The Crisis of Choosing: Which Box Do I Check?

We here at USC recently became members of the Common App family. During the summer, our staff takes the time to fill our test applications; to help our processing center make sure the system is working, but also so that we as admission counselors can see what students are actually going through as they apply to be a part of our institution. I strangely love filling out forms and enjoyed the task until I reached the ethnic identity questions. Suddenly, I had flashbacks of being young and confused, thinking to myself “which box am I supposed to check?” Things have changed since the days when I had to fill out these forms. Now, students have the option to check all that apply, or not disclose this information if they so choose. This obviously reflects the quickly changing demographics in which more and more, people are embracing their multicultural identities and are finally able to recognize their diversity. But I always found one thing to be difficult about choosing how to identify: … [Read more...]

I Am a Woman and That Means…

Last week a colleague of mine posted a link to a BuzzFeed article titled “29 Things Women Avoid Doing Because We Fear for Our Safety.” I went down the list and checked off all 29 items. I didn’t even realize I did half of these things?! Then I got upset. As a woman, on what else am I missing. I have been especially aware of my identity as a woman in the last month or so. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t just discover this fact yesterday, but I can say I’ve noticed various aspects of my identity take the lead at different points in my life. In this last month I read two amazing books (that I encourage EVERYONE to read ASAP!), Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg and The Defining Decade by Meg Jay. Both reminded me of the beautiful, the challenging, and simply, the real, parts of what it means to be a woman in the 21st century. In addition to the Buzzfeed list and my summer reading, I came across Verizon’s Inspire her Mind Commercial. Then, the next day, I encountered yet another video, Always’ … [Read more...]

Coming Out As Biracial

Greetings Colleagues! We have been a bit delayed in our postings. Please forgive us.  We are back and look forward to engaging our members, sharing resources, and continuing conversations. In this post, I want to share a personal writing piece that touches on the issue of being biracial or multiracial, something with which I can identify and relate.  I encourage everyone to read over the young woman’s experience presented in Medium (link below). While it is not scholarly in nature, there is some real value in reading how someone struggles with their identity.  The post comes from the series "Human Parts" by Stephanie Georgopulos. After reading the piece I felt as if some of the thoughts were being taken out of my mind.  I found value and comfort in these words because there have been many times in my journey of self-identity that I have asked myself, who exactly am I? This is especially true because, most of my life, I was taught to identify ethnically versus racially. Upon … [Read more...]