When You Aren’t Liberal in College

Pictured: Isabella Azzolino

College is supposed to be the time in your life you are supposed to discover who you really are. For me, I am in an environment of predominantly liberal people. The only exception to that is the small group of students in the Turning Point USA chapter. I’m too scared to enjoy that group, but I will elaborate on that momentarily.

During my first year at college, a different one from the one I currently attend, but in the same city, I first realized how bad the agenda was in these colleges and universities. I was taking an ethics and philosophy class mainly focusing on moral values and such. Now, there are many moral pathways you can take. Kantianism, utilitarianism, and virtue are the main three we were supposed to be studying. The key phrase is “supposed to be.” While in this class, we discussed current “moral” issues, such as abortion and immigration. Obviously, with this age group, everything is about virtue signaling to whatever the media is telling you to believe this week. When we were talking about abortion, some of these kids legitimately thought it was okay to abort a baby in the third trimester. Finally, when I had enough, I spoke up and said you shouldn’t be killing one at all. Naturally, these kids came for my throat. How dare I go against the liberal agenda?! These kids had the audacity to say, “Oh, if you’re so pro-life, you should be against all these immigrants in cages, homeless people living in the streets, things like that.” I said, “Of course I am.” This really threw them off because I imagine some conservatives they have interacted with believed in letting everyone suffer. That shut them up for the time being. But the point of this story is to show how hostile the environment is when you step just outside the line to disagree with a major liberal talking point, but it doesn’t stop there.

I transferred out of that school after my first year. I wasn’t about to pay 40 grand to get brainwashed, I switched to a state university to be brainwashed for a much lower price of 17 grand. That lower cost came back at me with much more of a division. I thought that with a bigger school, people would be more diverse when it comes to the way they think, and I was right. But the polarization was so evident, it was scary. Legitimately scary. One kid in my orientation session was wearing a police flag mask, and, needless to say, it didn’t go well. Kids screamed at him from across the lecture hall. He held his ground. I was impressed, honestly; he wouldn’t back down. But all I could think of was, if only they knew how I, a 19-year-old female, thought. Apparently, since I am a woman, I can only think a certain way. I would be enabling toxic men if I thought any other way, because that makes complete sense. It only got worse in my English class. This class was covering the Harlem Renaissance. It’s a good thing to learn about, regardless of the color of your skin,  because that movement shaped much of the early 1900s. This class is about 50/50 between white and African American kids. But no white kids in that class want to speak unless they are hyping up whatever a non-white kid said. The African- American kids are trying to compare the black lives matter movement to the Harlem Renaissance. My professor is adamant that it isn’t, but these kids are still trying to push that agenda. Mind you, my professor is a black man from the Caribbean. They don’t even listen to him. If you don’t agree with their agenda, you’re the problem.

I heard about the University’s Turning Point USA chapter before I even transferred to this school. I just don’t know if I want to join. I agree with 90% of their rhetoric, but if I join that chapter, how people look at me will change forever. Professors treat you differently when they find out your political affiliation. The kids who are brave enough to join it, don’t care about that. My problem is that my political affiliation is a fraction of who I am. But that fraction can be the make-or-break of me getting internships, passing classes, and getting jobs. All of it rides on that now. But being neutral is not enough. A girl I work with jokingly said, “Bella, you were in the middle during the 2020 election. To me, that means you voted red.” In this case, she was joking but some people legitimately think like that. The middle isn’t enough now. You are one or the other. That’s not the way I think, and I know many people out there don’t either. But they’re scared. I’m scared. I can’t even open my mouth without worrying about offending the wrong person. That’s no way to live. It really takes a toll on you mentally. It’s like having a sign on your back saying “Hey, I don’t always agree with Liberals, come after me.” I just want my life back. I want to be able to have adult conversations with formal disagreements and talk them out, instead of having my throat ripped out for disagreeing.

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