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Coming from a conservative family and a private Catholic high school, I had a distinct impression that college campuses were brimming with liberals waiting to fill my head with a lot of "garbage," as my dad liked to call it. Upon arrival on campus, I found that my conservative viewpoints were often challenged and that many of my professors were opinionated in a way that made me uncomfortable.
So how does this make college awesome? Because I wasn't the only individual who felt their core beliefs were challenged. Everyone felt that way! There are liberal-minded leaders on campus just as there are conservative-minded leaders on campus. Sure, you can choose to gravitate towards people that feel the same way as you. Community helps to strengthen our beliefs and values. But as part of the growing process, many students find themselves in impassioned debates in class, in clubs, or in the midst of a campus protest.
College is a very formative time for students. If you go in with an open mind, you may find that many of your beliefs change through the debate process. The college experience brings students back to their three-year-old selves in encouraging them to always ask, "Why?" Sometimes students ask this question of themselves, but it is often easier and more exciting to ask this question of others. It's how people learn about one another and about the diversity of beliefs that actually do exist.
College is certainly not the only place that debate occurs, but it does create a safe, intellectual environment in which students can learn more about the world around them and develop their own unique belief systems.