Dealing with the Struggles of an LGBT Student
Being a student is hard, especially when dealing with problems like finding a place to live, organizing your studying schedule and handling your finances. However, things are even harder for LGBT students who come to a new environment and feel a need to reinvent themselves. Whether they’ve just moved from a smaller place to the big city, or are in the process of figuring out who they are and what their sexuality means, being both a student and an LGBT person is quite challenging. Therefore, if you’re not sure how to juggle these two things at the same time, here are a couple of points that might help you.
Coping with the stigma
Let’s face it – it’s 2019, and certain parts of the world are still not fully accepting LGBT people. Besides being completely wrong on so many levels, this predominant feeling is also dangerous because young people are forced to deal with the problems and challenges they shouldn’t have to. Coping with this stigma can be hard for students as they already have a lot on their mind, so you need to find a way to handle this situation. Understanding who you are, realizing that the things you feel towards other people are quite all right, learning that this stigma is wrong and undeserving, and sharing your experiences with your peers are just some of the ways to cope with this issue and changing the paradigm.
Finding your support group
Sharing your experiences is probably the hardest thing to do, but it’s also something that can help you the most. If you come from a small community where you couldn’t find anyone to talk to, being suddenly surrounded by tons of people is more than liberating. Therefore, you need to connect to others going through the same problems as you and share your story. This doesn’t have to be a large number of people – just one or two friends will be quite enough to make you feel better and understand your sexuality in a more meaningful way.
Connecting to other students
Bonding over schoolwork and problems regarding sexuality might seem like two different things, but when you’re an LGBT student, these somehow blend into one. And the best thing to do is connect to other students in your class and see how they’re coping with similar problems. These conversations can lead to other things and these people can help you with your schoolwork as well. They can also recommend their favorite studying strategies and learning aids such as Thinkswap, a helpful online platform that might really help you with your schoolwork. Ultimately, some of these people could turn into your best friends or partners, so reaching out to them is essential.
Changing the policies
Introducing a change and finding for your rights is tough, and doing so while being a student is even tougher. But, if you put your mind to it and get in touch with people who share your views and beliefs regarding sexuality, you can make a difference. This is a lengthy process, of course, and you need to do it carefully and gradually, but it’s definitely not impossible. Get organized, talk to your teachers and school administration, and you may be able to help the future generations of LGBT students.
Dealing with your finances
This is another important issue all students need to deal with, but it seems that the LGBT students are particularly influenced by it as various studies on student loans show that these students are in more debt than straight students. There are several reasons why this is happening – improper planning, inability to find work, bad economy, etc. – and it’s turning into a major problem all LGBT students are struggling with. And since financial issues are directly influencing your ability to do your best in the classroom, you need to figure them out as soon as possible.
Being an LGBT student means fighting two battles at the same time – with your schoolwork and the stigma surrounding your sexuality. But, if you face your problems and find ways to deal with them, you’ll be able to focus on your studies and explore your sexuality freely, and that’s what we all need in this day and age.