Why I Won’t Agree to Disagree

“You can be friends with people who have different views than you. If you don’t, you’re part of the problem. Just agree to disagree.”

This is a popular sentiment I see on social media, typically coming from republican/ conservative individuals. Partially they’re right, it’s important to have a diverse group of friends who have different life experiences from you. You should have friends of different ethnicities, religions, genders, sexualities, abilities and upbringings in order to learn more about the world and how those who are different from you experience it.  Except that isn’t what people actually mean when they talk about having friends with different views from you. They are talking about political affiliations specifically, and how liberal and conservative people should be able to be friends despite the others belief system.

I try my best not to completely write someone off due to their political beliefs, however I do not want to surround myself with people who think it’s okay to believe in bigoted things. I will not agree to disagree when someone else’s life, rights, or quality of life is at stake. I will not agree to disagree when you want to strip someone of their rights due to their minority status. That is not the kind of person I want in my life. Living in a fairly conservative suburb in Texas, I’ve lived with these kinds of people my entire life. That means many of my friends over the years have held some disgusting and inexcusable beliefs. After being in many friendships with those who have polar opposite beliefs from my own, I have learned that there becomes a huge divide between the two of you and the relationships often lack honesty. It’s hard to go to that friend for advice or to talk through a problem when their solution is not something you believe is morally right, or you feel judgement from them because of your own views on the situation.

The people who you allow to get close to you effect the way you think and behave. If you surround yourself with people who are homophobic, transphobic, racist, sexist, ableist, etc. after time you begin to become numb to their ignorance, and may even pick up on some of their tendencies.

I do think it is important to listen with an open mind to others beliefs, but that does not mean you have to surround yourself with people whose opinions you condemn. I am not the first person to say this, but agreeing to disagree works when you’re disagreeing about whether or not a certain film is good or if mayonnaise is disgusting (it totally is by the way 🙂 ) Issues like disability rights, reproductive rights, queer rights, immigration, and many others are not something to shrug off as if it isn’t a big deal. So yes, you can and should be friends with people who have different views than you, but that does not include people who have toxic views rooted in ignorance and hatred.



Something Crazy Happened to Me

So my life just got a whole lot crazier…

In Spring of 2018 I applied to Universities for the Fall. If you don’t already know, I’ve been going to a community college for the past year while living at home, but had to medically withdraw last semester due to my chronic illnesses. I thought I wasn’t going to have enough hours to transfer and was going to have to go back to community college for at least another semester. This was super devastating since I was really looking forward to going away to school.

Fast forward to July, I had been getting emails from one of the schools I had applied to that were saying I should sign up for transfer orientation. I assumed I was on the wrong list and shrugged it off. Then I got a voicemail from a call I missed saying the same thing, but again I didn’t think much of it. Finally on July 6th I received an acceptance letter from the college, and still I thought they must have had some mistake and accidentally sent it to me, so I decided to call the admissions office just to make sure.

Then the unexpected happened

I was accepted… for real! I was accepted with less than 30 hours because I have a 4.0 gpa from my community college. I asked the girl over and over again if she was sure, and she kept saying “yeah you’re admitted, yeah you go here.” I seriously couldn’t believe it, and honestly I still feel like it’s not true. However, I’m going to college! This is pretty last minute since classes start August 27th, but we’re going to make it work.

As excited as I am, I’m also really scared. I’ve been super sick all of 2018 so far, but especially the last three months. I was unsure if I was going to be able to go back to my community college, let alone move to another city and go to a University. However, I would never forgive myself if I didn’t at least try. Honestly this may be a horrible idea, but I really need this right now. If I can’t do it, I guess we’ll just cross that bridge when we get to it. For now I’m going to try my best to keep the worrying to a minimum and just enjoy this amazing surprise! My life has been crappy for quite a while, one upsetting event after another. It began to feel like I just wasn’t the kind of person who gets what they want. This is a huge win for me, even if it wasn’t easy or exactly the way I planned. For the first time in my life I cried happy tears, and it felt so good.