Although our readings on “orientalism” focused on a more large-scale description of the concept of “othering” a particular group of people, I believe that this same idea can be applied to much more specific and nonobjective circumstances. For example, when I first arrived at Dickinson in 2017, although I did not vary too much in appearance from the rest of the students, it did not take long before I began to feel “out of place”.  

Whether it was in mandatory first-year activities, or in class, it seemed as though most students had attended high school at a prestigious boarding, or private school somewhere in the North East, whereas I attended public school in southern Virginia.  

I became very self-conscious about my qualifications to be at Dickinson, which resulted in hyper analyzing my comments in class as to not appear as having less academic capability than the other students. Much of this was self-inflicted, however, I had enough experiences to solidify these assumptions that I had made.  

The temporary results of this were falsely viewing those who are from wealthy areas, particularly cities, as having unsubstantiated confidence about who they were compared to others, and detached from reality. This of course, was a gross generalization and without firm grounds. It did not take long before I realized that this perspective was false, and subconsciously inducing stress as by “othering” people around me, as I was actually “othering” myself.  


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