Before college, I had never really been challenged in my political beliefs. I went to Catholic school for fourteen years, and most of the people I interacted with agreed with me, at least on most of the issues that I knew and cared about. All that changed when I started my freshman year. Many of the people that I met were disgusted with conservatism, had misconceptions of what I, as a conservative, might believe, or simply didn’t think that a college-age woman might disagree with modern feminism and liberalism. I quickly learned that here, I would need to be able to defend every last concept of my long-held belief system. The denigration of conservatism extended from other students to my courses, from the hub of on-campus volunteering to the Christmas—no, holiday—decorations in the dining hall, which during my sophomore year included a placemat guide to discussing politics with potentially backward and conservative family at home. I was bombarded with liberalism, and I didn’t know how to stand up against it. I found that what I needed was more education, more speech—I needed to hear the perspectives that I wasn’t getting from my professors and peers. Educating myself on a number of issues allowed me to remember why I am a conservative and develop logical, factual arguments against the pop-culture liberalism that’s so popular on campus.
I believe in our Constitution, I believe in personal responsibility, and I believe in defending our freedoms. Today, it’s not very popular to believe in these things—but I’ve found a community of people at Harvard and in NeW who remind me that I’m not alone and help empower me to speak out against the liberalism of the university environment.