Many young people, including students, often don’t realise the importance of getting your voice “heard”. As students, we have the right to speak our mind, and talk freely about topics that concern us, or which interest us. But, why is this important? Why should we make our voices heard? Injustice is rife in our society, albeit the world, and despite problems seeming many times bigger than a mere few students can handle, let alone speak out about, the power of our voices, in a society that values freedom of speech, is not only much appreciated, but can help make a difference in issues that are important to you.
I have personally never really involved myself actively in politics, and have always taken somewhat of a back seat approach to “getting my voice heard”, not really making an effort to be heard. This wasn’t necessarily due to negligence or ignorance on my part, but before entering university, I preferred to focus on my studies rather than take on too many exterior responsibilities through extracurricular involvement. However, upon entering university, I found myself getting involved in marches, protests and debates. My university has always been heavily political, and I thought this would give me a brilliant opportunity to involve myself in local politics, and speak out about issues that I found interesting.
So, what are the benefits of becoming an active voice in your student body?
1) You can make a change. It may sound somewhat cheesy, but it is totally true. By telling people how you feel about an important issue, whether it has something to do with your university, or an issue of your choice, the persuasiveness of a voice can definitely give way to change.
2) You can meet similarly like-minded people. Joining together with other students for a cause means that you will more than likely meet people with the same views and beliefs as you! You may even begin to re-evaluate your own set of beliefs, once you hear your opponents’ arguments.
3) You will undoubtably improve your own ability to speak in public and hold a debate. Speaking in public, or even amongst your peers will undoubtably boost your confidence in your ability to speak in public or uphold your end of a debate argument. It’s always hard to try and stand up in public and convince others of what you believe in, but staying quick on your feet, and practice, will surely allow you a confidence boost as you share your views with others, and possibly even sway them to join your cause!
However, most importantly, I believe that getting your voice heard as a student can create irreplaceable bonds between you, your university and your community. Getting involved in community politics, joining a debate society or making public speeches, will without a doubt improve your ability to persuade others and construct a well informed argument, all of which could come in handy especially when applying for jobs, as these are skills future employers are particularly interested in.
Getting your voice heard can give you so much, especially in the way of meeting others and exposing yourself to a greater audience of people, where you will have the chance to interact with a greater spectrum of culturally diverse people, much like, or different to yourself. Why restrict yourself? It’s time to let yourself be heard.