Standing on My Own Two Feet (For the Millions Who Can't)

People always talk about how college will be the best four years of your life, but everyone seems to forget to mention what a challenge it is. You are dropped in a brand new place and all of a sudden are expected to stand on your own two feet. Making friends isn’t the piece of cake those long-graduated will tell you it is.  Coming to Columbia was very challenging for me, and made even more challenging by the fact that I am not the type of person to admit when things are difficult. The one group I found my place here with, though, is Columbia Right to Life.

Being a member of Right to Life is not easy. On a good day, there are ten members, and I am not going to lie – it is not easy to stand firm in your convictions at a place where your convictions are by far the minority opinion. But of all I have experienced at college thus far, Right to Life has been the most gratifying.

I turned 19 years old on January 22nd of this year – the 43rd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that constitutionalized abortion in the United States. Since that decision, around 1 million babies haven’t been able to celebrate a birthday in the United States every year. 2,500 other 19 year olds did not celebrate their birthdays with me because they were never born. That is why I spent my birthday with Columbia Right to Life in Washington, D.C. marching through one of the top five largest snow storms the city has ever seen at the March For Life. We got snowed in and stuck in DC for two extra days, but we marched with thousands of others for the millions who couldn’t.

Words cannot describe the atmosphere of the March For Life. All that can be said is that everyone is overflowing with love—love for all human life, in all forms.

Columbia Right to Life has given me some of my best and closest friends at Columbia, something vitally important to a new college student. But even more importantly, Columbia Right to Life gives me a place where I can stand up for what I believe. Regardless of your beliefs, this is a feeling to which many of you Columbia students can relate. You know that there are few feelings better than taking a stand for what is important to you. And I believe in life.

Caroline H. CC'19