Opinion Matters

Location: 
New York
NY
United States
37° 5' 24.864" N, 95° 42' 46.4076" W
US

Stress sweating became my hobby when transitioning into college. In high school you’re taught information and asked to memorize it so you can regurgitate it on tests. In college, for the first time ever, I would be bombarded with questions that involved my opinion. Naturally I would stress sweat and then politely take a neutral stance. This never satisfied the person hounding me. I quickly realized I had opinions on things but never voiced them because I never had anyone listening. College helped me understand the importance of my opinion and the discussion of opinions in general. Class discussions at Pace became the new norm where you were commended for voicing your view even if it was the complete opposite of everyone else’s in the room.

Based on my personal experience at Pace, most professors appreciate and love having every high school teachers nightmare, outspoken students. When professors open the floor after their lecture everyone is welcome to share ideas and opinions on whatever we learned. It may differ based on major, but in the Dyson School of the Arts students are urged to create and share their perspective during class. Professors love hearing what you think, but you better be prepared to back it up. Challenging students’ reasons on why they think a certain way is common. Ambushing a student with no hard evidence is every professors dream, at least it seems that way when they dig into an unprepared student.

Being in an environment where sharing is seen so positively has allowed me to become comfortable with my own view on subjects. Before I came to college I saw having an opinion as a bad thing because it can ‘confine your outlook’ on that specific subject. Through internships, group collaborations, being part of a club and everyday interactions I’ve come to learn that having an opinion is valued. People like to hear your opinion. In a way it solidifies your character. Conversations, whether with close friends or strangers, is much more interesting when those involved have a particular point of view.

If there’s one thing I have learned throughout my time as a University student it is the difference between having an opinion and perspective taking. Just because you HAVE an opinion doesn’t mean you can’t try and understand others’ views through perspective taking. This is a common misconception when it comes to being opinionated. I feel that perspective taking helps you understand a subject in a broader sense allowing you, in return, better understand your own opinion.

Allow yourself to be comfortable with your morals and ideals. No matter your perspective someone is bound to agree and disagree with you so at least make your opinion matter to YOU. People respect a well-formulated viewpoint. It is up to you to share.