Make your impact positive

This summer, I spent my time teaching a church camp called Totus Tuus. At Totus Tuus, four college students travel around as a team teaching at different churches. We would spend one week at each church before moving on to a new church. We did this for eight weeks.

My team was called “Team Scooby” and our team was asked at training to come up with a bible verse or a motto to help us guide the summer. A verse I came in contact with about a year ago that we decided was perfect for this summer was 1 Timothy 4:12 which reads, “Let no one have contempt for your youth, but set an example for those who believe in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity.”

My interpretation says, even though I am young, there’s no reason I can’t do great things. It says even though I am only a young kid, I can still do amazing things in this world.

The first week of classes, one of my professors asked us a few questions to journal about. One of the questions was, “Do you believe you can make a difference in the world?”

This is a big question to ask of college students at a school clear out in the middle of nowhere Nebraska that almost no one has heard of.

But, I believe we can. I believe each and every one of us at this school can change the world either for the better or for the worse, and it’s up to us to decide which.

Pope Benedict once said, “The world offers you comfort, but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.”

This summer I traveled around the state teaching kids in grades first through 12th about God and how to be the best versions of themselves. I watched the kids change and grow as the weeks went on, and I saw differences in every kid from the beginning of the week to the end of the week. I watched as every week four college-age-students changed the world, one church at a time.

If you find something you are passionate about, something you care about, something you love, and you follow that passion and spread that passion to other people, you will make a difference in the world. Now, you just need to make sure your passion is something beneficial.

At our age, we have the opportunity to be role models to all kinds of people.

Those younger than us, especially those in high school, admire college students. College is a magical place that high schoolers haven’t had the opportunity to experience yet, and it intrigues them that we come from this magical place. We have power. We can take that power and use it for the good and be great role models, or we can abuse that power and harm those looking up to us.

But more than just high schoolers look at us for role models. Even those older than us are looking at our generation and watching what we do. They are judging us, and they want to see what we do because they also know we have power. They know we are some day going to be in charge of this country, and they don’t think we can do it.

Many of those older than us are expecting us to mess up, to fail, to use our power for bad, but when we use the power we have for good, they are amazed, and they change their views. We have the power to influence the way people older than us act and think, simply by the way we act.

At our age, we are young, but that shouldn’t stop us from wanting to change the world. Changing the world doesn’t have to be something drastic. Changing the world for the better could be as simple as smiling more, scowling less; helping more, harming less; or singing more, and whining less. Even as young people, let’s be an example of the good in the world for all those around us in the things we say, in the ways we act, and in the love we show to others. Change the world.

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