If there was one word I would use to describe our generation, it would be vocal. We are a very vocal generation, expressive of our opinions and beliefs.
Activism is when we take this passion to the next level. It is when we promote, prevent or intervene on an issue. This isn’t a bad thing, in fact our generation has come so far because we have adopted activism as a method of getting our voices out there.
Now more often than not we use social media as our platform, This is to show our grievances with some issue and hope that if it gets out into the public eye through posts or petitions that it will make a difference.
Sad to say almost every online survey or petition is discounted in parliament unless it fits a very specific set of criteria, so that hackers can’t just send in a petition signed by thousands of non-existent people.
The other way in which young people tend to display their support for a cause is by protests. Unfortunately, many full time students don’t have the time or the funds to be able to afford to attend the meaningful protests that happen in the capital cities, especially rural students.
So what then can we do to actually make a difference?
- Follow the party/group/organisation that supports your cause and sign their online petition. They will have made sure that the criteria is parliamentary approved.
- Send letters. This takes a lot of effort, most of us are far more used to typing than handwriting words but it is well worth it. Handwritten letters are prioritised higher than word processed ones, emails, texts etc. Be sure to send a letter to your local representative as well as state and to make it clear that you are of the age to vote.
- Phone calls. You are able to call representatives and have a discussion, which can be the strongest political activist move.
- Emails. As a last resort, emails do hold some value and are much less time consuming that options 2 and 3.
If it all looks a bit daunting to you at the moment, try and get a few friends together and have a letter writing night.
Bring some snacks, play some music, get everyone writing three letters each in their own words to their local representatives. Remember to use your home representative not your campus one. Good luck!