What subject are you studying?
Creative advertising, I’m in second year and I love it. I am a copywriter. I focus on slogans and the words in adverts.
What companies do you want to work for post-graduation?
I would either like to work for a large advertising agency or a small company where my work is more meaningful, and I can make a change.
Why did you choose Falmouth?
I never visited Falmouth but heard Falmouth was a beautiful place. I always used to come to Cornwall for family holidays but never directly had visited Falmouth as a place. I remember when I got my results, I chose then. I previously applied to Philosophy in Liverpool. Choosing advertising gave me employable skills. I like writing, a lot, and I heard there was a lot of money in it. Worrying about your next meal is not ideal. Creative Advertising seemed a logical choice.
Has Falmouth lived up to expectations?
Yeah, definitely has. It’s a beautiful place, especially living in town. It’s better than Penryn. There’s not a lot going on over there.
When you came down to visit Cornwall with your family, did you feel like a minority?
My family has always lived in minority areas, so we’ve never noticed really. In both primary and secondary education there was an ethnic minority of 1%. It was myself and my brother.
Where are you from?
Malvern Hills, Worcestershire.
Has anything from your holiday experience carried over into your university experience?
Apart from scenery, university and holidays are two different things. They are independent of each other. Holidays are family, university is friends.
Did you have any issues in your first year? Anything your background or ethnicity has affected?
No issues. I know friends who have. Not even a single comment. But then again, am I ignoring it or is it actually just not happening?
Previously indicated, all of your friends are white, and you are the ‘black guy’. Do you play up to the stereotype?
Nah. My friends call me the whitest brown person. My nan calls me a coconut; brown on the outside white on the inside. That’s always fun.
Why does she say that? How do you behave that makes her call you a coconut?
It's traits I don’t display. I don’t listen to rap and grime music. I listen to weird stuff. I like to listen to classical music when I am studying.
Do you think you are white because you want to be white? Are you rejecting the previous generations of your culture?
Yeah, I am a bit ashamed of the whole jihadi thing, the whole Muslim culture. I am disgusted by how we treat women, how we treat the poor. It’s a self-centred religion. I don’t practise anymore. I read a little bit of the Quran with my Grandad; he runs a mosque. The rest of my family are atheists.
Why did your family become atheist?
They chose. It was never forced upon us. My family are fairly liberal. My Great-Grandad was a captain in the World War. Three generations have been in the UK.
Do you have any friends on campus who are also BAME?
There are a few of us.
Do you think at this University that things need to be raised and made better for future generations who will come through?
There are quite a few societies to support students. As long as you have clusters of communities – I feel – you can maintain a good mental health. I haven’t joined a society because I don’t practise my faith. The most participation I do within my culture is eating my dad’s curries. I was thinking I would like to learn more about my culture. I try to be ignorant of it. What we’ve done in the past kind of makes me feel sick.
Have you experienced reading prejudice towards your culture?
It’s quite obvious when something is written by a racist. I feel racism generally falls into two categories: people who are generally worried and people who consider us to be de-evolved citizens. What frustrates me the most is the lack of education resulting in ill-informed decisions towards Islam.
Are you scared to join societies because you think people would question your culture or reject you because you don’t practise or follow your culture?
I think so. They obviously practise or are very well connected to it. I’ve grown up in a very white area. I don’t feel a part of that community. If I was to go along, I would be forcing myself to be someone that I’m not. This is who I am, not what my skin says I should be.
Do you feel people make assumptions about you?
Oh definitely. People make assumptions that I am always Muslim. My barber thought I was Muslim. You don’t ask a white person if they are Christian. I get questioned when I eat bacon, so it comes back to education again.
What would you enforce Universities to do to be less ignorant?
This is a very big question. Education, cultural beliefs – it needs to be taught. Values need to be changed on a much larger level for anything significant to be shifted. Values can’t be taught they must be embedded.