When I was picking my classes for my first semester of college I was overjoyed that I got to add a philosophy class to my schedule. It was what I looked forward to attending the most and I was highly interested in the subject as a whole.

On the first day of class we dipped into religion talk and I became inherently aware of the amount of people who were theists. I felt a sense of being overwhelmed by that percentage because i was balancing in between of being an atheist or believing in the “ universe.” My classmates were pretty vocal and I began to already see the inconsistencies in their opinions and my own among various subjects.

I’m a pretty vocal girl who is full of opinions. I try to always be open and understanding as long as mutual respect is given. I love to have debates with people who disagree with my points and share my own views on subjects. It’s exciting to me and I genuinely believe that is how you grow in your own beliefs. I began to share my opinions and scenarios throughout my teachers lessons each week. Me and my classmates not only had pretty different beliefs, they weren’t very open to hear another view point that could possible combat their own. They would cackle in sarcasm and make side glances at me when I would speak up. I like to consider myself a pretty intelligent person or let’s just say I atleast try to learn each day. ( haha) My teacher fed into their cackling and questioned all my views pretty harshly. I would try to have small talk with him before and after class to get a better sense of him as a whole but it was there was just a disconnect. As the weeks went by i started to feel down on myself about what was happening during philosophy. I was questioning my own intelligence and beginning to withdraw from sharing my opinions. It was unlike me to behave this way. Also It was a bit disappointing that the class I was most excited about had turned out to be a bust. I wasn’t the only one being affected by the cackles and side glances so after class I asked a male colleague of mine how it made him feel when those situations happened to him during class. He responded by saying

“I just don’t let others opinions bother me. I will continue to speak up even if they disagree. I believe in God but I can advocate for both sides.”

I was kind of taken aback by his response if I’m being honest. I don’t like to think of myself as someone who lets other people’s opinions bother me but maybe I was wrong on my own exclamations about myself. Could I be behaving in a way that makes me play the victim to my classmates? Maybe they weren’t so bad all along and it was just me feeling sorry for myself.

After considering all the scenarios that were swirling around in my head I came to the conclusion that I do truly consider myself to not be affected by others opinions but the lack of respect from my classmates was what bothered me the most. I came into philosophy class with the idea that it would be an open forum for positive debates that we could all ravel and grow from. I didn’t expect the sarcasm and side eye from my classmates. I think the lack of respect from them truly hurt my feelings. As I stated before I try to always be open and understanding but when my classmates reacted to me in the completely opposite fashion of that it made me feel unequal to them.

I think it’s important for us as human beings to remember that everyone has various opinions on every subject and no two people could every agree on every single one. It’s not fair to roll your eyes when a colleague raises their hand and presents their opinion unless you would want that same response given back to you when rolls are reversed. In order for us to grow in our own beliefs and ideas we need to remember to be polite and open to what others have to offer.