To Do or Not To Do
My name is Meg, and I’m a junior at the University of Maryland. Like many students here at this university, I was born and raised here in Maryland, just outside of Baltimore. I was lucky enough to be lovingly brought up in a comfortable middle-class household as the oldest of five kids, with parents who emphasized the importance of education. They also impressed on me something that started me on the journey to where I am right now - strong women stand up for what they believe in.
An excited, wide-eyed freshman, I packed my bags and moved into life at college. And like most 18-year-olds
, I really thought I had it all figured out. I was going to study hard, take every biology class I could, and go straight to medical school. My path has been far more winding than anticipated, and the courses I’ve taken outside my major requirements have emphasized more and more the words my parents have told me for as long as I can remember - strong women stand up for what they believe in.
I’ve always cared about climate change. But like a lot of people, it always seemed just beyond my control. It was bigger than myself, and I always wondered if I could even make a difference. I walk and bike as much as possible, eat vegetarian, compost, recycle - but it never seemed like it’d be enough. But my classes at this university have done exactly what they promised in my freshman year orientation. They’ve inspired me to think fearlessly, and to do good.
It’s easy to sit back and believe we don’t have power in the face of this global crisis. It’s easy to accept that the destruction of the planet is inevitable, that we are too far gone. But I far prefer thinking fearlessly. As the rising generation of voters, workers, and leaders, we have the power to speak up for what we believe in and protect our planet not just for future generations, but for ourselves. Climate change is impacting our health and our world right now, and it’s within our power to do something about it. It seems daunting, but our planet is worth fighting for.