The importance of opinions

Carolina Rodriguez, co-opinions editor

Writing for Opinions with The Oracle, or even sharing your opinion in general, can be intimidating. When you are sharing your own ideas, rather than writing about a specific event or person, you take a unique sense of ownership over your work.

Anyone can read what you’re writing, and just as you have a right to have an opinion, everyone else has the right to have an opinion on your perspective. As Opinions Editors, we all have had people come up to us and say that they disagree with what we wrote or said. This disagreement allows for healthy conversation and can broaden our perspective as writers and people in general.

Even though vocalizing your opinion is liberating, it can be daunting. Having someone outwardly disagree with you on something you’ve worked hard to argue can sometimes be off-putting.

It takes a lot of courage to speak up about what we believe in because we are concerned about acceptance. Adolescence is a time where we are looking to find our place, and because of this we crave acceptance.

Obviously, the entire student body can’t write for Opinions at once (although we are always looking for guest writers). Whether it is through the form of writing, participating in a discussion, or just speaking your mind, there is a lot of value in using your voice and advocating for what you believe in. As a section, we have found so much fulfillment and pride in gaining experience expressing ourselves.

Especially given that we are still teenagers, there are a lot of drawbacks to sharing opinions that you may have newly formed as you gain more awareness of the world.

Even looking back on what we have written just a few months ago, we have all shared the experience of cringing at what we have written because our opinions may have changed since then, and that’s okay.

Yet, we all still share the same passion for  doing what we do. And that is because, conversely, we all have had people tell us that they really resonated with our writing. But we have also had people disagree which further helps us grow as writers by gaining new perspectives.

The most rewarding thing we can get as Opinions Editors is acknowledgement from people that they relate to what we have written. Whether the affirmation take the form of an email or even just a simple “I agree with your opinion,” it all helps us remember why we love what we do and that we are not alone in some of our struggles.

The beauty of having different opinions is that it can help us grow not only as people but as a community. South is a diverse student body with so many stories to share. These stories have the potential to inspire others to tell theirs.

We all come from different backgrounds and yet have lived similar experiences so it’s important that we give everyone a chance to share things that have impacted them. If we all take the time to listen to each other’s

different perspectives and experiences we can strengthen the South community.

Most importantly, sharing our opinions has the power to make a change. If we can express our needs for change, we will always find someone who will listen and be able to help us make it happen. Words are more powerful than people think. They are a confirmation of how we see the world.

We encourage you to use yours, as well.

One of our proudest moments as a section was a piece about Halal meals in our cafeteria for Issue 3. Two staff writers, Sara Rahman and Layla Mohamed wrote about how Muslim student’s dietary needs were not being met by our cafeteria. Because of their column, Quest Food Services ended up implementing many of the recommended changes, and we recently heard that Halal chicken sandwiches are now available in the cafeteria.

Finding your outlet and sharing something you feel passionate about has the power to make real, tangible changes. Speaking up and advocating for your beliefs, even if they are newly formulated, enables change, and through writing in Opinions, we have all found ways to not just build our confidence in presentation but open the doors for lots of meaningful, constructive conversations.

The Opinions section at The Oracle has helped us grow as writers by pushing us out of our comfort zones to express our beliefs. It has also helped us grow as people because of our interactions with so many different people including fellow readers and guest columnists.

Even though sharing your opinion can be scary, remember, words are powerful, so  use them to speak out and make a difference.

Opinions editors Mackenzie Bill, Sarah Ordway, and Olivia Perkins contributed to this story.