This is a letter to the editor from former Editor-in-Chief Trevor Hunt:
Why does it matter? The importance of getting involved.
Every day I deal with apathetic, uninterested, and disengaged people. Every day I am frustrated by other people’s lack of concern for issues affecting their community. Every day, I am expected to answer a question that I hate more than all the questions on the AP Bio exam combined.
“Why does it matter?”
For such a simple question, I struggle with finding a simple answer and often end up asking myself more questions.
Why does it matter? Why am I doing this? Who am I helping? What do I get out of it? How am I contributing to a better society?
Having served others for well over half my life in one capacity or another, I intrinsically feel that what I do matters. But it’s explaining that to others that I often find myself struggling.
I could dive into a long story about how I got to where I am, directly serving over 9,000 students at the University of Washington, but that still wouldn’t answer the question.
I could go up to you and talk for hours about my experience in student government, leadership, advisory committees, the various awards and honors I’ve received, and the plethora of opportunities I have been granted, but that still wouldn’t answer the question.
I could give you countless examples of times where young people, like you and I, came together as a force for change and made significant and positive impacts in our society, but that still wouldn’t answer the question.
I could show you the hundreds of people I have met on my journey who I have supported and who have supported me in fulfilling a mission to change lives for the better, but even that still wouldn’t answer the question.
Instead, I am going to ask you.
I am going to ask you to become engaged in your community. Take a leap of faith and join something new like a sport you’ve wanted to play or a club you’ve wanted to try. Go to meetings on topics that you are concerned about. Find opportunities that mirror your passions and interests – they’re out there, you just have to look hard enough.
I am going to ask you to own your experience. Don’t fault others for your actions or inactions and don’t expect them to do the work for you. Only you have lived your experience, so share it with the world so others may learn from your story. Exceed the expectations that others have of you and never let them underestimate you or your abilities.
I am going to ask you to advocate for yourself. Be loud, be proud, and be consistent. Do not back down for what you believe in. Hold strong and be resilient. Take initiative when it presents itself because no one else will do it for you. Change only happens when people demand it, so don’t be afraid to make waves for the right cause.
I also ask that you never forget your roots. We all grow throughout our lives, eventually existing in a world all on our own. When we forget our past, we stop growing and improving. Never let go of your roots and you will remain firmly planted and continue making a positive change in your communities.
In asking you to do these things, I hope you learn why it matters to get involved, to be a part of a community, and to make an impact. Become a positive force in your community, watch the difference you can make, and listen to the stories of others.
Show others why it matters.
Former Editor-in-Chief of The Camasonian