The Student News Site of University of Nebraska at Kearney

The Antelope

The Antelope

The Antelope

Leaving my hometown, questioning my beliefs


I truly wonder what my 16-year-old self would think if she saw the woman I am becoming today. I honestly think she’d be surprised. She might even be slightly confused — not because she’s not proud of how far I’ve come, but because she didn’t realize the bubble she was living in. 

My bubble was very much a result of small-town living. 

Friday night lights were on a football field surrounded by cornfields, church on Sunday was always in my unassigned ‘assigned’ pew and my family doctor also happened to be my friend’s dad.

While Kearney may still feel like a big small town, campus life is very different from that bubble. It’s different and at first, it was uncomfortable. It was weird not knowing everyone in classes and having to reintroduce myself. Even more scary was being nervous to open up and share myself with others, including my beliefs, my opinions and my values.

It seemed like being from a small town meant everyone’s beliefs were very similar, and anyone who believed differently meant they were outcasts or subconsciously marked like bad produce. I wouldn’t see it very often because that’s how similar everyone was and when someone did speak out, it was easier to ignore them than welcome the challenge.

Quickly into my freshman year, my beliefs were challenged in a class about culture and ethic identity.

The class was focused on how everyone has life experiences that influence their worldview, meaning a philosophy of life that is expressed in one’s ethics, religion and scientific beliefs.

At first, I was angry. 

I was upset when I was being questioned and asked why I believed in what I did. But I was even more mad at the thought of my answer. 

That’s when it hit me.

Is this what I believe in or is this what my parents want me to believe in?

Is this my truth or was it the truth of those I was surrounded with?

Upon self-reflection, I came to terms with understanding no two people will have the exact same worldview. My experiences and thoughts are unique to me and are what shape my own worldview, not someone else’s.

This new mantra took some getting used to. At first, I was scared to go home to my high school friends. I feared my beliefs would receive some backlash. I dreaded the words, “You’ve changed.”

But slowIy, I let this changed way of thinking challenge my beliefs. It’s helped me face the fact that what may be my truth might be someone else’s nightmare. 

I don’t tell this story to say that people’s beliefs they’ve had their whole life are wrong. I tell this story because I want other students to know it’s okay to challenge the way they think as they go through the monumental years that are college. 

It’s also okay for people to reflect on their childhood experiences and how they’ve affected them. And it’s most definitely okay that someone else is still doing the same.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Antelope

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Nebraska at Kearney . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Antelope

Comments (0)

All The Antelope Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *