By Milla Hartford
San Antonio, Texas
For generations this world has faced hardship after hardship, receiving no kind of solution. There have been ideas, suggestions, fundraisers, and so on—but nothing has truly changed. Whether it be pollution, politics, or social constructs, something has to be done. It is time we, as future business owners, political leaders, or whatever we dream to be, stand up.
Pollution is one of the biggest issues in modern history. No matter how hard we try, there is always ‘trash’ on the ground and in the air. However, there are multiple organizations working to solve this problem, or at least make things less extreme. If we were all to donate to one of these organizations, Earth would be much cleaner. Unfortunately, that’s unrealistic. But one thing we can all do to help prevent ground pollution is to be active in our communities. There are thousands of ways to go out and pick up trash. For example, as a high school student you have the option to sign up for community service, where you could go out and clean ditches and beaches while earning that extra ‘wow’ factor for colleges.
Another problem we are constantly facing is political tension. Everyone fights for what they believe in, and against what others believe in. The way many people act today, it’s as if nobody is allowed their own opinions. For those who aspire to be a leader for their community, there’s no better time to start than now. We need people who will lift us up, embrace difference, and inspire change. When you look around and see all kinds of people from all kinds of backgrounds discussing ideas and working together to create a better future, you know you’re doing something right. Without us, the state of the world will plummet.
Lastly, social constructs are a major dilemma. Everyone is telling you “wear this, say that, be like this,” and it’s absolutely not okay. As stated before, it’s starting to feel as though nobody is allowed their own opinions. Going out into the world as teenagers, we’re being thrown all this pressure to act a certain way. Whether it’s to set an example, make our parents look good, or just because we have to, there’s always someone telling you what you should or shouldn’t do. For example, there’s a lot of debate going around about the LGBTQ+ and some of their rights. There are those who want to take away the ability to marry someone of the same sex, others who believe you deserve to be punished if you don’t identify as the gender you were assigned at birth, and a whole bunch of other unnecessary conflict. These are all brought on by people’s desire for everything to be perfect, or the same. We have to change the narrative and remind everyone that everyone should be treated equally, and not one person is going to be the same as the other.
To conclude, I’d like to remind everyone, not just teenagers, that we can make a change. The world is far from perfect, and that’s not entirely our fault, but it’s our responsibility to make it better. Participate in your community, make a change, embrace difference: it’s what we can do for our futures.