By ELLIANA KOPUT
In 2017, an Instagram motivational speaker by the name of Amber Wagner, or “justlbby,” posted a video.
The dialogue has haunted my reality ever since.
“You!” Wagner smacks her lips. “You are the motherfucking shit! You are great! You are magnificent! You can do whatever you wanna do in this world!”
This video surfaced in my life during a time of lucid self-doubt, a feeling each of us knows all too well.
From all-nighters spent completing previously procrastinated homework assignments, to wading through the murky waters of minimum-wage service jobs, today’s young people are often overlooked as true warriors.
As many Gen Z-ers can agree, social media has become a tool for emotional coping, and its archives will one day be analyzed sociologically.
Today’s memes and online trends have amassed a great collective of social information. What we’ve really done is harnessed abstract philosophical thoughts and humble, perhaps reverse-psychological, manifestos.
In my lifetime alone, I’ve witnessed the United States elect the first African-American president. Portable computers the size of Crunch bars were invented, and people are adopting plant-based lifestyles like wildfire.
Alongside this, I’ve experienced a reality TV-star becoming president. Corporate lobbyists are destroying the planet, one square mile at a time. Lyrics from Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” have recirculated and are relevant yet again:
“Mother, should I build the wall? Mother, should I run for President? Mother, should I trust the government?”
While millennials and beyond continue to “throw chain restaurants out of business” and “opt out of reproducing,” some of us a bit younger question our motives in pursuing conventional success.
It’s difficult not to at a time where corruption is ever exposed, yet still ignored … a time where we can watch the world burn behind a screen.
From the comfort of my first-world bed, I resonate with deep confusion toward the future of earthwide existence. By the time we complete our college careers, will there be any space left for us to flourish professionally?
Still, at times, I hear Wagner cheering me on from the dead-center audial memory storage part of my brain.
“You are No. 1 – I don’t know no two or three, but I know you’re that one! Period! Don’t let nobody, nothing distract you from the grind time, prime time!”
As we plummet headfirst into the new decade, the next roaring ’20s, remember this. Regardless of the powerlessness we might believe ourselves to be in, an arguable product of increased access to information, we are all really No. 1.
Furthermore, whether we rest our heads at night on fluffy pillows or post-nuclear warefare-stricken rocks, there will always be news to report on.
It is a pleasure to introduce the “No. 1” Aztec Press publication of the decade. May we continue to thrive in our pursuits as student reporters, survive in our frontline engagements and deliver top-notch honest content for the community.
“What did you say? You was gonna give up? … you wasn’t finna give nothing up! You was finna keep striving, keep pushing, keep working and keep doing your shit! You are great. It’s nothing but success in your future.”
It is quite a time to be alive.