Image Credits: Twitter, Mandel Ngan / Agence France- Presse / Getty Images
How many times have you been told “I’m sorry” after telling someone you’re a conservative?
Have you been given dirty looks because you have dared to break through the shield of identity politics?
How many times have you felt personally victimized by some liberal activist on your campus?
To me, being myself is the most empowering feeling. Sometimes being yourself, especially if it means being a conservative, isn’t welcomed on college campuses; however, it is fun. Why?
1) Being conservative on campus means my views are challenged daily.
Remember the age-old “You’re conservative because you’re brainwashed” one liner spat at you by many liberals? That argument goes out the window after we have sat through well-over 150 hours a semester being told how wrong we are or having our beliefs challenged. Liberal college students sit in classrooms and are just having their beliefs reinforced by a professor, not often being asked “why do you think that way?” Conservatives sit through social justice warrior training in nearly every human sciences class. We are constantly hearing the opponent’s position. You know what? That is okay with me. My arguments are more well-rounded because of this. One of the best things I learned in college was that in order for me to stand firmly in my position, I must understand why the other side believes what they do. That doesn’t mean that I agree with their sentiments, but I do understand where they are coming from.
2) Being a conservative on campus means I am often times the bigger person.
Politics can be dirty. It often leads to low-blows and personal attacks – from both sides. More often than not, I was on the receiving end of personal attacks. I often just stood silently and let them attack me. Why? Because when someone is yelling at you, there are bystanders watching think about how crazy that person is behaving while they are impressed with your demeanor.
3) Being a conservative on campus means getting to go to awesome conferences.
Where to start? CPAC, Turning Point USA’s conferences, Leadership Institute trainings, Young America’s Foundation conferences, Network of enlightened Women events, Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute Summits, and so many others. Majority of these conferences have travel stipends if you apply early enough. Often, you are able to attend these events with little to no costs. Not only is this a great way to escape your liberal college, but it’s a great way to network and meet young conservatives from across the country. These attendees are going through the exact same things that you are. Take this opportunity to learn from each other. Bounce ideas off one another for activism events or recruiting tips. I have met some of my closest friends, including fellow FFL girls, that I never thought I would have the opportunity to meet.
4) Wait, did someone say activism events?
Activism events are my favorite thing to do. The simplicity of debate watch parties or the activism events like free speech balls, visualize the debt, or hosting a speaker. This makes spreading our message fun. These events also make our principles easier to understand. Often times, our message is misconstrued by our opponents and we fumble our words. But with an activism even like this, our message is clear and widespread.
Being a conservative on a college campus is fun. You get to experience opposing viewpoints, you get to explore wonderful new cities at conferences with the best conservative activists in a the country, and more importantly, you get that Scott Walker and Ben Carson experience when you find that fellow conservative in the room.