Do you make yourself heard? Does the Rollins community know who you are and what your views are? I am on the verge of graduating, and one thing I regret is not using my voice as much as I would have liked to during my time here at Rollins.
As an off-campus student, I believed that my involvement in campus life was going to be minimal from the beginning.
It was not that I did not want to get involved with the great programs on campus. I just found it difficult to justify driving an hour in from home and an hour back for an event or meeting, so I did not attach myself to a group of people or a campus organization.
At times, I wondered, “Does my kind of voice even matter?” I wanted to be involved in causes, but I always felt like I was never speaking out enough.
With that said, will speaking up now lead to my voice being heard when I leave this campus?
I know I have grown. Many staff and faculty members inspired me to grow and stop locking myself in the dungeon that is Olin Library.
Now, even though I still occasionally lock myself up in the dungeon, I am using my voice. I have tried to bring people together despite my off-campus situation.
Sadly, though, my voice never reached The Sandspur until now—a place where it would have felt comfortable. As an English major who writes… a lot, it is almost blasphemous to have not used my voice more in places like our school newspaper.
Silence, however, is the defense of choice, but why? There is a strength in embracing one’s voice that other freedoms cannot compare to.
Interestingly enough, I find that most students on campus feel like they are not being heard. To all of you out there struggling to speak, just know that sometimes you will have to create a space where your voice can be heard.
You may wish to talk through writing; you may use your own vocal chords; but you can also communicate through a collective organization’s voice.
Also, voices cannot exist without listeners—we should always keep that in mind.
I have had wonderful experiences at Rollins, but I have seen many changes implemented without enough communication and consideration. The interests of the school often muffle the voices that need to be heard.
Rollins needs to remember that decision-making should include the people it affects.
Seriously, whether it be students, staff, or faculty, how can any of us embody the idea of global citizenship when our voices are muffled and subsequently anchored in discouragement?
Although Rollins wants us to find our anchors, I would like to say to everyone on campus: please do not leave this school without solidifying and using your voice.
Personally, I feel that I have waited too long to use mine, and I do not want others to feel the same regret come graduation time.
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