We are the future and there's nothing scarier than that. With graduation only eight weeks away, I can’t help dreading the thought of adulthood. It's crazy to think that there is an entire world out there that our generation will be responsible for, while many of us still struggle to turn in assignments and get to class on time.

We will be responsible for replacing generations of great doctors, scientists, politicians, teachers and many other important members of our society. We’re going to have to take over for men and women who changed the world and took it to new heights in their fields of expertise.

People like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg are great innovators for technology. Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Aung San Suu Kyi are great leaders of social reform. There are great writers like J.K.Rowling and Stephen King, great entertainers like Leonardo DiCaprio and Beyonce and great economists like Nouriel Roubini and Nassim Nicholas Tale.

How can we possibly live up to the achievements and expertise of these men and women? Yes, it’s true that we’re going to have to dig into our pockets a little, in order to add to that collection plate of achievement already being passed around the world. But that's nothing to be afraid of; our pockets are built deeper than any generation that has come before us.

I heard someone say you're never really ready -- just ready enough. I'm here to tell you that our generation is more prepared to add to the world than any generation that has come before it.

Our generation doesn't have to do much guesswork. We don’t have to rummage in the dark for answers on how to become the professionals and the innovators we want to be; we have reference points for that. If there’s anything we don’t know, we could find out in seconds on the internet. We enjoy a shared consciousness, connecting to the knowledge and experience of others around the world. We don’t have to rely on our knowledge alone.

Every generation before us has made most of the mistakes already, so there's not many left for us to make except perhaps one big one: failing to take advantage of the resources we have access to. As the most educated generation in history, we have more knowledge at our fingertips now than people in academia who spent all their life learning in postgraduate programs or years of personal research.

We have more resources now than we could ever hope to consume. We’ll become doctors that have more medical tools available to us than any other generation. As teachers, we’ll have more teaching tools and learning apparatuses. We will be scientists and engineers with more technology and research at our disposal than ever before.

People like me and you are the future, but that’s nothing to be afraid of. Where we come from, teens make vines and become instant celebrities. Kids can come up with an iPhone app and be a millionaire the next day. We grew up in a generation with kids graduating college at 15 and retiring at 20.

There are many things to be afraid of but today, the future and your place in it isn't one of them. Our generation is prepared and groomed for success. We’re not here to fill anyone's shoes, but to make our own name in whatever field we choose. This moment is not bigger than us.

The views expressed are those of the writer and not necessarily those of The Torch. Contact Emmanuel Bara-Hart at torchopinions@valpo.edu.


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