Showcasing ‘Humans of 2021’ strengthens campus community

By Samantha Koch

Humans of New York is a revolutionary blog that sparked conversation all around the world. Its creator, Brandon Stanton, began this project through a simple goal of photographing 10,000 New Yorkers.

Stanton’s project grew after it gained tremendous interest on social media, prompting him to go on to visit more than 20 countries, where he takes pictures and writes captions on the most breathtaking stories.

Ngo is the first to be featured on the Instagram page. (Instagram)

Whether it be a child gloating about his make-believe super power in the Philippines, or a woman in India being prohibited by her father to travel for an educational trip, HONY’s work is extremely powerful in sharing the wide spectrum of what people are thinking and experiencing.

The College’s Sophomore Class Council listened to these stories and decided that this is just what the College needs Humans of 2021 –– a segment on the Class of 2021 Instagram page that shares students’ personal stories.

The first post begins with, “In Vietnam, I was born on the countryside and lived on a farm.”

It talks briefly about a female student, Linh Ngo, who didn’t have an easy time adjusting to the different culture when moving to the U.S. Her parents worked long and hard hours to provide her with a better life and goes on to say that she admired how her parents navigated these difficulties and that motivated her to major in the male-dominated field of engineering.

Linh’s story was a hit on the TCNJ 2021 page, and one person even commented, “We find power in each other’s stories. Thank you Linh for sharing yours” with a thumbs up emoji.

Thousands of students on campus all have different stories that only few people get the chance to hear. With the help of Humans of 2021, Sophomore Class Council hopes to create similar themes of humanity and unity that is evident in HONY.

Too many people think that the College is just a bubble of homogeneous New Jerseyans. During high school, this was an opinion that I heard constantly, and it almost discouraged me from attending the College.

However, now that I attend the College, I realized how far from the truth that statement truly is.

There are people on campus who come from all different types of backgrounds and have had a variety of experiences. One person performed in seventeen musicals in high school, another volunteered more than 2,000 hours before attending the College. A student from Japan who is studying abroad here owns his own business back home. The list is never-ending.

If people do not speak to all the different students on this campus, then they will never understand the diversity that exists at the College. This is a movement that has endless potential to become something great, and the College is definitely heading in the right direction in terms of creating more diversity. The Sophomore Class Council hopes to provide a helping hand with that goal, just one post at a time.

Students share opinions around campus

“Is it important to showcase diversity on campus?”

Laurel Wong, a sophomore early childhood education and psychology double major. (Clare McGreevy / Opinions Editor)

“Yes because it diminishes stereotypes if people are more aware of diversity on campus.”

Hannah Claus, a freshman chemistry major. (Clare McGreevy / Opinions Editor)

“Yes it is because it gets you familiar with other people on campus.”