Throughout college you will meet so many different people with different attitudes and beliefs than your own. Embracing diversity is a key factor in college success and every student should be open and willing to learn more about other cultures, people and beliefs. The problem with today’s society is that it is highly driven by social stereotypes that don’t give a person the chance to let them true selves show because others are blinded by the stereotype you are labeled with. The stereotypes that come along with mental illness are harsh and hurtful; words such as freak, loser, crazy or weirdo. These stereotypes help enforce negative thoughts within ourselves and make our road to recovery even harder. The only way to stop the judgment is to take matters into your own hands! Leading the way our generation can stop the use of stereotypes on college campuses and here are some ideas on how to do it!
Just because someone is different than you does not mean that they should be treated differently! Treat everyone you meet the way that you would want to be treated. If you are accepting of everyone you come in contact with others will follow and soon your campus will not look like a bunch of strangers to you!
Stand up to bullying.
There is nothing that I hate more than bullying. If you see someone getting made fun of or picked on because they look different or fit the stereotype of someone that would be considered “weird” you say something. You stop that discussion right in its tracks you let that person know that you are offended by what they are doing and it should be stopped.
Get to know others.
Don’t make judgments of others before you get to know them. Try your best to keep all stereotypes out of your head when you meet others and get to know them for who they really are. You will be surprised the kind of relationships that you can make!
Spread the word.
Start the movement! Let others in on your secrets! Spread the word on the evils of stereotypes and urge everyone to do the same! All movements start small, it’s up to you to make it grow!
Using these tactics I know that you can make a difference on your campus community and on the world. If you have any other ideas on how to stop the use of stereotypes feel free to add to the conversation! Remember to dare to be different and have the courage to stick up for others!