Generation Y: Shaping the 21st Century

January 31, 2011
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One of the most common critiques of young people today is an alleged lack of interest in important political and social issues. According to some, we are a generation of people who devote countless hours to bad television, iPhones, and the infamous Facebook. These assumptions are not surprising, since we did, after all, grow up in a time when technology was evolving faster than the speed of light. However, it is unfair to label us as indifferent without judging what we have accomplished.

In one instance, more under-30 voters turned out in the 2008 elections than had in a presidential election since 1992. And for those of us under 18, the amount of leadership that young people displayed on the campaign trail was phenomenal. And why, one might ask, should they do this? Because we care. The issues that we’re concerned about drive us to give not only our votes, but also our time, energy, and dedication.

The rights and privileges that we grew up with – and take for granted – this can be seen as a setback, but it can also be one of the reasons why my generation has the confidence and ambition to succeed. Because of the tools and resources that we have, we grew up being told that we can do anything, and so we refuse to settle for anything less than our dreams.

America has come a long way. Ever since the securing of our freedom, we have been fighting to keep it. We have also been fighting for equality, education, basic needs, and working to secure those rights to our children and our grandchildren. And this fight will not cease with my generation. In this day and age when crucial issues demand leadership, it is imperative that the youth rise up to the occasion. The competitive 21st century poses challenges to my generation that were unlike any seen in the past. Global warming, outsourcing, and the dwindling supplies of non-renewable energy are just a few of the many issues that my generation will need to solve. We will have to reassert America’s standing in the world, be champions of human rights, and improve education not only in the US, but also in third world countries. So, does my generation have a role in America’s future? The answer is an enthusiastic “yes!” I believe in my generation. There is hope for the future, and my generation will rise up to become the great leaders of the 21st century.

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