We have entered grad season, the season where finally, all the hard work pays off.

All the long nights studying, doing math problems we still don’t understand, applying for colleges, taking SATS, filling up our time with as much extracurriculars as possible.

And for the class of 2021, much of this is happened over Zoom.

But you did it. You made it. Even with all the craziness going on in the world.


Because now is time to prepare for the next big move: College

Being a current college student myself, when I was preparing for college, one thing I didn’t think to prepare myself for was the political biases that occur on campus.

I was packed, my schedule was set, but I had no idea what to expect.

If anything, I wish I had a personal ‘How to Survive the Next Four Years as a Conservative on a Liberal Campus’ handbook. I didn’t though, and I had to learn firsthand.

 But for the class of 2021, I thought it’d be helpful if I made you one.

Not a whole handbook though, just a couple of tips 😉

#1: Remember it’s okay if you have a different opinion than your teacher

Listen and respect your teacher’s, but you don’t have to necessarily agree with them.

It took me awhile to learn that just because someone is a teacher, it doesn’t make them inherently correct.

The goal of a teacher should be to encourage you to learn and to help you learn and think for yourself, it shouldn’t be to push their ideology onto you.

There were many times in class where my teachers would talk about a subject as if there was only one way to see it, such as thinking abortion is necessary. They would never address that there could be an opposing view.

Once, in a biology class, (a class I least expected politics to play a role) a white, young male answered a question my teacher had asked. My teacher responded by ignoring him and asked the class if ‘anyone other than a white guy’ could answer her question. She then went on to make the argument that black people are less able to enjoy going on hikes and nature due to racism. It was an interesting class.

Make sure to take everything a teacher says; at least politically; with a grain of salt.    

#2: If you have a different opinion, speak up

 My first two years of college, I was afraid to make my voice heard.

Most of the people who spoke up in my classes I disagreed with, and I didn’t want to be singled out.

That was, until the subject of abortion was brought up.

I had to speak up and state the truth of abortion, and I did. To my surprise, a couple students actually raised their hands and agreed with me. No one got mad. In fact, the loud opposers suddenly all went quiet as students voiced their agreement.

The point of #2 is, you’re not the only conservative on campus.

There may be a lot of liberals, which is why it is so important that you are brave enough to own your beliefs and stand up for them. If you do, it gives other conservatives and like-minded people the courage to also speak up.

If no one opposes, the conversation will never be changed.

#3: Don’t be Afraid of Being Judged

#3 ties into #2. A lot of the times I didn’t speak up, it was because I was afraid of looking bad. No one wants to be called a racist in front of an entire class. I didn’t want people to think I was uncaring or close-minded.

I wanted friends in college, and I was afraid if I spoke up, I would lose the chance of making those friends.

First of all, if someone judges you because you differ in opinion or stance from them, they aren’t a good friend to have in the first place. Also, by keeping quiet due to my fear, I was holding myself back from meeting amazing people who actually also agreed and had the same values as me. Why was I trying so hard to put people in my life who were only going to judge me?

Once I stopped being afraid of being judged, I met great friends who knew my opinions and loved me anyways, just as I love them. If you want true friends, you have to be your true self. The people that are meant to stay in your life, will.

So there you have it, three things I wish I would’ve known when I got ready for college.

I hope this helps, and always remember to be strong, brave, and courageous.

Though it may seem like you are going in all alone, you aren’t. Sometimes you just have to make the first wave. And everyone at FFL has your back 😉

Good luck, and again, happy grad season!

Alexza Bahnmiller is a current Journalism student at California Baptist University.

This article was submitted through our open article submission form. To submit an article to Future Female Leaders, click here.