Over the last few years, I’ve noticed many people my age begin to question whether or not they can actually make a difference in the world when crises or issues come up. I believe that we can.
The first big way to begin making a difference is to spread awareness for whatever it is you are passionate about. This can be as simple as saying something to your friends, or you can go deeper by protesting, sharing your thoughts in media, etc.
Raising awareness is not all you have to do; however, you also need to be able to get people truly invested in the issue. This can be challenging because people often mean well but get caught up in life, which leads to them forgetting. In order to make people not forget, they need to know why the issue affects themselves and others.
Once people are invested in the issue, taking action is the next step. One very common way of taking action is donating to charities that work with the issue you care about. There are many times when donating to a cause is extremely helpful. This can be for major illnesses such as cancer or, you can also donate when major events happen like the recent Amazon Rainforest fire. Overall, donating is great because you can help a cause even if you can’t truly be there to assist.
Another way of taking action is protesting. People often protest when they are truly displeased with a situation and want it to change. Protesting is most important when citizens demand change or action from their city, state, country, etc. An example of a recent protest on campus was the climate strike, which demanded that action be taken on climate change. Protesting is incredibly valuable because citizens are able to say directly what they want.
Volunteer work is also a big way to take action. Doing volunteer work is consequential because you get the opportunity to personally make a difference and know that it is being done how you would like. There are volunteering opportunities to be found everywhere. This includes going to animal shelters, helping build houses for homeless people, serving food at soup kitchens and anything else. Something that students can also do is go on alternative breaks, which are trips in which a group of people go to do volunteer work for around a week.
In conclusion, there are three steps to making a difference. First you must raise awareness, then you must make people care and finally you take action. Students should never question if they can make a difference because there are always opportunities to make the world a better place. You just need to be the change you want to see.
Cristian Valentin can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org