Dear Class of 2020,
Welcome to College. You attended your first week of class, had a great time during the weekend, and are just learning what Wake Forest has to offer. Your life in college will be very different than in high school. It’s here that you will be able to make your own choices and be your own person. That’s part of what makes college such a great experience. During your four years here, you will also have to figure out what you believe in and stand up for. To students that have values that go against the mainstream “university liberal” stance, this part of college can be challenging. After two years of standing up for my beliefs at Wake Forest, here is my advice to you all:
- Don’t Be Afraid. Having strongly held beliefs is not a bad thing. Having values that are different from your professors and peers is also not a bad thing. Your values won’t stop you from having positive relationships with professors and making life-long friends in college. People won’t always agree with you, but there is no reason to be afraid of being a conservative. Your views will be tested and it is often beneficial to take into account different viewpoints and have empathy for other people’s backgrounds. This is a time for growth in your ideas and values as a conservative.
- Speak Up. When you are in a class and object to something or want to contribute to the discussion, speak your mind. Personally, I’ve experienced moments when I question the value of my opinion in class discussions where I disagree with the Professor and classmates. The bottom line is to not be afraid to speak up and challenge the status quo. Although it may seem intimidating at first, your viewpoint matters and will likely facilitate learning in the class opposed to dividing it.
- Plug In There are plenty of ways to get involved on campus. For example, you may decide to join the College Republicans and/or the Wake Forest Review. These groups are a great way to connect with others that value Conservative principles. Also, you’ll make new friends early in the semester which is always a plus!
- Fight Back A small group of people will ignore and completely discredit your opinions. These people are bullies, and deserve to be fought against. Challenging current beliefs in dialog provides a chance for growth and understanding but ignorance on either side is not productive. You should stand up to anyone who tries to stop this dialog and your ability to express yourself. If any serious conflicts arise based on your beliefs, Univeristy Bias reporting system is available as a way to investigate mistreatment. Don’t hesitate to fight for your side of the story.