Every college semester I have changed sometimes a little and sometimes a lot. Every sixteen weeks something happens that makes me want to change or solidify staying the same. One thing that keeps progressing is finding my voice. I identified with Dan Cumberland’s article, “The secret to finding your voice.” In high school I was more soft spoken, a push over, and too nice. Now I’m not very soft-spoken, but still nice and I’m starting to not take any more bull shit from people and their negative or non-helpful opinions as well as adding more ideas and views to the conversation, to make everything fair across the board. Cumberland says when one finds her voice she finds more freedom to speak, express, and ability to let herself be heard. I totally agree with him and that’s the reason I’ve gotten better with communicating each semester.
Cumberland also mentions that people don’t speak up because they don’t feel free to speak. I once felt this way, but after being quiet and not standing up for myself or others that I can’t stand up for themselves, I felt defeated and upset. If I would have said something then there is a possibility the situation would have played out better. Now I try to say what I’m feeling or believe early on. Sure, sometimes it makes situations a bit harder, but if I don’t say anything it’s not doing anyone any good. After class discussions about telling peers about our alternative spring break trip, I think we need to pay attention to Cumberland’s words and not be afraid of the blank, sometimes awkward stares we get when explaining our class. We need to stick with what we say and move past the blank looks to explain our goals and have that be enough and feel good about getting the word out even if it’s only a quick few sentences. More people doing or wanting to do advocacy work need to listen to Cumberland’s words his conclusion is awesome and can give people something to sit and think on…
“The real work is wondering why you don’t like what you already have to say. The real work is letting your voice speak and to let it be good enough. The real work is letting your voice matter more than meeting the needs and expectations of everyone else (whether they are real or perceived).”
For those of you who haven’t found your voice… it matters!!! Be heard, and let it rip! Find the quick seconds of courage to let what you have to say be enough. Every word is a contribution, don’t miss out!