Voting allows us to make the country what we want it to be

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It’s pretty common to hear people say that children are the future, and I’d have to agree with them.

Most of us won’t be child geniuses or discover a new element for the science fair or be the CEO of a company before we’ve reached our teen years.

Most of us are under the impression that we can’t do anything that will significantly impact the world.

But the moment we reach 18, we have all the power we could ask for right at our fingertips.

Yes, that’s right. The power to vote.

Many of us don’t utilize this power, once again falling into the thinking trap that
we are powerless, that we can’t make a difference, that our opinion won’t matter anyway because we’re “just kids.”

But we’re forgetting about everyone else who’s voting. All the other people our age who have similar opinions and ideas, who have just as much say as we do, who are just as much the future of this country as we are.

Individually, we may be weak, but when hundreds, thousands, even millions of us join together, we can make our voices heard, and we can make a real difference.

We are the ones who will be making the laws someday. We are the ones who will be traveling the world, uniting cultures and countries. We will be inheriting this country, this planet, and we need to start making it the kind of place we want to inherit.

I want to live in a country where everyone is equal, regardless of sexual identity or race. I want to live in a country where education is praised and accessible. I want to live in a country where everyone can get the health care they need. I want to live in a country where people can make enough money to live on at a minimum wage job.

We aren’t there yet. We’re getting closer, but we aren’t there just yet.

So, I vote.

Regardless of whether or not I feel like my vote’s going to make a difference, regardless of the outcomes, I vote.

How can we expect our country to become the country we want it to be if we’re too afraid to make our voices heard?

We’ve all heard it a thousand times,  and most of us shrug it off, but every vote really does count. So many elections come down to incredibly small differences in numbers. Just imagine if you had a really strong opinion about something but were too scared to vote, and you could’ve been the one to break the tie. Just think how big a difference one vote can make.

It doesn’t matter how many other people are voting. Your vote always counts, and your vote always makes a difference.

I voted in the 2016 presidential election, and yeah, I was honestly devastated when I saw the results the next morning. Yes, I spent the day wallowing in self-pity and moaning about how my vote hadn’t made a difference.

Maybe it hadn’t made a noticeable difference. But I stood up for what I believed in, regardless of what everyone at school was saying, regardless of everything happening in the media. I stood my ground and did what I thought was right. That’s something to be proud of.

So even if you doubt you’ll make a difference, even if you think you’re wasting your time, vote anyway. All you have to do is fill in a bubble or connect the arrows, and no one ever has to know how you voted anyway.

It’s. So. Easy.

And you get a cool sticker. (Unless you vote by absentee ballot, like I did for midterms, in which case you might have to steal your dad’s sticker).

Go vote, people. Wear your sticker with pride. Be proud of yourself for putting your opinion out there (sort of). Be strong, be unapologetic. Get ready to be America’s future.

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