Renouncing Innocence

There eventually comes a time where it is the next generation’s turn.


One instance can change a person’s perspective on life forever. It can be any instance: big or small. It may be getting forced onto a deserted island, getting into an accident or maybe even encountering a shooter. These occurrences force kids, teens and even adults into a realistic state of mind and cause them to think around the matter, to ponder the situation. Why did this happen? How was this caused? Why now?

For many, these questions may remain unanswered until the individual takes a leap into new territory.

In this generation, many kids find that it is their time to step up and start to let their ideas and plans shine. These actions allow t the older generations to see them before their time starts to run out.

To some, the age of taking a stand comes in waves. First, a young person is living their normal life, not necessarily with any set in stone life plans. However, a bump in the road can cause them to come to a realization that they and their counterparts should start allowing the older generations to step back a bit.

In February of 2018, Parkland, Fla. was devastated after an experience with a shooting on a school campus. No one saw it coming and many, if not all, of the students experienced a rude awakening that day. They realized that the fatalities that the United States encounters on a daily basis are real and something has to be done about it.

A group of students, including 19-year-old Emma Gonzalez, decided to take this gun control advocation to another level by writing speeches and organizing rallies. They came to the realization that it requires brave individuals to speak upon the issue and make thoughtful decisions that could lead to change. This “slap in the face” was perfect for the young generation to make their plans known, as they will be running the country before everyone knows it.

It became evident that once Gonzalez noticed the issue over guns, she came to the realization that they are not the only issue surrounding the present society.

In a New York Times opinion piece written by Gonzalez herself, the advocate goes beyond her main focus of gun control and exclaimed her passionate ideas for her young counterparts and that they have no choice but to help the state of their country. In the article, Gonzalez talks about how many people can claim that politics are something they’re not interested in, but there are life threatening issues that are affecting a wide range of United States citizens and it can be almost selfish for them to not get involved.

Junior Paige Bolton takes deep pride and faith in her generation to restore her country into something manageable for all citizens.

“I think it’s important for younger generations to be heard,” Bolton said. “What they are debating to change is going to impact everyone else’s futures and we all need to hear their opinions in order to make changes and find common ground.”

In less than 20 years from now, the young generation existing today will be in charge of the country. Some of them already know that their generation’s voice matters just as much as any current figure in the political world and they are ready to make their own mark.

“Older leaders are seen as more wiser than the newer leaders in our upcoming generation,” Bolton said. “As the years go on things are changing so the older leaders know more about real leadership in the past rather than leaders now.”

However, just because the older generations have asserted their dominance and knowledge of the real world, it should not stop teens from making their mark.

Dean Grant Murray makes it a mission for himself to encourage his students to use their voices and contribute ideas to not only their school but to their community as well.

“Young people are impacted by decisions made at all levels of government,” Murray said. “Students at ACHS are impacted daily by the decisions made by our Board of Education. That’s why I always encouraged students to go to school board meetings or other meetings of elected bodies. It is vital that we, as stakeholders, are knowledgeable of what is going on in our communities.”

Some of today’s teens are starting to realize their voice’s impact and the potential they have to change the world. Change doesn’t have to be big to have an influence on others. Anyone can make a difference, it’s just a step into new territory so that one can experience all the world has to offer.