Next Generation Inspires Hope for Change

Amanda Young, Editor-in-Chief

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It has been a bleak start for the new year.

Bushfires are currently raging across Australia; the Philippines and Galapagos Islands have both experienced volcanic eruptions. Puerto Rico, which has still not fully recovered from Hurricane Irma, has been hit with a series of damaging earthquakes since late December.

Beyond natural disasters, the political scene has been rocky. #WWIII was trending on Instagram and Twitter following the killing of Qasem Soleimani in Iraq. Turmoil within the British monarchy, with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to step down as senior members of the Royal Family, has led to a media circus. Protests against the Chinese government in Hong Kong continue. A Ukranian passenger jet was shot down by an Iranian missile, killing 176 people.

The list of horrors goes on. It’s easy to adopt a fatalistic, “doomsday” attitude.

So, what’s the light at the end of the tunnel? Our generation will continue to exert more control over the next 10 years, and perhaps, will rectify much of catastrophe caused by the negligence and ineptitude of those who have come before us.

Over the next decade many of us will graduate from college and enter the “real world,” though it is likely that a special few will instead end up in jail or living in their parent’s basement. Some of us may marry and have children.

Most importantly, within the next 10 years, most of us will be exercising our right to vote. This, to me, is both exciting and nerve-wracking. On 1 hand, it means that the youth activists that we’ve come to love, from Greta Thunberg to the Parkland shooting survivors, will be able to make a more tangible difference. It also means that all of the teenagers who are making jokes about WWIII and eating Tide Pods for fun may be standing in a voting booth as well, so long as their able to figure out how to register.

While I too have made jokes about current events, I believe that as a generation, we need to start taking our lives more seriously.

“With great power comes great responsibility,” said Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben. Our generation will play a larger role in politics and the workforce in the next decade, and it’s important that we don’t overlook the responsibility of that privilege.

We need to start preparing for that responsibility now by exercising the avenues of influents already available to us. Contact your Congressman, advocate for what you believe it, attend rallies and marches, and continue to educate yourself about what you feel is most important.

We have the opportunity to help define the 2020s. Let’s make it even better than the “Roaring Twenties” of the last century.