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Can teens change the world?

Caitlin Hogge, Iris Reviews Editor

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Teenagers are often called lazy and unmotivated. This mindset often leads teenagers to think that they can’t do anything to change the world. Changing the world isn’t an easy task and is incredibly daunting. However, I believe that if anyone, even a “lazy teenager,” puts their mind to it, they can make a difference.

Malala Yousafzai, only 15 at the time, stood up for a cause she believed in—female education—and was faced with a horrible consequence: being shot by the Taliban. She managed to pull through many surgeries, physical therapy and emotional trauma, and still fights for what she believes in, even though she risked her life for it. She even won the Nobel Peace Prize. At 17. Despite living in an oppressive country and being attacked because of her beliefs, Malala fought for what she believed in. She is not a lazy, unmotivated teen. She is a teenage hero.

On Feb. 14, a gunman entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, and started shooting. Seventeen people were slain. The massacre provoked an uproar from the entire country and a call for stricter gun laws. Emma González, a senior at Stoneman Douglas, gave a powerful speech at a rally calling out the government and its inadequate responses and actions toward gun control. She said that the teenagers are the only ones to call the government on their “BS.” She faced the NRA head-on during a town hall gathering and was so strong and sure of herself. She is working to create what she thinks is a better world, which I respect immensely. Just a senior in high school, she faced a huge organization and kept her cool. Teens can make a difference in this world, and González is certainly making her mark.

These exceptional young people are working to make a change in the world. Even though these teenagers are trying to make a big difference, there are also smaller differences that can be made. Even students at WHS are looking to make a change by organizing a walkout for the horror that happened in Florida. No matter what age someone is, they can make a difference. Teenagers, even though they’re often called lazy, can indeed change the world.

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