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Why I’m leaving college and choosing education over indoctrination

Higher education isn’t what it used to be; in fact, it’s become the stark opposite of what it was intended to be.

What was once an arena of competing and dueling beliefs with fertile soil for the cultivation of bold and fresh ideas has become a barren desert, occupied almost exclusively by the woke-left agenda. 

It’s become an institution more fixated on teaching students what to think than how to think. It’s focused on turning students into perpetual victims, anti-American sympathizers and — if it really hits the jackpot — full-fledged social-justice warriors by graduation.

And that delusion is why I’m leaving — even as a University of Alabama junior, with just three semesters to go. 

I no longer have any interest in paying to be told my blackness is a disability and all white people are evil. And asked what my pronouns are when — at least in my opinion — it should be clear as day.

When I made the decision to go to college, it was a no-brainer. It was what I was supposed to do, or at least that’s what I was led to believe.

Voorhees Mall on Rutgers University's College Avenue Campus.
Free speech has become stifled on college campuses.
Getty Images

It felt not only as if it were the right choice; it felt like the only choice. And this wasn’t a feeling unique to me but one shared by many among the millions of students who enter college every single year — and their parents, who more often than not are the ones footing the bill to send them there. 

But what if I were to tell you the feeling is rooted in a lie? That, according to a Georgetown University study, there are 30 million jobs paying more than $55,000 a year that don’t require a college degree? That there are six-figure opportunities in careers such as welding, carpentry and even tech that not only don’t require a degree but also don’t come with a prerequisite of hating America? 

Or what if I were to tell you that this lie — implanted deep into the psyche of our society — is not by accident but by design, as it allows leftist professors to act with near-absolute impunity?

It allows institutions like Stanford University to shamelessly embrace the absurd: labeling words such as “American” and “grandfather” racist and harmful. It allows Rutgers University to declare a war on grammar — casting it aside as racist in an effort to “stand with and respond to” the Black Lives Matter movement. And it’s why places like Berkeley — once heralded as a bastion of free speech — have become symbolic of everything wrong with higher education today. 

Colleges and universities act with impunity because they’re guided by the belief that we need them more than they need us. Conservatives must make it clear that’s simply not the case. 

Colleges are a business. And it is high time conservatives start making their voices heard using their dollars. 

Sign for The University of Alabama on the front of the College of Nursing building.
Many conservatives believe that they must accept the status quo of America’s college campuses or forgo their dreams of living a successful and fruitful life altogether. 
Getty Images

If your college goes woke, help them go broke: Withhold your tuition dollars, suspend your alumni contributions or skip a football game or two. (And if you’re a fan of Stanford University football but not a fan of their new harmful-language guide, it should be especially easy: They went 3-9 this past season!)

All jokes aside, a false dichotomy has existed among conservatives for far too long: that they must accept the status quo of America’s college campuses or forgo their dreams of living a successful and fruitful life altogether. 

But this dichotomy is exactly that — false — and conservatives have not just the means to fight back against the woke agenda that pervades our campuses but a moral obligation as well. 

I say this all to note that I am not opposed to college. 

I enjoyed the vast majority of my time at the University of Alabama, but even in the Yellowhammer State, my campus experience didn’t come without its challenges. In my freshman year, my dorm-room door was plastered with an expletive-laden anti-Trump posting. During my sophomore year, while campaigning for student government, I was targeted by my school newspaper — slandered as a racist, labeled a homophobe and called a threat to our campus’ marginalized communities. The author of that piece is a white male. 

I have thick skin, however. And my decision to leave has less to do with my own campus than it does with having a deeply held passion for helping other conservative students in far less-ideal situations hold their own on theirs. 

We cannot afford to lose our college campuses to the radical left. That would mean we have lost a generation. And to have lost a generation would mean we have lost our country.

CJ Pearson is an on-air personality for PragerU.

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