For the past 11 years, we students have been known as merely children to our school system. We have sat through lessons, participated in class discussions, produced countless projects and papers for our teachers. Although it seems as if schools have covered every topic imaginable, there exists a commonly overlooked and underrated aspect of education, leadership. Being spoon-fed answers to textbook questions and succumbing to everything we hear as the so-called truth has given our generation the impression that the answers to our problems lie in front of us. And in a time when students have no command, being a leader relies on the uniqueness of every individual opinion. Being a leader is defined as a person or group that can command a population, which are people we seek to be.
Starting with small ideas, beliefs and core values, our generation has risen amongst and beyond others and has been seen at the forefront of many major movements. A 19-year-old female tennis star who waited five years for her moment with a signed poster to her parents made history in every aspect of the sport. A small belief becoming echoed through one of the world’s most pressing leaderships who defied their country’s expectations and rallied one million people week after week. A young girl who started Friday protests alone for months because she believed so firmly in need of public awareness, ignored and set aside by citizens, now having become one of the most recognized figures of climate change. Bianca Andresscu, The Hong Kong protests, Greta Thunberg. All Generation X. These people arguably never had a relatable example to look up to, driving them to take action in the way they saw fit by playing to their strengths and using their success as a medium to advocate and vocalize the importance of young people as leaders.
Growing up amidst pressing economic, social and environmental conflicts, we have been forced to defy the persisting stereotypes about reckless teens and think critically. Staying silent is dangerous for us as a population and for our future. Forming strong beliefs, bringing people together and working for the greater good can not only connect us as people but develop well-rounded individuals. And when it comes to issues like equity and global warming, no book, resource or website will ever have the answer to our problems. History has shown time and time again that it is up to us to find it.
Now during COVID-19, our limits are being tested even more. Research shows that isolation and distance from others at our age can be problematic towards development. With limited ways to connect with one another and extremely uncertain days lying ahead of us all (especially Generation X), we need each other more than before. We are only as strong as our weakest partner, so a collective effort is the only way that we have hope of arriving at our revamped definition of a normal lifestyle. Leadership and a strong sense of unity is needed by all in such a time. After all, uncertainty can most effectively be countered by establishing trusting connections with one another which us youth have little difficultly with. By educating ourselves and spreading beneficial information to others, we can overcome this barrier and hopefully, we can appreciate how uncertain the future ahead looks as we will see it for the opportunities for lead and change it brings instead of its daunting nature.