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Rebekah Bolser Headshot

Time, Change and the Youth of America

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I love it when I go to school and I learn something that really makes me think about the world around me, something so profound it just sticks with me for days, and it usually happens in the most random of moments. A few weeks ago, I was sitting in chemistry. We were watching a video about the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the electron, which took place in 1887, so the video was made in 1997. With it being a Pre-AP class, we never really got to relax and watch a video, so I was definitely looking forward to taking it easy.

But then something happened. They started talking about the importance of electrons in televisions and how, one day, they hoped to be able to develop televisions that didn't have those big bulky cathode ray tubes on the back. It was pretty cutting-edge technology. To think that one day we would have televisions and computers with flat, sleek screens that operated even better than the modern technology of the time.

It made me stop and think. Flat-screen televisions and thin, lightweight laptops were something I had grown up with. I didn't see these things as new or cutting-edge. But the reality is, so much has changed in such a little amount of time.

I was a year old in 1997, and I'm still considered a baby by most people. I started to think that if this much technology had changed in such a little amount of time, what other things had changed? I'm a big advocate for youth involvement in politics and youth voices in society, and I guess that's a big reason why. So much has changed over the years. Some of the reasons that politicians and world changers become the people they are is because they are passionate about causes and problems they saw around them growing up.

But the world changes, fast. Fifteen years ago, you couldn't pull out a smartphone and be automatically connected to a world of information. But, 15 years ago, people weren't as worried about the fiscal cliff or gun control as they are now. Sometimes adults get so wrapped up in the world they grew up in that they forget to look around and see the world has changed. People have changed. Society has changed.

The incoming generation may have a tendency to pose as ducks and take pictures of food, but the youth of today are driven and motivated towards making a difference in today's world. Because it's the world they're going to be growing up in.

Campaigns such as The Campaign for A Presidential Youth Council hope to expand youth voice is government issues. Now, only 29 percent of youth believe they have a say in our government. These are the kids that are going to lead the United States one day. If they're not involved now, they're going to be clueless later.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, things change and sometimes new ideas need to be welcomed and accepted in order to move forward in society. It's time that youth take initiative to speak up about the causes they care about in today's world. And it's about time adults listened.