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If you are a high school senior like me and you've began the long and tedious process of college applications, you've probably already filled out that "basic information" area where we type out our address, social security, parental occupations, etc. Scroll a little lower, and by checking a box, you're put into a category based on your ethnicity.

However, as an Iranian American, I was surprised to find out that I was sorted under "Caucasian", also known as "White" with a conspicuous "Middle Eastern" included in parentheses. Last time I checked, Iran is a country in Western Asia, but I guess political correctness isn't a big deal.

I find the entire idea of checking a box for ethnicity on a college application a bit silly. We are all human, and I have love for all of humanity. But I do understand and completely empathize with peoples who have been oppressed for any reason, whether that be religion, gender, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. And I do strongly believe and fight for equality of all people, regardless of differences. However, I can't help but feel a bit cheated.

I certainly do not feel the benefits of being categorized as a Caucasian in real life. Certainly not when my family goes to the airport. In all actuality, I experience discrimination as an Iranian American every day, especially with the current tensions between governments, and it's a tragic misunderstanding. So why is it that I'm withheld from the benefits of being a "minority" race on paper when reality paints a very different picture? If we're going to be sorted into boxes, I want my own.



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