It’s like a double edged sword

doubndI recently picked up a wonderful pamphlet from I don’t know where but it’s titled “dealing with race- related stress”  I’m not quite sure what they mean about it being Race- Related in that I still can’t figure what bubble to fill out after I’ve already checked that I’m Hispanic/Latina/ Chicana  etc. That’s a whole other issue.

I’ve applied to 3 schools already and have about 4 more to go. Maybe 5.  The entire process is extremely overwhelming and very … pain provoking. Especially in the wallet compartment. Trying to make sure that those letters of Rec actually get there along with everything else on top of school worries is not the best experience to have to go through. I just want them to pick me!

Okay so what’s this double edged sword?

The career I am selecting is a school psychologist. I can probably name  a zillion reasons why this is my dream job (for now). I can also name of a nice amount of reasons why the field of school psychology needs me! One of those is the fact I am bilingual. There is a huge huge need for Spanish speaking psychologists including school psychologists. Another reason to why they should really just pick me, is  probably because I think we need to add a little diversity in there. I’ll find the official statistic later but I’m pretty sure at least 90% of school psychologist are European- American/White/Caucasian females who only speak one language. Along with the changing demographics of the students, I really think we need to add diversity among the faculty especially with a career that involves a lot of trust and collaboration with parents and students. In sum, we need diversity in that field.

And I just want them to pick me!

On the other hand, I have this disgusting feeling when I think that I may favored over other applicants just because I am not European-American/White/Caucasian. I don’t want to be picked just because of that. I want to be picked because I have worked so hard these past 4 years to be a competitive applicant. While I realize that there are minimum gre scores, GPA’s, research required, classes required to help me from thinking that, there is still no way to really know why I was picked. Or am I just here to fill this quota?

I felt the same way about my undergrad experience. I knew I fit all of the “requirements” but sometimes I just feel like i’m used.  There are many ways of dealing with those insecurities but I don’t dive into those today.

So that’s my dilemma. I want them to pick me because I would add a different type of diversity to a much needed field. But I don’t want them to pick me just because I would add a different type of diversity. It’s like I am creating this disgusting double bind and no matter what happens, I can’t win. I think that’s one benefit to really being a non-minority. Is that satisfaction of being selected and not having that ever impending doom of doubt in the back of your mind because you happen to have been born with some background. Along with that, I don’t want others to be think ‘oh she probably got in because she’s Mexican.” That is a comment I have heard here at the U of I. Not always in a serious manner, sometimes it was delivered in a “joke” format but that is not something i’d really like to joke about. It’s a serious concern or dilemma that I really have bubbling inside of me at times. Not all the time.

I also don’t think I am alone with this concern. If you’ve been lucky enough i’m pretty sure that this topic would be covered in a sociology class or a latino/a studies class or any class that’s attempted to look at the issue of oppression. Or maybe you’ve felt this way too.

And this is so applicable to any other field or application process.

Karina Diaz

Senior at the U of I


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