The Young and Conservative: A Rare Breed

Young and conservative: two words that you’re unlikely to ever use in conjuncture in a sentence, let alone use to describe someone on a college campus.

The mere sound of them together is like an oxymoron, a contradiction that goes against common sense and seemingly violates the very laws of nature.

When you head off to college you’re told many things along the lines of: “have fun,” live life,” “experience new things,” yet no one ever tells you that it’s okay to uphold your beliefs as a young conservative.

And why should they? College campuses are probably some of the most liberal places you’ll find in the United States, except perhaps the White House and Congress right now, and that’s not going to change anytime soon.

Since coming to college, almost every professor I’ve had so far has either stated or implied something about what side of the political spectrum they support. Some claim they try to keep political beliefs outside of the subject they’re teaching. In the end this never works out. Not to mention the fact that they’re usually liberal, Democratic ideals.

How is it that amongst such a liberal environment such as a college campus, one lone group of students can still hold onto conservative, Republican principles without completely losing their minds?

My first year here at Ferris, I met three other Republicans on campus. In the small amount of time I’ve been on campus this year I’ve doubled this number. It’s nice to finally meet people that have similar ideals.

Still, I know only a small number of students on campus who call themselves conservative or Republican. There may be more than I’m aware of and they simply don’t broadcast their political ideology, but it’s still an uncommon occurrence to meet a Republican student.

It’s amazing to me that any of us have survived our college experience. We’re surrounded by an inescapable vacuum of liberalism, with Democratic supporters lying in wait, ready to rebuke any even slightly Republican statement that slips from our conservative lips.

Sometimes it seems strange to uphold conservative beliefs at this age, especially when I’ve been told that when you’re young, you’re supposed to be more liberal. This in my case is true to some extent. There are some issues I support that fall more closely under the “liberal” category, but for the most part, I’m still Republican.

However, I look at being a young conservative in this sense: I’m just one step ahead of many of my peers. As they get older and more mature, many people become more conservative and begin to sway toward the Republican end of the spectrum. In my case, I just skipped ahead a few years.

While young conservatism may be all but non-existent, it doesn’t matter to me that I am one of only a handful of Republicans on college campuses around the U.S. Even though I may be nineteen, I still support and uphold the conservative beliefs that I was raised.