Students of Color

Attending college can be exciting and challenge for every student. So much of life can feel like it is changing and unpredictable. Often, people experience academic, financial, social and family stressors. There can be breaks from stress but just when one round of finals and/or papers is over, another semester begins.

The staff at the University of New Hampshire Counseling Center (UNHCC) is committed to diversity and supporting the success of traditionally unrepresented students at UNH such as people of color. The UNHCC staff realizes that for students who have the experience of being different from most other people around them, handling the challenges and reaching graduation day can be even more difficult.  At a campus that has mostly white students such as UNH, students of color can feel quite different and even isolated from other students, staff and faculty. A student may be the only person of color in her/his class, which can feel alienating but also cause the person to feel more pressure to academically succeed and “present” her/his culture.

 

Here are some other challenges that students of color may confront at UNH:

  • Feeling misperceived or judged by others who are outside of your culture especially regarding traditions and customs that are particular to your culture.
  • Experiences with prejudice or discrimination: this can be subtle in the form of being ignored by others or receiving glares from others or unfortunately more overt in the form of slurs or physical violence.
  • Due to historical and present institutionalized racism, people of color often experience financial hardships. As a result, students of color frequently feel stressed by the economic costs of college while trying to have the unique opportunities that are part of the college experiences.
  • Balancing family responsibilities with social and academic expectations of college life  of the university 

 

Individuals belonging to two or more races or ethnicities may feel pressure to affiliate with one group more than the other. Similarly, students who are a part of more of than one minority group (e.g., a person of color who is also a woman and a member of a lower socioeconomic class) may feel these stressors in a more intensified way.  

Though students of color have much resilience, they can experience low self-esteem and anxiety when faced with these obstacles. Feeling this way is a natural reaction to stress.

There are ways that you can engage in self-help to reduce your stress. For example, you can listen to music, talk to your RA, friends and family, and/or take a relaxing walk. You may also want to try some relaxation strategies such focusing on nothing but your breathing and/or a calming person, place or object. For information on mindfulness strategies, visit the rest of our website and the Office of Health Education and Promotion at http://www.unh.edu/health-services/ohep/stress.html .

If you are feeling like stress has been negatively affecting your mood, sleeping, eating and/or you have been feeling quite nervous on most days for the past two weeks or more, we encourage you to speak to a counselor at UNHCC. We are located at Smith Hall, Room 306 and can be reached at 603-862-2090/TTY: 7-1-1 or 800-735-2964 (Relay NH). If you are experiencing stressors that are interfering with your personal happiness and academic success, contact the UNHCC to make an appointment to speak with a counselor. If you are feeling that you are a danger to yourself and/or others, visit UNHCC immediately or call 603-862-2090/TTY: 7-1-1 or 800-735-2964 (Relay NH) if the center is physically closed. If you are not comfortable doing so, contact 1-800-273-TALK, a free crisis hotline, or go to your local emergency room. UNHCC offers short-term individual and group counseling. For more information about UNCC services, please visit the rest of our website.

 

 Several campus resources are available that can be a way to meet other students of color:

-Office of Student Multicultural Affairs (OMSA): http://www.unh.edu/omsa/

Memorial Union Building (MUB), Room 327

- Multi-cultural student organizations: http://www.unh.edu/omsa/contact.html

-UNH President’s Commission on the Status of People of Color: http://www.unh.edu/cspc/

Thompson Hall, Room G-14

-The Connect Program for first year and transfer students of color: http://www.unh.edu/connect/  

89 Main Street, Hood House, Room 114 

-Inclusive Excellence - resources for People of Color

 

 

Here are some campus services that may be beneficial if you are experiencing academic or career difficulties:

 

-University Advising and Career Center: http://www.unh.edu/uacc/

89 Main Street, Hood House

 

-Center for Academic Resources: http://www.cfar.unh.edu/ 

Smith Hall, 2nd Floor

3 Garrison Avenue (corner of Main Street and Garrison Avenue)

 

-Disability Services for Students: http://www.unh.edu/disabilityservices/ 

Smith Hall, 2nd Floor

3 Garrison Avenue (corner of Main Street and Garrison Avenue)

 

If you are feeling like stress has been negatively affecting your mood, sleeping, eating and/or you have been feeling quite nervous on most days for the past two weeks or more, we encourage you to speak to a counselor at UNHCC. We are located at Smith Hall, Room 306 and can be reached at 603-862-2090/TTY: 7-1-1 or 800-735-2964 (Relay NH). If you are experiencing stressors that are interfering with your personal happiness and academic success, contact the UNHCC to make an appointment to speak with a counselor. If you are feeling that you are a danger to yourself and/or others, visit UNHCC immediately or call 603-862-2090/TTY: 7-1-1 or 800-735-2964 (Relay NH) if the center is physically closed. If you are not comfortable doing so, contact 1-800-273-TALK, a free crisis hotline, or go to your local emergency room. UNHCC offers short-term individual and group counseling as well as a limited number of screenings for learning disorders. For more information about UNHCC services, please visit the rest of our website.

Sometimes stress can produce physical health changes. If you experience physical health problems, please contact UNH Health Services at http://www.unh.edu/health-services/ to make an online appointment or by calling 862-9355/TTY: 7-1-1 or 800-735-2964 (Relay NH) to speak with a triage nurse.

 

Here are some resources in the local Seacoast Community:

 

The NAACP Seacoast Branch

Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail

The NH Minority Health Coalition

Latinos Unidos de New Hampshire

 

We wish you the best for a healthy and successful academic year!