College and opinions? A letter from the opinions editor

by Ariana Wilson

Opinions. Everyone has one. 

The great thing about college is that you get the opportunity to hear from others and develop your own point of view. It’s a place of learning that encourages free thought and provides us with new experiences. But it can be difficult to find the right group of people to talk to or know how to navigate situations where you find yourself trying to understand people that think differently. 

So let’s break it down. 

During every orientation session, and painfully required first year experience course, you are told to join lots of clubs and campus activities. Through that, you get to know new people and can expand your knowledge in different areas of interest. Being involved on campus can do wonders for finding your own opinions and voice, but it can also be overwhelming. Don’t pressure yourself to jump into every social event right away. Take the time to get settled first. When you are more comfortable with those around you, you will be more inclined to speak your mind. 

Once you get comfortable remember to be receptive of others. You are not going to agree with everyone on everything. That is a given. But you are likely in the same position and if you would feel discouraged and uncomfortable if everyone criticized your way of thought, think of how someone else might feel. You truly need to check yourself before you wreck yourself. 

Another element to keep in mind is the importance of surrounding yourself with people who are different than you. That does not mean friends who are constantly trying to change your mind or persuade you differently, but those who are willing to debate with you on various topics and issues. Knowing someone who challenges your ideas only makes your argument stronger and better supported. You will also gain a lot of respect amongst your peers if you can remain diplomatic, yet dedicated, when discussing issues and current events. 

It is also necessary to find the right platform. The Opinions and Editorial section at the Minnesota Daily is always welcoming and accepting of new ideas and well researched viewpoints. 

The opinions desk serves as a public forum for all to share their thoughts. If you want to share your thought and opinions in a more public way, feel free to reach out to us on our website or via email at [email protected] We would love to help you start a conversation — and keep it going. 

College can be hard and finding those people who understand and enjoy you for you can be scary. This is the time to let go of old ways of thinking and encourage yourself to think further and deeper than of where you come from — whether that be the city or the country or somewhere in between.