Mixed on Campus #14 – Sophia Singh

Name: Sophia Singh
Mix: Indian & Serbian
Major & Year: Neuroscience; Sophomore

Q: How has being mixed affected your campus experience?

A: People are very quick to assume, and simultaneously, dismiss who/what I am based on my appearance. It’s very disappointing, because I thought that narrative would change from the South (where I grew up) when I moved here for college, but it really hasn’t. Ignorance and micro aggressions permeate every part of this student body still, and it has created an overall sense of weariness.

Q: What do you wish more people knew about the mixed experience?

A: It has been so difficult to grow up in a society that has forced you to put yourself in one box or the other. It’s so jarring at times, because I’m not “Indian enough” for some , but also not “white enough” for others. Growing up not being able to place yourself into any singular category makes you really question yourself and who you are. I still go into doctor’s offices today that place emphasis on “only checking one” in the race section.

Q: What is your proudest moment?

A: The moment I truly learned to love myself and the cultures I represent. Being born and raised in Louisiana has definitely been a interesting experience, tainted with the underlying forceful assimilation into white southern culture. It’s something I will never be, but it took me until middle school to truly appreciate the unique experience I have from having a Sikh-Indian father and Serbian mother. It’s something I am so extremely proud of, because I have seen the sacrifices they have made to get to where they are, and the sacrifices they have made to be together. Why wouldn’t I be proud of how I represent that?

Q: What are you most anxious about right now?

A: I think the general trend of “backwardness” we see going on in the United States right now. It’s naive to ignore the rise of the ultra- conservative right in this moment, and it’s something we should all, as a modern society, be more wary of. There is going to be a lot on the line in this next election, and I fear the most basic fundamental rights for every marginalized group will be at risk.

Q: What kind of person do you aspire to be?

A: I aspire to be seen as someone who has spent a lifetime being kind and helpful. There is nothing more rewarding in this life than helping as many people as you can, in any way possible. Most importantly, to have led a life filled with kindness. It costs so much more to be mean, so why not approach everything with kindness?

Mixed on Campus was inspired by the Humans of New York project. The purpose of Mixed on Campus is to give a voice to this university’s mixed community and shed light on its members. Being mixed means to be multiracial, multiethnic, and/or a transnational adoptee. Through Mixed on Campus, mixed students have the opportunity to have their portrait drawn and share their experiences!

Alice Conner

Hi, I'm Alice Conner! I'm a 3rd-year undergraduate student majoring in Industrial & Operations Engineering. Digital art is one of my passions! My current project, Mixed on Campus, was inspired by the Humans of New York project. Through Mixed on Campus, I hope to give a voice to the University of Michigan's mixed community and shed light on its members. You can contact me at alicecon@umich.edu or find me on Instagram @aliceinside1drland :)

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