The majority of students do not care about social activism. I do not blame them – with debt growing and assignments multiplying, it is hard to find time. Many think that being socially active takes a ton of time and can only be practiced by those who have it. This is a myth, and here’s why.
Social activism can be anything you want. You do not need to invest a certain number of hours to get a credit for it. Even signing an online petition will make you a social activist – and a much happier person.
So, stop making excuses and just try it. You will be pleasantly surprised by the results. In this article I will discuss why social activism is extremely helpful for students.
Roles of Social Activist
There are four main roles you can try as a social activist. The first and the most common one is being a citizen. As a citizen, you will need to be aware of a cause and have your opinion about it. Thus, you may write your representative or spread your views among other people to help foster it.
However, you do not need to know how to fix things to be a citizen. This is what reformers are for. They formulate ideas on how to improve the current situation. Then they share their views with the authorities and engage in lobbying as well as lawsuits.
There are also rebel activists who take to the streets and protest actively and vehemently against the status quo. They usually help expedite the change and draw attention to the cause. One needs to be careful when becoming a rebel as not all countries treat the opposition adequately.
The fourth and last role of a social activist is a change agent. These activists are like reformers, but they seek solution on a bigger scale. They believe it is not enough to fix one issue – they strive for a paradigm shift and stable coalitions with the like-minded people to make the change permanent.
Social Activism and Volunteering
Many do not make a distinction between social activism and volunteering. This is actually reasonable as both of them are performed by a person out of their own volition without expecting any monetary reimbursement.
Moreover, social activism induces the same positive emotions as volunteering does. You will feel less stressed and fatigued, and you may even successfully overcome your depression. People who help others weekly are 16 % happier than those who do not.
Having a sense of belonging will make you feel better about yourself. Support network is crucial, especially in case of any misfortune. Thus, if you want to be surrounded by people who love and understand you – try social activism.
Methods of Social Activism
Going back to the idea that you do not need to commit yourself 24/7 to be a social activist, here are three common nonviolent ways that you can do it.
First of all, you can try persuasion. It includes participating in protests, talking to your representative or even writing a blog post on the issue. As you can see, it will not take much of your time, but can actually help the cause.
Secondly, it’s noncooperation. For instance, if you know some brand uses sweatshops, you may stop buying clothes from them. See, this one does not take any time at all.
Finally, it is intervention. So, if you are not happy with the way your student council functions, you may set up the alternative one that will be better.
So, if you want to lead a meaningful life, learn how to avoid conflicts and make a change – social activism is for you.