Mercerians, students can make a difference, we need to start now

I’m not really sure when I decided to write this column about this topic, about standing for something that is larger than you or I.
Causes and conflicts have been all over my radar in the past two weeks, even if I tried to ignore their very existence.
Two of my brothers have engaged in a campaign against each other for the SGA Presidential Election.
I attended a conference, Clinton Global Initiative University that pushes for putting your ideas into action and really emphasizing that we can make a difference.
The Cluster and SGA are embroiled in something of a bitter war where I was actually defriended on Facebook by someone over it, and all the while, we were just pushing for a more open and transparent SGA.
I’m not going to act like I did the pushing over the edge in that case. I might not agree with what was said in the last edition, but I sure as hell stand up for the right to say it because I share concerns that a few people are running for SGA that do not seem adequate for the job.
However, that is another argument for another time, and I’m sure most everyone has heard about it these past few weeks.
I think it was somewhere between holding my five month-old nephew and seeing the news on TV this weekend that really just convinced me to ask for a change.
Maybe it’s because we are students, and I’m just one of the people who steadfastly refuses to lose that optimistic side. I might be pessimistic on the outside, but I have hope for the world.
I spent a weekend with one thousand of the most brilliant young minds on the planet crammed into small classrooms and undersized auditoriums where I learned things like real grassroots activism, just how important it is to fail a few times, and that one person can change the world.
I look back to our small microcosm at Mercer Middle School, and I just get tired of the rat race.
I’m going to miss the hell out of this place, if I might say so with poor grammar. However, I won’t miss the ignorance to the outside world.
Maybe it is the actual wall between us and the tragically poor and hurting city of Macon, but I feel detached while at Mercer.
This is when I realize why all the petty crap happens here.
There is a lack of things that this campus rallies behind as a whole, but it is changing.
More and more people are signing up with LEAP…and sticking with LEAP for more service days that are not required for them to perform.
Athletics, while not world changing, are helping bring a spirit to campus that makes Mercer feel almost normal.
Those decorations after we won the biggest championship in school history, well I hope just hope we started a tradition of Mercer students bonding together to celebrate something larger than ourselves. “For Mercer we will live and die…”
I am entirely convinced that every single person who attends Mercer has the capacity inside them to do something great and make the world a better place.
I am also entirely convinced that there are a lot of people at Mercer who have ideas that they are scared won’t succeed or be welcomed by the student body.
I had no idea that I would find seven people who would participate in the inaugural alternative spring break program at Mercer. I prayed and hoped, but I was very nervous.
It gives me hope that if you just try to see if your idea can work, Mercerians will rally behind you.
I believe we all want to rally behind something larger than ourselves.
We all stand for things, but some of us just don’t have the push to do it…or they are just are too scared and full of doubt. I ask all of you to just go ahead and try.
If you fail, what’s the worst that could happen? You just go ahead and try it again. Nothing is perfect, and the best ideas could always be things that develop out of the failure of something else.
I’m honored to say that I was at Mercer when SGA became something that students argued over and really cared about.
I’m honored to say that I was a member of The Cluster staff when we realized just how serious students take their campus media.
However, I’ll be even more honored to say I was at Mercer when students really came out in droves to change the world and leave their campus a better place as they stand up to make a difference with whatever great ideas they have.
You can do it Mercer!

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