Members of the class of 2021,
Congratulations on getting into college. Congratulations on getting through four difficult years of high school. Congratulations on all the accomplishments that will be coming your way in the upcoming weeks. I hope you enjoy graduation and prom season and everything else that comes with finishing up your high school career; it truly is an unforgettable time.
With that being said, your impact on the world is just beginning.
During the next few years, the political impact you choose to have will greatly affect the world around you. The potential you hold to influence political change is nothing short of extraordinary. While this knowledge can be motivating, it is also somewhat of a burden. You always knew that someday the old generation would give way to a new one and that the new generation would in turn pass the torch down to you. What you might not yet fully realize is that the passing of the torch is now.
Political influence is one of the most precious gifts one can have. You now control this gift. I hope you're ready to make the most of it. From someone only a year ahead of you who has experienced firsthand the unique capability you are about to possess, here are a few tips.
1. Always use your voice.
In order to really make a political difference, you must use the voice you have. Be proactive. Join clubs and organizations that stand for a cause you believe in, and let your passion for that cause guide you. Find ways to promote political activism and become a beacon that shows others how much of a difference one person can make on this world. Your opinion matters; use your voice to spread what you believe in.
2. Never be discouraged.
There will be times when you feel as if your opinion does not matter. There will be times when you think that no matter what you do, nothing will change. There will be times when you get brought down because it seems like you really do not have a political voice. But never be discouraged. No matter what you believe in, what political party you associate with or what ignites your political enthusiasm, run with it. Keep fighting and keep believing and never, ever let your fire die out.
3. Read, read, read.
In order to have an opinion politically, you must be informed. While it is important to not completely base your ideas on everything you read — which will be further mentioned later —finding out facts is essential. Understand all sides of every single issue and know everything there is to know about every single candidate. Once you genuinely grasp all information, an informative and proper opinion can be made. But first, you must read.
4. It's OK to change your mind.
Once you have made a political opinion and voiced it, it may seem like it is concrete. That is not at all the case. It is OK to backtrack and form a new opinion. Whether new facts arise, you simply have a change of heart or any other change happens, supporting something opposed to what you used to believe in is totally fine. Never feel stuck. Let only what you believe in be the factor that leads you, not what anyone may think or say if you happen to change your mind. You do you, especially when it comes to politics.
5. Form your own opinions.
No matter what anyone says, only you have the power to make up your own mind. Do not let anyone else's words decide your political ideologies. Other people, the internet and social media will all spread different ideas — in the end, however, it is up to you to decide what you want to believe. Nobody can tell you otherwise. Sometimes it may even seem as if others are forcing their ideas onto you, making you think that there is only one opinion. Never let that stop you from taking a step back and forming your own opinions.
So that is all I have for right now, but I do want you to remember one more thing: I (and everyone else in the class of 2020) will be right there with you the whole way. We can make this world a better place one step at a time, no matter how many steps it may take. Politically, this world is in need of passionately good people. So, passionately good people may we be. We can do this. We can do this, together.
The torch is now yours. Good luck, my friends.
Lead Image Credit: Pixabay