It’s okay to be opinionated

Kristina Agbebiyi

I think that anyone who knows me personally can attest to the fact that I am a very opinionated woman, and the opinions that I have are often unpopular on Georgia Southern’s campus. The people who know me will likely confirm that that doesn’t stop me from voicing them anyways. I don’t thrive in conflict, but I certainly don’t shy away from it either.

I think from elementary school we’ve been conditioned to always be nice, avoid conflict, and never step on the toes of others. This might work in kindergarten, but now that I’m in college I’m able to realize the value that conflict has. We are adults with opinions that are going to contribute to the way our world works now, and in the future. On the surface, conflict might seem counter-productive and taboo. But if you were to analyze it more, you would probably realize that conflict can often lead to growth.

In a perfect world, everyone who disagreed with each other would voice their opinions calmly. They would agree to disagree, and the issue would be dropped. As we all know, we live in the real world. In the real world, when differing opinions are shared, things can get hostile. While this isn’t the ideal situation, it leads to work actually getting done. Ideas are hashed out, viewpoints are shared, and people who have been continuously silenced are finally able to have a platform for their voice to be heard. If something matters to you, in your heart, a tiny thing like a couple of haters should not prevent you from sharing your truth.

So what am I saying? Go out in the street and start an argument with someone? No, I’m not saying that. What I am saying is that if you have a strong opinion about an important topic, you share that opinion with pride. You realize that people may disagree with you whole-heartedly, and that’s okay. You do the right thing, you go with your gut, and you hope for the best. Without conflict, there is no change and without change, there is no progress.