Written by Shuab Gamote. Shuab is the BAME Ambassadors Project Coordinator for 2020/21 and has worked with The Union in ambassador roles since 2018.
For most student’s university is a roller-coaster, one moment you’re on cloud nine and the next you don’t quite know where you fit in. Our expectations coming into university are so high; after all “it’s supposed to be the time of our lives”. So if the reality doesn’t live up to the hype, you can be left thinking: “is this my fault?”. In these moments it is so easy to doubt yourself, to start asking yourself ‘what am I doing wrong?’. Being from a minority background can make these voices of doubt even louder. You can be faced with micro-aggressions and a general lack of understanding from your well-intentioned classmates and housemates.
MMU is one of the largest universities in the country with over 30,000 students and even though you are surrounded by people, university can feel like one of the loneliest places on earth. I can’t say that I know how you feel but I can certainly say that we are here; we are here to help, to listen and support you in any way that we can.
As a BAME student, it can be hard to find your place in university and figure out where you belong. It is important to know that you are not alone. The BAME Ambassador Project was created to help BAME students find a safe space where they can share their experiences and meet like-minded students who are feeling the same way.
With eleven BAME Ambassadors in my team, representing all five faculties, we are being tasked with amplifying your voice to the University while hosting events, discussions and focus groups throughout the year. With Black History Month starting this week, we will be introducing you to our new Ambassadors and our rich programme of events. Our Virtual BHM Quiz will give you a chance to meet new people and get involved in a meaningful discussion.
If you think you need support, get in touch with The Union's Advice Centre who can help with academic issues, housing and financial support or can point you in the right direction for any wellbeing needs. They are independent of the University and have a team of trained specialists who can help you by giving practical advice and support with the issues you are facing.
To all the students that are currently in lockdown, you are not alone and we are here to support you in any way that we can. We would love to hear about how you are feeling and the problems that you have faced through this difficult period – let us know.