Well, I'm graduating high school in June, and getting ready for college. I'm going to CSULB. I'm thinking of taking a course that is religious in nature. But I'm not quite sure what they consist of. Has anyone had experience taking this class? 

What is life in college like as an atheist? Is there less or more acceptance than normally? I'd like to hear some college stories and people's suggestions or tips, or whatever you have to offer. 

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Dear Folks:

When I was in college, early 80's, I was the co-director of the student SOS group, Society Of Separationists. There were about 9 guys in the group.

High points: debating the Park block evangelists, tending our little park table selling buttons, having the local student Moslum group take our side during a heated atheist VS christian debate, selling 'Pop God' balloons, and controling the student paper for a few weeks with debate letters till we were shut down due to 'excess editorial space'. It was a good run, I think the local student christian group  found the ear of the faculty to remove us from the paper. I only had one philosophy prof. give us a thumbs up! We were just young kids fooling around and testing our wings.

I am entering my third year this fall and I'm currently 20 years old. This past school year I joined a sorority, one of the only organizations in the National Panhellenic Conference that is SECULAR and I have found that many of my sisters are against me being atheist.
I have received several facebook messages and texts from sisters asking me to remove posts from my facebook and things like that. They mock me (not to my face of course) and I actually am having difficulty trying to gain a position in our organization and my good friends and I know it's because of my beliefs, sisters have openly admitted it.
Other than petty drama, which is all it is; girls trying to find something to gossip about, I have had no issues with other college students.

Most kids our age don't really care about religion or what other believe in. They're not into politics or world issues. In my experience, the middle aged people with nothing left to look forward to in life are the ones who hassel us on being atheist.

Well that sucks. I hope I don't experience anything like that. Right now I'm home schooled, and haven't been in regular school since my freshman year. So luckily I've gotten to avoid all that high school drama, I simply don't get along well with ignorant people, and especially gossiping girls. I'll be sure to NOT join a sorority then, I wasn't interested in it anyways. 

I'm so sorry to hear that Taryn.  That absolutely should not be happening.  Are the leaders of your chapter aware of the issue and ignoring it, or worse actively involved?  If you can't find support there, perhaps you can speak to an advisor or national representative?

I was an officer in my sorority, and I do not recall religion ever being a focus or fighting point between me or any of my sisters.  My chapter was down to earth and super diverse in terms of cultures, and values, and religions (or lack thereof).  I wasn't outspoken about atheism at the time, but I definitely did not go to church or pray or talk about god at all.  That aside, a few of my sisters were more outspoken atheists and they also held offices and were treated with respect.  I learned a ton from the experience, and I always felt supported.  I know this is unfortunately not the experience for everyone, but I just wanted to let you know that it can and does happen (even for us atheists).

Krystal, I live in Southern California, and have friends that went to CSULB.  This should not be a large issue for you.  I was completely against joining a sorority before I went to college, but changed my mind later on.  You may or may not feel differently once you get there, but if you do go ahead and check it out.  As I said above, not every experience is the same.  On the other hand if you don't want to and don't care, that's perfectly okay too.  There's a lot more to college life and you're just going to have to make your experience your own.

On another note, you might be interested in checking this out - just a hop, skip and a jump from CSULB: Orange County Freethought Alliance Conference at UCI

It really depends on what school you attend. An Atheist at BYU could have a tough time, however I went to a small liberal arts school and had an excellent experience. If anything the support and like minds I found helped me establish my morals and ethical identity very well. I think you will have an excellent experience.

I would recommend taking the religious course too, you might be surprised at how many atheists take courses like that.

I had no problems with religious people in school despite my outspoken stance on how religiosity might interfere with sane decisions that are part of a rational mind. I believe we are all here trying to figure the answers but some people do not want to do the amazing amount of homework to get that rewarding correct answer so they take shortcuts instead. That is my opinion.

I'm sure all the Christians loved you in college, huh? (:

philosophy of religion. 

best class I have ever taken

I do think I'll be taking that class, so far everyone I have talked to about it has encouraged me to take it. I think it will be really interesting.

You most likely will be fine as long as you are not pushy like a Jehovah's Witness. BUT, you will be amazed about the huge number of college students who deny evolution, and global warming. I used to get into a lot of debates, but that is because I tend to poke the bear with subtle questions, and I have never been shy when it comes to confrontation. Most people in college don't care much what you believe.  which is good

take an open mind and if you have a question about a religious dogma ask and see how they respond, in a softmore in high school haha i know not who you want to hear from but in 8th grade i went to this supper prodestant evangelical school and if i just had a question about weird things in the bible they would ignore me there for i never had the respect for them and i also had some friends who were questioning faith and we made fun off the classs and did help with cheating on test like memorzing bible verses, this deffinatly helped the class go by faster and funn-er *not a word "

I'm finding more and more college students are Atheist where I am. I would suggest don't flaunt your Atheism or anything but you know, if it comes up in conversation no need to hide it.


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