Tomorrow will be the first time I'll ever vote.
Four years ago was the first election in which I was old enough to vote. I registered at a little table outside my college cafeteria, but something went wrong and I never received my voting card and missed my opportunity to vote.
I could have probably done more to figure out what went wrong and voted. I wished I had.
My family never talked about politics as I grew up. They were more concerned with the debt they were in, my brothers' medical issues, and the other daily struggles of the working and lower-middle classes.
So when I was younger, it just didn't seem like a big part of my life. Life went on relatively normally no matter who was in office.
However, as I've grown up, I've become so thankful to live in this country and have the opportunity to vote. When I meet people who would give anything for citizenship to this country, I count myself lucky.
But it's easy to lose that enthusiasm amidst the negativity. It seems much of the rhetoric is "against". I was listening to my iPod yesterday, and when "Some Nights" by Fun came on, for the first time I noticed this desperate line where he cries: "What do I stand for? What do I stand for? What do I stand for? Most nights, I don't know."
It got me thinking about how easy it is to get bogged down in being against something, or feeling so disconnected from the world and its happenings that we forget to think about what we really do stand for, and, most importantly, what we can do as individuals, each day, to bring about positive change.
To me, the best part about living in America is the ability to change our lives, to move up, to bring power to the powerless, to give hope to the hopeless, to make things better, to be creative, and to make change. Voting is a great privilege, and I hope that you take advantage of it tomorrow.
But even more importantly, I hope that you take some time tomorrow to think about what you stand for, and how you can use your education and your talent to do something about it. You are more equipped than you realize to create change in your community and make an impact on the world.
I'm excited to vote tomorrow and I hope you are too!