This is not for you. You cannot do it. You are not smart enough for this. Do not get your hopes high. Whether you are a student of color or are a first-generation student you must have heard words like these on your journey to college or in your first year at college.
This is systematic subjugation and we need to work together to eradicate it. Internalized oppression at college is a common phenomenon. We all are prized members of the community and no matter what people say, we have our own part to contribute.
Image Source: https://pixabay.com/illustrations/contest-compare-win-lose-compete-1767672/
Let’s see what you can do to fight against systemic maltreatment at college.
5 Ways to Revive After Oppression
1. Speak Up
The first step towards the eradication of despotism is its identification. When people develop a sense of critical consciousness and get to understand how systemic despotism impacts them, they are more likely to work against it.
It is a good step to recognize the negative messages and then try to reframe those negative messages into positive ones. Instead of encouraging people to embrace their upbringing, our society snubs it.
If you are bilingual, you should be proud of it because it is a part of who you are. No matter where you are from, what color you are, what race you belong to, you need to embrace it and stop anyone who is trying to take it away from you.
Several studies show that bilingual people have a better focus and an increased attention span. You can’t stay silent. If you are being oppressed, or you are watching it happen around you, you need to call it out.
Oppression eats up the soul from inside – you don’t like who you are and you fall into an identity crisis. Not only do you suffer, but so do the people around you. This is not fair and it shouldn’t happen to anyone.
Therefore, you should speak up about – if somebody is oppressing you, you need to raise your voice so that this cycle of mental violence would stop.
2. Nosedive Into Hobby
It is a harrowing experience to face systemic oppression. However, you cannot give in to despair and lose all hope. What you can and should do is find what makes you happy and nosedive into it.
Whether it is singing, drawing, research writing, just find your inspiration. Start a small business that will give you inspiration and will be a source of inner peace and energy for you. Follow the words of Robert Walsh, an expert writer from PapersOwl: “Just find what makes your heart beat harder and your soul will revive.” If you succeed in finding a business you like, that will help to get distracted from negative aspects of life.
3. Have a Circle of Positive People
Positivity attracts positivity and vice versa. If you stay in the company of the people who create negativity around you by oppressing you, by trivializing you, you are bound to get hurt and create hindrances in your progress.
You need to know that you are responsible for playing your part in ending oppression and a great way of doing that is to create a friendly space where like-minded people can come and talk freely.
You don’t have to wait to find your space – you need to create it for yourself. Surround yourself with people who understand your situation, people who are willing to fight for their rights, and who know that all humans are equals irrespective of their caste, color, or creed.
Positive people make you be positive as well. Be proud of your experiences and use them to move forward in your life.
Image Source: https://www.freepik.com/premium-vector/radiate-positivity-stylized-lettering-with-rainbow_4947341.htm#page=1&query=positivity&position=14
4. Ignore Offenders
Let’s face the truth – it is going to take a very long time to get rid of all the oppressors in society. This is a slow process and while you make active efforts to get rid of this social problem, you need to take care of your own mental health as well.
Even if there is nothing you can do, you can ignore the offenders. Offenders usually live on the fear they instill in their victims. Once you show them that they hold no power over you, and they don’t exist as far as you are concerned, they will fade away into the background slowly.
5. Take Care of Yourself
No one can take care of yourself better than you. You are the one who has been victimized and even though support groups and help from your family and friends matters a lot, at the end of the day, you are the one who will heal yourself.
When it comes to suppression, the first thing that a victim loses is their self-esteem and their self-confidence. You need to build yourself up and tell yourself that you are a worthy human being who has been treated in a very wrong way.
Take care of your self-esteem. Know your advantages. Keep doing the things that are good at and excel in. You are perfect – you don’t need to listen to a bunch of over-privileged people telling you how to live your life.
Image Source: https://pixabay.com/illustrations/presentation-woman-education-4608263/
It is not easy to have been systematically oppressed and for years – it is bound to leave some marks on you. However, you need to make sure that it doesn’t control you nor does it define who you are.
This behavior has been internalized in society for years. Try to turn your negative experiences into positive ones. If something or someone hurt you and scared you by saying that you are not good enough because of where you are from, you need to look at the brighter side of it.
You are more culturally aware than your oppressors – you have seen the world from different sides and you are better equipped to handle what life throws at you. Remember, systemized oppression at college is an ordeal, but it can be confronted.