This Is Your Call To Arms

Time flies way too fast here at UCI. With midterms already upon us, and the presidential elections looming ever closer, we students are quickly feeling the weight of responsibility on our shoulders, many for the first time in our lives. Before we can even blink, the decision will be thrust upon many of us to choose which direction we, our state and our country will take in only a couple of weeks.

For a large number of us, this will probably be the first time we are allowed to vote, and so we are given a heavy burden, a responsibility easily forgotten in the persistent monotony of our mundane, day-to-day lives.

Therefore, let us take a moment to sit down and ponder over this new role that we have been given. Let us all, for but a brief moment, find this time to close our laptops, put the iPhone aside, log off Facebook and Gmail and even close the textbook and the Triple-E for but a mere second; we promise this won’t take long. Put your other worries aside, pour yourselves a cup of tea or coffee, and bear with us as, together, we discuss the future of our nation.

This year marks something special for many of us. For us students who are eligible, we now have the right, and by association, the solemn expectation to go out and make an informed vote. And ideally, each and every one of us should take this to heart and do what we have to do.

If you have registered, then good for you! You are on the right path, and no matter what choice you take, no matter what side you vote for or which candidate you prefer, so long as your vote is an educated one, then you have allowed your voice to be heard. This is no small feat, in a time that is very hard for anyone, anywhere in the world really, to take a stand for something they want.

For those who haven’t registered, who haven’t kept up with the debates or the propositions being presented for us to choose, it’s not too late. You can still register, so do it! Don’t be let this opportunity slip by.

We understand there are those who feel disillusioned by our country’s voting process and by the direction America is taking in general.

The fact of the matter is that we as Americans are not in a good position right now. The economy sucks. As students, we all know it, we all feel it. The five dollars we shell out for each gallon of gas so our car doesn’t stop in the middle of an intersection. The fees we pay quarterly that go up and threaten to drown us in loans and debts. The fearful, obsessive dread that once we pick up our caps and gowns and diplomas, we will leave campus and have our job applications rejected.

With all these worries, it’s easy to lose sight of hope and optimism when these problems, and many others, weigh heavy on our minds. It is not surprising that it would reach a point where we ask ourselves, “Why should we give a fuck about what happens to this country?”

Yet in doing so, we create a cycle of apathy and ignorance, where our perceived meager attempts fail, therefore we are only prone to make equally meager attempts out of expectation for failure. Have we lowered our standards so far now that we are willing to ignore what’s going on and risk our dreams and aspirations by not taking a stand against policies that may hinder our future? Or to voice our support for changes that may help us and set our lives on the right path?

And then, there are those of us who simply could not be bothered to care about the future. Truly, the age of DGAF and YOLO cannot be the final destination of our amazing generation. We have accomplished so much and gotten so far now, ushered forward by those who have always been supportive of us and by our own individual willpower as men and as women, no longer children. We have responsibilities, selfless expectations that our parents, parent figures, brothers, sisters and true friends have taught us: to go out and act as individuals to the benefit of other fellow individuals in a collective society that aims to nurture, rather than silence, one’s voice. United we stand.

Read about what’s going on, go register (on EEE, right when you check your class websites), and if time permits, go get involved. But at least, have some knowledge about what’s going on, and do something about it. What is Prop. 30? What is Prop. 32? Go and find out! Trust us, they will affect you.

Your voices have been heard before, and even if they haven’t, make sure they are heard this time. All this time, shit’s gotten real, but we have forgotten or ignored it. But it’s not too late. Not yet.

It’s time for us to give a fuck. It’s time for us to live, not just once and not for now and not just for ourselves, but for everyone we care about and for everyone that cares about us. Our country, our friends, our family are in trouble. What are we going to do about it?

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