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Silencing voices of millennials limits potential of change

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Silencing voices of millennials limits potential of change

Opinion Editor
Natalie Hilden

Opinion Editor Natalie Hilden

Opinion Editor Natalie Hilden

Opinion Editor Natalie Hilden

Natalie Hilden

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Too often nowadays, people jump at the opportunity to call millennials lazy, coddled and unwilling to work hard for the things they wish to achieve.

But, in the face of adversity when we decide to step up and use our voice, the opposition decides to shut us down because of our age, mental state or social trends. From what I have seen, stereotypes limit all potential we have for positive change.

In spite of these stereotypes, Parkland, Florida, teens rise in the wake of tragedy to spark revolutions of change. Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are proving the criticism of their actions to be wrong just a week after they witnessed the atrocity of assault and hatred inflicted on their school.

A nation with freedom of activism and speech is a nation of productivity and improvement. Your right to believe what you choose is yours and yours alone. Engaging in a discussion can only make our view on issues broader and more well-rounded. No one has the right to silence opinions of young voices.

Despite what your political stance is, or what your belief towards gun control is, we must think of these acts of violence as the terrible things they are. We cannot continue to normalize them.

No one should have to experience this kind of pain and we should keep discussing the reality of it until change is brought about.

Never again should a child have to plan their lives around 17 of their friends’ funerals.

I am a 19-year-old girl who lost her mother at the age of 15 and I quickly learned the weight of tragedy. Now, I am not saying I can relate to these kids in the slightest because there is no wrapping my mind around grieving mass murder. But I consider myself familiar enough with the grieving process to convey relatable ideas.

One of the most important things I gained from counseling and the support of my family in times of grieving was the ability to channel my negative feelings of grief into productive things with the hope of positive outcomes. Level- headed passion can come from times of unimaginable trial, and you can only hurt for so long before needing positivity.

“Your opinion doesn’t matter, your generation was eating laundry pods a week ago,” is another excuse I heard from old co-workers and Facebook friends who attempted to silence my voice. Blaming an entire group for the actions of a few is like saying all gun owners are mass murders.

Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani women’s education advocate who, at the age of 17, became the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize after surviving being shot in the head while resisting the Taliban. Her advocacy has turned into an international movement.

Young voices driven by today’s media connections are the catalysts for change our world needs to see. Stereotypes only halt the progressive nature and potential of real impact on the world around us.

Too young, too emotionally distraught, too easily influenced by stupid social trends, we’ve heard it all. But, there is no denying the message Parkland students have sent our nation about using your voice and encouraging discussion, even when others attempt to brutally shut you down.

“You have to stand up for some things in this world,” said Marjory Stoneman Douglas, the American journalist and namesake of the high school. Standing up is exactly what we are trying to do.

Natalie Hilden is the Opinion Editor for The Collegian and can be reached at
[email protected]

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Silencing voices of millennials limits potential of change