I was 15 and participating in a program that included all kinds of students from the Midwest. We stayed in Marquette, Mich. for an entire summer going on field trips, taking summer classes, camping and, of course, dating. A group of students were having a conversation about race and dating; Jim, a group advisor, chimed in on the discussion sharing his experiences and explained how college was an eye-opening time for him. Jim said he had never met what he referred to as a black-haired person, a person outside of the Caucasian race, until he went to college.
The overall mood on college campuses is one of acceptance. College is a place where everyone is trying something new, whether it is a new sport or a new fashion trend. Trying new things is accepted and expected.
Being in a diverse environment with people from various ethnic backgrounds can be overwhelming, exciting and new; especially for someone from a small town where diversity can be hard to come by. It can give a person the chance to get involved in things that they would not have been able to in their hometowns, such as interracial dating.
Nowadays, for many people, interracial dating is common. For others it is a new experience.
College campuses are always buzzing with excitement. Campuses are full of young men and women who have left home to pursue an education and of course begin a journey of self-discovery.
For older generations interracial dating can be seen as taboo. Younger generations seem to be less concerned with race when it comes to dating. According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research
Center, Millennials (people born after 1980) are more open to change; they are confident and more accepting overall than older generations. As of 2006, 22 percent of Americans have a relative in a mixed-race marriage. 14 percent of all new marriages were between spouses of a different ethnic background or race from each other in the United States in 2008. This trend seems to support the
fact that people are dating interracially more often and that it is becoming more accepted.
Although American culture has begun to embrace people from all walks of life; there will always be a small group of people who disagree with change. There are people who find it hard to tolerate and respect the differences that we as people have.
Often times when you date someone you are forced to try to understand that person’s point of view, beliefs and culture. Dating someone from a different race or culture may enhance or enrich your life in a way that you may not have thought possible.
You may have experiences, positive or negative, that help shape your perspective on the world that we live in. Of course you don’t have to date outside of your race to enrich your life but for some this may be the first and the best opportunity to do so.
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