Whitworth fosters belief-finding

by Whitney Carter

Like a lot of you, I went home for spring break. It was filled with sleeping in, watching movies, and not doing any of the homework I planned to do. It made for a very interesting Sunday night before classes started up again to say the least. My break also consisted of some interesting conversations with my family members.

I have found that it is hard to judge any changes, whether physical or moral, in myself while here at Whitworth. The changes have been so subtle that it is hard for my friends here, who have not known me for very long, or especially myself to notice them. However, when I go home it is totally different. My friends and family at home go for months without seeing me and seem to only see what is different about me.

All this to say, my views on some things have changed a lot over the course of this year. My views of hot-button topics, such as gay marriage, marijuana, or abortion have drastically changed over the course of the year.

At first I thought that this was just a problem for me, but when I started to talk to others, I found out that I was not alone. Sophomore Dalton Rowland says that he’s been confronted with issues that just weren’t discussed at home so it’s forced him to have an opinion; I would agree. I grew up believing what I believed because that is what my parents told me or because I believed the Bible said this was true. Whitworth has challenged me to figure out why I really believe what I do and how I can support those beliefs, whether spiritually or morally.

The conversations I had with my parents over break were eye-opening to me. There are a lot of things we still agreed on, but there were some that we didn’t and that was and still is difficult. It’s probably the first time that I have not believed in something the same way that my parents do. However, I am still assured of my beliefs.

Thanks to various classes and University programs, I’ve been reading things that challenge me, watching movies that make me think a little more, and having discussions that make me rethink my beliefs. Sometimes it gets uncomfortable, having these discussions or arguments with people I’ve only known for six months can be difficult. Missrepresentation challenged my taste in music. In my roundtable discussion on the second day I was here we discussed abortion and gay marriage. These people that I had known for less than 24 hours all believed differently than me, and it was just one thing that has allowed me to grow my beliefs in the time that I have been here.

Whitworth and, in my opinion, college in general allows you to change. For four years, you are allowed to move away from your life up to this point. You meet new people and, for me, it is the first time being around people that are not like-minded. They force me to change or at least reevaluate what I thought.

I am now more confident in the things that I believe because they are no longer just things that I believe because I am supposed to. I have developed my own beliefs that I can justify to myself and to others using scripture and experience, and that is good.

Contact Whitney Carter at wcarter16@my.whitworth.edu

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