When people talk about being black at university, it sounds quite unlike any other experience of being black – and it is. It’s not the same as being black in secondary school or being black in the workplace. It warrants its own unique conversation and comprehension of the experience reserved only for the students who live through it. Before I was a black university student, I was a black person aware of the adversity and discrimination I would face throughout my life due to the colour of my skin, but I was unprepared for the good and the not so good times I would live out as a black student at university.
I knew exactly where I was going. Loughborough was a predominantly white town, like most towns in the UK, with black people making up 1.6% of the population. Loughborough University’s student population was largely white, like most universities in the UK where an average of 76% of students are white amongst Russell Group universities. But somehow, when it came to moving in day, I believed I would get a glimpse of London, its multicultural nature and multi-ethnic population in the East Midlands; unfortunately, I did not straight away.