Activism isn’t something you can share online.

To be an activist, action, motivation and persistence is required. Going out to vote, protesting oil pipeline expansions or boycotting products that test on animals are a few examples of activism.

Getting inspired is the first step. Reading an article or watching a documentary should encourage and urge people to want to make changes in their lives and the lives of those around the world who don’t have the opportunity to fight for themselves.

Activism is giving a voice to the voiceless. It’s fighting for the average man or woman and making sure people are treated fairly.

2016 has been a controversial year in the United States. Police have been under high patrol by citizens due to the unnecessary killing of black men and women. The country’s presidential candidates are treated as jokes. Natural land is being destroyed to make room for money-hungry corporations.

It’s been a tough year. That is exactly why people need to break out of their daily routines, step out of their comfort zones and make a real impact on their futures.

The other day my Latin American studies professor spoke aboutthe Dakota Access pipeline. He brought up the fact that hundreds of his Facebook friends are all “checking in” at Standing Rock Indian Reservation for solidarity against the pipeline construction. At first, he thought one of his former students had actually traveled to protest, then discovered it was just a Facebook trend. He emphasized the fact that none of those people were actually doing anything by “checking in” and if people think they’re doing something, they’re naive.

I know I’ve always wanted to be the type of person who physically goes somewhere to make a change. I stood and protested Donald Trump for hours with dozens of other people when he came to Plattsburgh last spring. Over the summer, I went to a town hall meeting in my hometown to speak against rising docking fees at a marina my family and I use. I write about events I think deserve more attention in hopes of opening readers’ eyes to what’s wrong in the world. I want to get people thinking and acting.

I know very well that it’s nearly impossible to actively fight against every issue the world faces today. No one can be everywhere at once, but trying is what matters.

Even if you can’t make it out of Plattsburgh to a rally or protest, you can still make a difference here. With hard work and dedication, activists have the ability to change the world one small step at a time.

Joining groups on campus can be a first step in becoming involved and having an impact whether it’s on campus or across the world.

A few Plattsburgh State clubs include Wildlife, American Red Cross, Black Onyx, Center for Womyn’s Concerns, Economics, Community Service, International Relations and Debate, Outing and Student Nutrition Association.

I know when I graduate from PSUC, I want to travel and use my education to help others around the world. Activism is something I believe I was born to do. Doing good for others, stopping terrible people from causing harm and standing up for human rights. This is what I was meant to accomplish and I intend to make it happen.

Will you choose to fight for what you believe in?

Email Laura Schmidt at opinions@cardinalpointsonline.com

<a href="http://cardinalpointsonline.com/byline/laura-schmidt/" rel="tag">Laura Schmidt</a>