By Kendall Hendrix

Burness intern Kendall Hendrix is a senior at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School.

You were a teenager once. You were stressed about college acceptance and SAT scores. You were terrified the day you took your driving exam. You worried about finding a date to prom.

I’m stressed about gun control legislation. I’m terrified of the fact that another school shooting is all too likely. I’m worried that my school could be next.

I refuse to let this be my reality, so I am joining in the effort to change our society.

On March 13th, concerned teenagers from across the Washington, DC-metro region are letting our voices be heard at Time of The Teenager: A Conference of the Contemporary American Teenager in The Studio Theater. The conference is our opportunity to show the world how teenagers’ minds work and how we are becoming catalysts for change. It will cover issues of today’s teenager ranging from mental health to standardized testing, with the final hour focused on the all-too-timely topic of gun control.  

We have reached the breaking point. We will not allow any more kids to become yet another statistic. As a high school student, I should at least have a say on the safety procedures of my school, the mental health care I receive at school, or who is allowed to carry a weapon onto my campus. But I haven’t. Until now.  

This will be known as the year that the teens changed the rules.

My generation has become one of social activists by necessity. We’ve inherited a country threatened by climate change, war, and mass shootings. It is up to us to change things. And we are starting now.