This was the sentiment spoken by Naomi Wolf to the Scripps College graduating class of 2000.
But wait, you say. Isn't this completely backwards? Aren't colleges filled with liberal students who are going to go out into the real world and get slapped in the face with jobs and responsibilities and finally realize how foolish they have been?
That is not the way it works. See, when you graduate, she told them, you are going to go out in to the real world, and then you are going to see all the injustice that exists in the world. You are going to feel the glass ceiling for yourself. You won't be isolated from people with no food to eat or house to sleep in. And any racial injustice which you thought you felt at college will seem ridiculously minor compared to what you will see in the rest of the world.
You are going to leave college, and then your eyes will really be opened to the shocking injustices of the world. And you will unable to be indifferent to them, and you will come to understand why we all need to struggle and make sacrifices to improve the world we live in.
And that is why you are never as conservative as when you graduate from college.
Postscript: I was recently talking to the good friend of mine who graduated at the ceremony and she was telling me how true she had found this prophecy to be. She took a job as an investment banker in San Francisco, and she told me that despite the place she worked, the simple act of walking to work and meeting the homeless was already making her feel more liberal.
Note: I unfortunately, was not able to hear this speech. You see, all of the Claremont Colleges graduate on the same day, and I was too busy graduating from Pomona College to attend. If you were there and want to correct me, please send a /msg. I just wanted to pass it along, because it gives me hope.