This is it. The time for us college goers, students, those travelling, working or studying across Europe. This is not a drill. Forget the mud-slinging of the campaigning, forget the Boris and Dave show, this is OUR futures and we must not allow someone else to make the decision for us.
Thursday is the day we, finally, get the opportunity to vote whether to stay or leave the European Union.
We must prove that with this referendum, we will not be the ignored electorate. Often our parents and politicians write us off as a selfie obsessed mob who are more interested in candy crush then politics. But we matter and our votes matter. And if we all mobilise and turn out to vote we will affect the outcome. We will be noticed as voices that deserve to be heard. And I for one do not want to give those who wrongly claim our generation is selfish and apathetic the satisfaction of being able to claim they have been proven right.
We all know that the voices of young people have not been heard during this referendum. Despite the national Students for Europe campaign, the same male, pale and stale politicians talked about the same arguments that failed time and time again to resonate with us. There are so many wonderful things that come with membership of the European Union that have often been forgotten over the past weeks and months. Neglected in favour of scaremongering, criticisms and insults.
We are the connected generation. We appreciate being united in diversity. Most of us have friends dotted all over Europe, many have found love. We have been able to capitalise on Europe's benefits and should be able to continue doing so.
I was able to go abroad as part of my degree through Erasmus which helped me learn another language and broaden my horizons, something that is so valuable to graduate employers.
If we leave the EU, there is no guarantee that we would still be able to take part in Erasmus to the same extent and under the same conditions. With all the trade deals that will need renegotiating after a BREXIT, I truly doubt that Erasmus will be top of the list. It is wholly unfair that simply because I am a few years older than my peers I will have been able to study abroad in a supported way and they won't be. Just as much as I don't want the prejudices of older generations to decide this for our generation, I don't want to deny future generations the opportunities we have had.
The employment opportunities our membership of the European Union provide us with also often go under appreciated. Three million jobs in the UK are linked to trade with the EU and we are able to find work in the 27 members states we have on our doorstep. We are able to capitalise on the UK´s special place in the world with opportunities in Europe, the Commonwealth and beyond.
The outward student mobility we have had access to helps give us the life experience and cultural awareness that is so essential to finding work in a globalised world. When I graduate there will be an incredibly competitive job market waiting for me and my classmates and I want to ensure we have the best chances we can have to find the jobs we want.
There are many things we take for granted such as cheap airfares, cheap roaming charges, great pound to euro exchange rates which are intrinsically linked to our membership. The freedom of movement we enjoy is also guaranteed by our membership, meaning if we want to work for a summer in Ibiza or a winter in St Anton, we can.
And all of these things are guaranteed if we stay in the EU. They cannot be guaranteed if we leave and I'm not willing to take the risk.
The light of the European Union may have been dimmed over this nasty campaign but student's futures are brighter in the EU.
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