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Ciara Knisely

We Are the Future

by Ciara Knisely | Jul 05, 2017

As my final year of college, maybe my last year of school ever, approaches, both my excitement and anxiety are starting to set in. This time next year, I have no clue what my life will be like. I have no idea where I’ll be going, what I’ll be doing, or if I’ll have a job lined up. And that is pretty terrifying.

I was so excited about graduating early that I forgot that graduation would be creeping up on me a year sooner. I know that a lot can happen in a year and I’m sure I’ll be ready by then, or at least I hope so. Sometimes I still feel like the little girl walking single-file down the hallway in a line of second-grade classmates, with nervous eyes and wild blonde hair. Definitely not a college student soon to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree.

When we picture ourselves in the future, we never seem to imagine the person we are right now in that scenario. When I was a kid and I dreamed about this moment, being a twenty-year-old college student with a full-time job, I imagined so much more grandeur and sophistication. Life’s not really like that.

Sometimes it’s dirty, sometimes it’s painful, and it’s definitely not the life from my childhood dreamscape.

It’s not easy being a college student right now. Millennials are shoved into a box of corset-tight stereotypes that others can use to ignore our innovations and visions of change. I see the planet rapidly declining, species dying faster than ever before, race relations causing a divide in my home country, and terrorists exacting their anger on innocent civilians, while no one in charge seems to care.

What do you do in a world like this? I feel like I have no other option but to desperately advocate for changes that the world is seriously overdue for. There is no option of sitting still.

We are living through historical moments now. In fifty years, kids will be learning about what’s happening right now, the same way we learned about the Underground Railroad, suffragettes, and the freedom riders. It’s taken me a long time to realize that. There is no invisible force that makes history go the right way. Sometimes the bad guys win. It’s up to us, right now, to make sure that we take care of the world we live in, people and animals alike. Don’t we want to be heroes for the kids reading about us in history books in fifty years?

It can feel overwhelming to know that each of us are just trying to build a life, keep it going, and accomplish our own goals along the way, while everything else seems like it’s falling apart.

On a happier note, at least there are still good things left in the world. When I’m sad, usually ten minutes of googling “baby animals” or “puppy videos” cheers me right up… until I get sad about wanting another dog and/or all the animals in the world. 


Ciara Knisely ’18 is an English-Creative Writing major and Journalism minor, and hopes to continue her writing career in the future. She spends her time working at the Writing Center on campus and is a Co-Editor of the Oak Leaves newspaper.

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