at Trine University and a member of the school’s Multicultural Student Organization. He presented this essay at the First Congregational United Church of Christ of Angola in its recent annual Diversity Sunday observance.