I like talking to people on social media. Recently I came across a nice young person who is heading off to grad school. Yay! Good for you. I made a semi-off-handed comment about “Are you pursuing services?” and I was asked what I was talking about.
I brought it up because this is a person of color heading to a school in an extremely white state. I’m *sure* support exists.
This person expressed surprise. There are services? What kind of services? What kind of support exists? How can I get help?
We are exchanging emails now. I feel like a Grade A Asshole, but one of the first things I suggested was reaching out to the Black Student Union and asking them about the culture on campus. Then you can talk to a local doctor in your home state, get an official on-the-record diagnosis (of problems you have already had for decades–this isn’t about making shit up, this is about a paper trail) and get support.
This person was shocked. They had never considered reaching out for that kind of support.
I didn’t know this support existed when I went to grad school. If I knew then what I know now… I would never have had to take a hand written test. I could have typed the final exam and I would have a masters degree. With my history there is *no excuse* for a school withholding a degree because I can’t hand write. My future work will not depend on my ability to hand write.
I feel weird suggesting resources that are *not for me*. It feels.. inappropriate. And yet!
I want more people of color to succeed in college and join the well-paid labor market. Resources help that happen. It doesn’t take a lot of time out of my day to reach out on social media to strangers who mention that stuff is going on for them. I don’t spend an hour a day. And countless people have told me that I show up on the exact right day to tell them something useful.
I really appreciate social media.