About two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to hear some very inspiring words about leadership from an important leader in our state, Governor Jim Hunt. The most important take-away message gathered from his presentation was his compelling argument on the importance of getting involved in college. He that one of the best things about his college experience was getting involved with an issue that he felt passionate about. During his college experience, it was the civil rights movement. As I reflected on the discussion, I began to wonder about the movement for our generation? At this current moment people are involved with a variety of movements. We have the KONY 2012 Movement; we have the Occupy Movement; the Vote Against Amendment One Movement; and now we have the Trayvon Martin Movement. We have social, political, environmental, and economic issues that students and people from all over the nation are advocating for or against.

One of the great things about college is that you finally get a chance to be around a group of people who share your same passion for a cause or movement. Governor Hunt would be glad to know that students are getting involved and paying attention. Recently, North Carolina State students were called to participate in the Wolfpack for Martin: Hoodie Day event on March 26, 2012. Even with temperatures near the 80’s, many students supported the efforts and honored the life of Trayvon Martin. Furthermore, it was clear that people took note of what was occurring on campus and were compelled enough to express their thoughts and opinions in day-to-day conversations or social media.

Most people come to college to find their passion and purpose in life. I just want to encourage people to keep their goals and dreams in mind. Additionally, I want to encourage young people to stay informed and involved in current events. Take heed to Governor Hunt’s advice and make your college experience memorable. Don’t just stand by and wait, but take action! This is our time as college students to show that our generation really cares. Our generation is not so enveloped by technology that we let it hinder us from taking an active role in society. College is the best place to really make the changes and differences in our communities, nation, and world.

I want to look back one day, like Governor Hunt, and tell the future generation about how I helped make a contribution to society. I want to share a story that will encourage people to expand their horizons. I want to be able to say that I stood up for what I believed in and my voice was heard. This is what college is about, right? It is about insightful discussions and coming together to support one cause and one purpose. College is about learning in and out of the classroom. In other words, use your drive and passion to make a contribution to the betterment of society. Mahatma Gandhi said it best, “be the change you want to see in the world.” I hope you stand up for the challenge.