This I Believe

Lauryn - 28601, North Carolina
Entered on May 15, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: hope

They say the doom of our world rests in the hands of Generation Y. My generation. Parents fill with dread at the thought of where their children will be by the time they are gone. They have resigned to the popular presumption that all the future generations will bring about disaster and ruin. They say we lose ourselves in our adolescence. I believe that’s actually where we find ourselves. My defining moments during my teenage years will shape the adult I will eventually become.

It doesn’t matter that I’m a Costa Rican teenager. I still live in America and am just as full of potential as any of the other millions of people my age living here. My mom came to America the first time as a foreign exchange student. Even though starting out she only knew the words for food and bathroom, she overcame both the pressures of her young age and her different ethnicity to grow to become last year’s NC teacher of the year. My mom motivates me with the vision that I can accomplish what anyone else can accomplish. Something she told me about her experience as a Hispanic teen will always stick with me wherever I go. She said, “I was put in a box with a label on top and it wasn’t until I came out of that box that I reached my full potential.” This inspires me still to be strong whenever I feel like I others have labeled me and pushed me to the side. I feel my generation as a whole still needs to break out of that box to find success. We can prove the doubters wrong.

I think the only way my generation could ever fail is if we never find the self confidence to bring about the positive change we’ve been charged to seek. Isn’t it ironic the ones that label us as preconceived failures are the ones who go out of their way to tell us how we will never measure up to our past. These are the very same people who are in fear of the time when Generation Y will sweep the nation as the cycle of life goes on. If they would simply believe in us and support us, I feel we could accomplish anything beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.

I only hope that in the face of doubt my rising generation won’t fear the risk of growing up and stepping out into the big wide world. It is not a matter of age or race, but about acceptance and support, which I pray we will receive from the previous generations. With that support, courage in ourselves would blossom and finding success could be just as easy as picking a flower from the grass. I believe we have enormous potential and I’m positive we won’t fail; we millennials will break the old mold the others think we cannot fill, because I know teenagers today will prove better equipped to be what the world needs next.