I've decided to start writing a series, kind of, about being a conservative and what I experience as one living in a very liberal area. I decided to start it out with some tips on what to and what not to do if you go to a liberal college and you are a conservative. I've only been here a couple short weeks, but I've learned a lot.
1. Don't Talk About Politics
This is just a really good policy in life because you never know who will be of a different opinion than you. Yes, if someone asks you then definitely inform them of your opinion, but don't try to interject your opinion if it's not needed. Especially if you are used to being in a crowd that is mainly conservative, because you've turned into the minority when it comes to political ideology.
2. But Don't Be Afraid to Talk About Your Views
When the time comes definitely express your views. If you truly believe in something, then you should have no problem having a discussion about it. The key word being discussion. A civil discussion is much better than an argument because you or the person your talking to could learn a new perspective they'd never thought of before then. With that in mind, though, if a discussion turns into an argument you need to walk away. If you continue to argue it could get so intense you might lose a friend or potential friend and in college you definitely don't want that (unless they are toxic, them drop them).
3. Be Proud of Who You Are
I wholeheartedly believe in most of the values of the Republican Party and I am proud of it. It makes me who I am and so denying that I am a Republican is basically trying to hide a part of myself. Don't hide this important part of yourself just because you think people would like you more. Your real friends will love you for who you are, not who you pretend to be.
4. Get Involved
My campus just started a College Republicans club because there was finally the interest to do so. To ensure that great clubs that encourage political activism stay on campus definitely get involved. Also, it's a great place to make connections with other likeminded individuals while also furthering your cause
5. You're Professors Are All Liberal
You are bound to have a class where a professor makes a comment you totally don't agree with but you need to stay quiet because you don't want to get on your professor's bad side. When you hear a crazy comment just take a deep breath and ignore it. Your professors control your grades, so you need to be on their good side!
6. Be Open Minded and Accepting
Listen to other people's point of views because you might think you have heard it all, but you haven't. Listen to everyone's opinions and if they have a different opinion than you that's okay.
7. You''ll See a Bunch of Liberal Social Media Posts
Basically when I was accepted to Wells I began to see my social media timeline flood with liberal posts. Just like you love to post that super awesome Reagan quote, your liberal friend loves to post that Bernie quote. They should be cool with your conservative posts so you should be cool with their liberal ones.
8. You're Going to Have Very Liberal Seminars
One of my very first orientation seminars was about microaggressions. For clarification, a micoraggression is when you say something and it's not intended to offensive, but it is. I then got an entire pamphlet about what lines could be considered a microaggression to what minority group. Microaggressions are pretty much a liberal based idea, so it was very strange for me to sit in a room for an hour and talk about them. It definitely was not my cup of tea, but it had some really great information in it so always listen you never know what you might learn. Also, at the end when all of your liberal friends talk about how amazing it was and you feel differently about it, just stay quiet. You don't want to be the one who kills their buzz, especially in the first week.
9. It's Genuinely a Wonderful Experience
Going to college with a bunch of people who are different than me has been one of the best experiences of my life. They challenge you mentally and expose you to ideas that you'd never thought of. Also, it's crazy seeing a change in culture from being in a mostly Republican state to a mostly Democratic state.
I've been at my liberal college for almost a month, but it's been a blast. I've learned so much about myself and the world around me. Keep an open mind and be positive!