The Beginning of a Journey

Avatar Student, VOY intern
Monica Angulo
Member since February 28, 2017
  • 11 Posts
  • Age 19

Three months. It may seem like a short amount of time but, in fact, many changes can actually happen in those 92 days; like traveling to another continent, making new friends or finishing high school. Exactly 100 days ago I received an email, titled: Congratulations, VOY Climate & Environment Blogging Intern! The VOY Blogging Internship is, as the name says, an internship to improve your writing skills with the help of a mentor who, gives you feedback. I was speechless to say the least when I saw the email. I couldn’t believe that I had actually been chosen from hundreds, even thousands of applications. I mean, what are the odds? I truly believe there’s a reason for me being chosen for this opportunity that I may not know now, but I’m certain that I will in the future.

There are several things that I’ve learned from this internship, from writing under pressure (believe me, it’s hard to write a post in a busy airport), to expanding my horizons when choosing a topic to write about and the style of writing to express the message. I realized, that to raise awareness about a certain topic, sometimes it’s better to write a short story in 1st person so the reader can step inside the shoes of the protagonist.

I also learned in these 3 months that youth actually wants to make a change. We are not a generation of people that only complain about the problems we are facing day to day, but rather we stand up and start to change our world. It makes me extremely happy to know that I’m not the only young person that cares more about the problems that we are facing as humanity, rather than the latest fashion or the newest gadget. It doesn’t matter if we live in America, Europe, Asia, Africa or Oceania, we all see the problems that the world is facing, and we all want to help.

But in my personal opinion, two of the most important lessons that I’ve learned from this experience are to always keep learning and to never give up. To be completely honest, I knew very little about climate change when the internship started, but when I began to investigate more to write the posts, everything changed. It made me open my eyes and actually see the quantity of how many tons of trash are produced per year or the percentages of greenhouse gases that are produced per economic sector. It made me realize that we are only taught the most general facts about certain issues, but if we actually want to fully understand them, we need to keep asking, searching and investigating every day.

Don’t give up. Really. Don’t give up on you, and don’t give up on life, even if it gets quite too hard at times. Time flies by. Opportunities do as well, so hold them tight and don’t let them go. Try and fail, stand up and start all over again. You can do it, believe me, you can. Just motivate yourself and follow your dreams. And trust me, you’ll reach them even before you realize. I know it won’t be easy but it will be worthy. Totally worth it.

Before this internship started, before I even started to write on Voices of Youth, my dream of working in the United Nations seemed too far away. Today, it seems closer than ever. It’s starting to become a reality. I know it will take lots and lots of work for me to get to where I want to be, but I’m up for the challenge. In a way, this month is like the end of my life as I’ve known it for the past 18 years: I’m graduating from high school in 2 weeks, I’m moving away from my hometown and I’m leaving my family to go to university and pursue my dreams.

But this is not the end. This is the beginning. The beginning of the life I’ve always dreamt.

I want to thank all the staff of Voices of Youth for this incredible and unforgettable experience, and I specially want to thank Kristen, the VOY Coordinator, for keeping up with me the past 3 months, always giving me feedback (which helped me improve my writing in English) and for motivating me. Also, I want to thank María for giving me feedback on my posts and motivating me; and to all those persons that commented on my posts. It makes me happy to see that what I write actually reaches someone and it makes them reflect.

To end this post I’ll leave you with this quote from Thomas Alva Edison:

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.

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