‘You’re so exotic’ and other things students of colour are tired of hearing

Yeah actually we are all signed to the same grime label


“Hey? Can I ask you something? I don’t want to be offensive or anything so you don’t have to answer but…”

Classic? Cliched? Fucking annoying? Yes.

It’s very strange to think that people are still stereotyped based on their ethnicity. But they are. A lot. The things that every student of colour gets on a daily basis is surprising, and to be frank, very tiring.

Being called exotic

If I had a pound for every time someone called me “exotic” I would be able to pay off our student loan. We aren’t souvenirs, we are real life human beings.

Just stop

Urban nights

Going to an urban-themed night thinking you’ll be listening to Devlin and Kid Cudi only for the DJ to play “It’s getting hot in here” and Drake’s entire discography the entire night.

People assuming we speak any language

It’s so random people walking up to you speaking in a language other than English when you’re at uni because they assume that you’re an international student. People talking to you in Cantonese, Hindi or any other language. Being bilingual is a great skill, but unfortunately, some of us aren’t that blessed. Unfortunately, being born and brought up in the home counties means my second language is knowing how products in Waitrose are pronounced.

Try it one more time

Just because I’m Asian doesn’t mean I don’t drink

In fairness, thank you for trying to learn more about other cultures and religions. But do it in the right way. Just ask, and we’ll tell all.

Assuming you know everything about our sex life

Stop fetishising and stereotyping us based on our race. Don’t go up to an Asian woman and ask about the tightness of her vagina and don’t go up to a black man and ask for the size of his penis. We’re more than just a notch on your bed post, more than your little experiment. Just because you’ve dated another race doesn’t mean you get to say this: “I’m not racist, I dated a black guy once”. Good to know mate, I had toast for breakfast.

Assuming my course

This is a weird one that you don’t really expect when you come to uni. But why are people so surprised when we do a humanity and not medicine or maths? Agreed, certain jobs lead to well-paid professions, which now sounds like a better idea as I’m working two summer jobs to try and pay off my overdraft. But in all honesty, when you laugh at the word penis it’s probably best to leave those degrees to the people who actually enjoy it.

Yeah I do philosophy. And what?

Saying, “that’s so Asian, black, etc”

Everyone loves a good Chinese takeaway but when we want to order one it’s usually followed with, “oh that’s so Asian of you”. When people constantly pick at our little habits like the way we sit or how we work and point out that we’re being “so Asian” it’s not even funny, just really awkward. Please leave me to enjoy my chicken katsu in peace and go listen to some Taylor Swift or something.

Where are you from? No, really from?