Book Review: ‘The Conservative Woman’s Guide to College’

March 14th, 2024 9:39 AM

Network of Enlightened Women’s founder and president Karin Lips recently released a book titled “You’re Not Alone: The Conservative Woman’s Guide to College.” The 18 chapter book goes over many tips for young girls entering college with conservative values and is a great resource for high school seniors to read to look towards their college and future careers with peace of mind. 

The book, split up into parts, has the goal of helping women “be more confident and persuasive in standing up” for their conservative ideas and for themselves. “It will also show you how to deal productively with the adversity that can come as a result of those beliefs,” Lips wrote in the introduction.

Part one of the book focuses on College Preparation. Lips encourages students to pick a college that has majors that match what they want to pursue coupled with good professors and a core curriculum that will set them up well for success. She also encourages students to find schools with both intellectual diversity and a specific "home" for conservative students. Whether that be a club, a group of friends or a faculty member, it’s important to be around like minded people but at the same time, surround themselves with people who aren’t exactly like them in order to challenge themselves and “grow” into a stronger person and conservative.

Chapter two focused on preparing for college. Suggestions included getting news from reputable news outlets (not the progressive ones that only tell you the leftist version of stories), listening to podcasts, reading books and gaining an understanding of what types of Conservative clubs or outlets are available to students.

Part two is titled “Campus Atmosphere.” It highlights challenges that young Conservatives may face when they get to college and both how to avoid them if possible and how to get through them if necessary. 

Lips pointed out that one issue in colleges, and in life in general, is that conservatives are more willing to be friends with liberals than the opposite. “92% of conservatives said they would have a liberal as a friend,” Lips wrote whereas only “63% of [liberals] would have a conservative as a friend.”

Advice from Abby Daniels, a recent college graduate, included leading with “your personality, not your politics,” on campus. This strategy may help with Lips’ chapter 4 tips which talked about how necessary it is to build a community of friends. She emphasized relying on different friends for different needs, joining clubs and being intentional about finding community between students who share faith.

In part two of Lips’ book, she locks on to something the Media Research Center agrees is a big issue in the nation, free speech. Lips insisted that being a conservative student, girls are bound to lose friends over their views and may experience both self-censorship and a rejection of their free speech but urged students to fight back when their free speech is under attack.

“Know your rights before you even get to campus,” she suggested while emphasizing how important it is for students to surround themselves with a community that will help support them and back them up if students feel your rights are being violated when it comes to free speech.

The final section of this part encouraged young conservatives to find like minded, or at the very least open minded, professors. Lips admitted that professor mentors could really help students get through college, especially when being a student with viewpoints that many disagree with. Lips also encouraged students to avoid biased professors, be strategic when professing your views, be accurate and raise questions when faced with hostility.

The next portion of “The Conservative Woman’s Guide to College” was called “Campus Organizations.” Lips noted that sororities may be great places to find a group of like minded students but warned that many sororities have become overtly liberal. Lips adopted a “proceed with caution” mentality when it comes to Greek life.

Lips also encouraged students to run for student government if they felt they wanted to be a campus wide leader but noted that student government isn’t for everyone. “If you decide not to run, make sure it is not because you are nervous, scared to lose, or don’t think you know enough,” Lips wrote, after insisting that students can still make a change and a difference without being part of official student government groups.

One example of this could be hosting a speaker on campus. While this is a great way to not only make friends and help others establish community, Lips noted that girls should work with school administrators to help organize a speaker and gave tips on how to stay safe throughout, before and after an event.

Another example could be starting a NeW chapter! Lips went into detail about how to do this and encouraged students to reach out to NeW staff to get the ball rolling if that’s something they’re interested in.

The final, and arguably most important, part of Lips book was about personal advancement. She emphasized that both social media practices and picking a major are key components of a student’s success in and after college. She even incorporated some key dos and don’ts when pursuing a relationship in college. 

“Ring by spring” isn’t for everyone, Lips noted. She encouraged girls to be thoughtful, safe and intentional and remember that relationships are more important than politics, whether romantic or not. 

Lips' book, while it’s catered towards girls looking for advice before and during college, is a great tool to set ladies up for success in their careers and hopefully “dream internships and jobs.”

Here’s part of Lips conclusion:

Through the advice in this book, I hope you now feel more prepared and motivated to speak up for your beliefs, even anticipating the challenges that may arise. Know that there will be women on your campus and campuses across the country cheering you on. I’m cheering you on as well!

Lip’s book is a great tip book for young girls. It can be purchased online via this link for you or anyone you know who may be interested!