Some people may say younger generations are not worried about life, that they are just concerned about partying, going out and wasting their time.
However, this is not fully true.
Volunteering and young people’s initiatives are some examples of how young people can be the leaders for change. Nowadays, many young people are concerned about daily-life problems in our society: unemployment, climate change, racism, sexism, etc.
Non-formal education is very important when addressing these topics. There are many courses and opportunities in which young people can learn about how their actions can make a real impact. The Internet and different social media can be used as platforms where young people express their concerns and interests. Simply by using memes or very appealing posts, these younger generations can raise awareness among fellow youngsters on many different social movements.
In ESN, we believe in the improvement of society through international students. An international mobility actually is a life-changing experience. Meeting many different people from different countries, different cultures and different backgrounds can definitely broaden your mind, raising awareness on different aspects of society. One person may think their life is okay, but meeting and dealing with different realities may change this. For example, there are a lot of unfair situations for people just because of their gender, their sexual orientation, the colour of their skin, or their religious beliefs; and having the opportunity to face these injustices can increase your interest and raise your awareness on them.
Our generation has the tools and the motivation to make the changes our society needs. Small steps are the beginning of huge paths, most of which have already begun to be walked. Different initiatives and associations work towards making progress about them. You can search for the ones that most appeal to you, the ones that reach the topics you are most interested working on but, contrary to what it is believed, you do not need to join any association to actively contribute to society. You can do it by reporting and standing against injustices you see, by taking small changes in your daily routines and by recycling and reducing waste.
Tolerance is the basis of a healthy society. Respecting each other and working together in order to make our voices be heard and make a change is what makes our generation so special. We can gather many different young people concerned about the same topic working for the same goal, and it is easier than ever before.
But great changes begin by small steps. Whenever you go out partying with your friends, you can start making these small changes. Right now, it’s obvious that when you find yourself as a young person living abroad you want to go out, discover your new city and meet new people, but you must be responsible. You’ll need to follow all the measures indicated, not only to stay safe but also to prove young people are not senseless.
We are not only making reference to this pandemic we’re going through, but in any other sense. There may be many situations in which you can see sexist situations where women are treated unequally. You can report them, or try to help the person if they are in danger in any way, physically or psychologically. These situations can also be applied to every group: people from different ethnicities or disabilities can also suffer unfair situations. Nowadays, their situation has very much improved in comparison to the past, but there is a long path to be walked to achieve equality. The same occurs with people from different sexual orientations or gender identities which may not be considered “usual” or “right” by some people. Being aware of this diversity is what makes us special, and is the basis for a healthy society.
We are one of the best prepared generations. There are many different opportunities to learn and grow as a society. We have the tools to actually make a change. We must be aware of our abilities, and the power our voice and our actions may have.
We do not have just a dream
We do believe in our generation and our chance to build, not only a better future, but also a better present. By working together and making these small changes in our daily lifestyle, we can achieve any goal.
We are already working towards these goals, are you going to be with us?