In the movie Back to the Future, a time-traveling character is dismayed by the fact that there are no flying cars in the future. This sentiment is echoed in nearly every work of fiction involving someone from the past who sees the future. Characters are always shocked when the future has the same problems as the past. They are appalled by the lack of progress that has been made. And there is a reason for this. 

In order for the future to be better, people need to create change. It is the responsibility of humanity to make the changes we want to see, but instead, we stand idly by, thinking someone else will do it for us. The generations before ours have set us up for failure, foisting the problems that they created off to the next generation, believing their children will fix it. The problems that they created will affect us instead of them. We can no longer afford to continue this cycle of creating problems and leaving them for the next generation to fix. We plan for the future of our lives as though we are living in our parents’ time, without giving thought to how the world will be changed. But the world will no longer allow us to proceed in willful ignorance of the problems the world is facing. 

Pollution runs rampant. The economy is crashing and burning. Climate change wreaks havoc. Do you recall the inversion of smog hovering around right before winter break? Have you seen the plastic bags, bottles, takeout containers, wrappers, straws that the wind blows around the student parking lot? Do you remember when you could buy a donut for $1.50 instead of $4.99? Do you remember our 80-degree weather in late October of 2022? The world has changed, and our future must look drastically different from our parents’ past. 

It falls to us to fix these problems. It falls to us to make the changes society needs. No one else will do it for us. Change must start now. Not tomorrow. Not in a year. Not in a decade. Not by the children of the next generation. Now. Our world teeters on the brink of ruin, and it falls to us to fix it. 

We must all take action, for no one will do it in our place. We cannot wait for the future to come. We must make it ourselves.

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