College is a place where everyone’s voice deserves to be heard, regardless of your race or age. It can be a challenge for freshmen women to step outside of the box and not be afraid to express their frustrations of varying topics or political views. Being so new to campus may make you feel that it is a problem to be so vocal in your collegiate society because others may look down on you, especially if you have a different viewpoint than the majority of the campus. Lately, with all the political noise right in front of us and the varying and very strong political views spanning across Wake, it can be hard to connect with people who share the same views, or who will understand what you believe and why. Yet, even as a freshman woman in college, you should not be afraid to let your voice be heard. Do not let those fearful excuses of “I’m just a freshman” or “no one will care what I have to stay” stop you from sharing with others the things that bother you, or the parts of your community you wish you could improve. Michelle Obama, my favorite former First Lady, encourages us in this when she says: " So don't be afraid. You hear me, young people? Don't be afraid. Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful. Be empowered”.
While people may not agree with you, they will respect you for standing up for what you believe. Always remember that your opinion is just as valid as the next, and if people judge you for what you say, well, that is on them. The beauty of freedom in America is that we have the right to speak as we please, and you should never feel that you must keep what you have to say inside and hidden, especially if it something that you feel you need to express. What’s most important to keep in mind is that while voicing your opinion, you should still be respectful of those who disagree with you or try to shut you down. While it may be tough, I encourage you to start to speaking out, because you never know, there may be more people who agree with you, but they are just as sacred as you are of the response that they may receive from others. You never know what a difference you can make, when you use your voice to impact change.