by Christine Mwaluza

Catherine Pulsifer said, We are all different, which is great because we are all unique. Without diversity life would be boring. Imagine a life where we all lived the same way, ate the same food, drank the same type of alcohol, wore the same clothes and listened to one genre sounds boring right?

Diversity means understanding that each individual is unique and recognizing our individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies.

When exposed to a significant part of the real world the transition from childhood to adulthood can be a bit challenging and can lead to change which is both good and bad but then what kind of change are you adopting and why? As we enter into this new and untapped world called university the main goal is to fit in.

We all ask ourselves how will I fit into this place, what do I have to do in order to fit in? Our focus is on the latter, what do I have to do to fit in? That statement alone is a two edged sword, for some the answer can be their downfall and for others their rise. How so?

One may ask, well it can be their downfall because in their attempt to fit in they might end up making the wrong choices or trying too hard yet we all know that too much of anything is bad. Im sorry to say but the common phrase Do anything for clout has brought about the downfall of most of our peers. We rather throw our identity, manners and dignity out the window just so that we can momentarily fit in with our peers.

We shout YOLO as we take another shot of vodka without proper knowledge about the repercussions of not being responsible, a lifetime of damage can be done in a single night dont forget that, it can be done in an hour. Our downfall is brought about by trying to fit in by displacing ourselves and adopting the next persons characteristics without fully understanding what it takes to be that person.

Diversity is the magic. It is the manifestation, the first beginning of the differentiation of a thing and of simple identity. The greater the diversity, the greater the perfection. Thomas Berry. I could not emphasize the importance of diversity in better words. What we fail to understand is that what makes us stand out is our uniqueness and not our similarities. Have you ever thought that perhaps the best way to fit in is by not trying to fit in?

Lets take a moment to think about it who wants a copycat and not an original? I know I dont, Id rather be surrounded by people who challenge and therefore better my way of thinking than people who agree with me on everything and therefore theres neither appreciation nor depreciation just an intellectual stalemate.

One should exude an aura that attracts people because of the beauty in its difference and that can only happen when we learn to embrace who we are and not try to adopt who someone elses way of doing things.

So what if the most popular kid or all your friends are wearing LV, Gucci and wearing a Rolex watch, it doesnt mean you have to wear it too but doesn’t mean you shouldn’t either – If you do do it because you can afford it and you actually like brands. Your time will come when you start making your own money, acknowledge that we come from different backgrounds and not every hustle pays out.

Dont take the short road in order to hasten things the Shona proverb says Chimwe nechimwe chinenguva yacho. Maturity comes when we understand the depth of its meaning. They say majority rules but I say theres more power in the minority, when you look in the mirror dont see your colleagues reflection looking back at you be able to recognize the person that you are, the person that makes you different and diverse.

Do not put yourself in a situation where youll ask yourself how did I end up here, who am I looking at just because you wanted to fit in by following what everyone else was doing.

Be you, be real, Be diver.

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