The power of my 18 year old voice


Miah Wojdyla, Social Media Editor

 November 2016. I was in history class as an 8th grader. Our teacher asked the class to participate in a mock election. We were handed a small piece of paper that had three choices: Trump, Clinton, and third party. I am embarrassed to say those names were merely foreign to me. I hardly knew what the term politics meant, let alone who was about to represent our country for the next four years. 

    Now, in 2020, as a senior, I will be at the polls submitting a real vote. Consulting with my parents, peers, and other voters, I found discovering what I believe in takes more than just circling a name. Pressure sinks on thousands of newly 18 year olds who hold this new responsibility. 

   Voting. Such an important matter that is only promoted during election years and to those who can vote. As an 18 year old, it is quite exciting feeling like I am a part of something I once was not allowed to participate in. Although, as I reflect now, I am disappointed I did not take advantage of my voice prior to the legal age. The misconception that only voters’ voices matter is halting our generation to develop their own views until they “matter.” 

   Just this year, large moments have been protested on the streets, and on social media from all ages. The past several months, even weeks, our generation has stared at the ballot, wondering who we want to represent our country. It’s overwhelming seeing the countless ads to register to vote on all social media platforms. Since being able to vote, I have been eager to develop my personal image of what I want our nation to represent. 

   Our generation has the capability to receive the changes we want and need. It is up to the millions of us to take advantage of our young voices and truly impact what we see as torn. Rather than watching from the sidelines: share your views, listen to others, sign petitions, read campaigns, go to protests, and most importantly, go to the polls. These political opportunities are all at our fingertips. We have more power than any previous generations due to social media high demands. Taking advantage of what we have is the first step. Waiting every four years ruins those opportunities. 

   What once was a joke about vulgar Tweets and leaked emails, is now a duty. If I were able to tell my 8th grade self that the small piece of paper meant more than a bonus point, I would. I would urge myself to be more curious and explore politics now, instead of waiting until I become of age. I would focus on the ability to make changes, apart from voting. My generations’ voices may now be heard on November 3rd.