Room size, food, price, opportunities, school colors, plenty of majors, and a gym, those were about the only things I looked for when searching for a college. Looking at the political orientation of the campus was never really something that crossed my mind, I felt that as long as I could picture myself living there for four years, that I could afford it, and that it had enough majors for me to switch if I needed to, I would be fine.
Well, to my surprise I ended up at one of the more liberal public schools in the Midwest, and initially, I would have never expected that to really impact me.
I have grown up in a religious home and because of that, many of my values were established, thus forming my conservative view of the world. Though only three hours away, my university is far from my small town as far as political practices go.
Don’t get me wrong, I love this place; the only way I could be happier at BG is if it was a bit warmer and a bit less windy, but I guess I signed up for that. That being said, my friends, on this campus conservatives must fend for themselves. It’s no secret that many college campuses tend to favor liberal political ideologies rather than conservative views, which is why it’s so important to make your voice heard. The abundance of varying views in our nation is what makes America, well, America. And hearing and learning about opinions different from your own helps build character. It helps you see things from a new point of view.
The last two semesters, I have been enrolled in a set of critical thinking classes required by the Honors College for all first years honors students to take. For starters, this class has absolutely kicked my butt, but I have also learned so much. It is taught by honestly probably my favorite professor, but also the most liberal man I have ever met. It is discussion oriented, and this semester we are learning about the different theories of human nature (socialism, Marxism, feminism, Buddhism, Islam, Darwinism, etc.). This lends to PLENTY of full class conversation full of leftist views, and I am definitely one of maybe three people in the class who call themselves conservative.
Having been put in this situation where information is being fed by a biased tongue, and conversation is guided to the left, it is all the more important for me to be able to defend the truths that I believe in, and that takes research, especially when your professor has many more years of liberal education solidifying his beliefs under his belt.
If there is one thing, above anything else, that I have learned in this class, it’s that making your voice heard will strengthen your opinions. It will allow for an opposing opinion to be heard. Give a voice to others who share similar political ideologies, without them having to directly speak up at all. And that If you do choose to voice your opinion in the classroom, you could very well find many of your classmates making leftist arguments that you probably don’t agree with.
Your political opinions may even be challenged to the point where you become intellectually stronger. This is a good thing. You want to be intellectually tough and mentally strong when it comes to what you believe in. Political debates solidify the both of those whether you “win” the debate or not.
I have learned that being a young conservative on a college campus surrounded by a lot of left-leaning peers, I am going to need to do my research to be able to back up my statements and defend what I believe more often than others. Because my beliefs differ from others in my class, I have learned acceptance and humility, and the importance of standing my ground, amidst diversity.
I have grown in my beliefs, and I have learned the importance of backing up my opinions with solid logic, rather than my feelings and personal agendas. I have also grown to better understand why I have these beliefs and have found the reason to defend them.
Because I have attended a liberal university, I have found the importance of keeping my conservative voice.