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We’re college kids. We’re young, motivated and ambitious. Sometimes we’re diligent and hardworking. Other times, we’re huge procrastinators who manage small miracles during exam season.

Hopefully we’ll spend our four short years at Penn among great colleagues, exploring different avenues.

We’re fun and fearless, but above all, we care.

We care about Penn and its relationship with West Philadelphia. We worry about how behind we are on readings and how that will undoubtedly show through in our grades. We juggle extracurricular activities alongside downtime with friends. We obsess over our next steps in life, whether they involve graduate school, work or something else.

We worry and stress over things because they matter to us. That’s why we need to make sure our elected officials know exactly what’s important.

We’ve spent most of our lives as daughters or sons, students and mentees. Nearly all of our steps in life have been influenced by those older than us. We’ve relied on adults to give us advice, to tell us what to do and when to do it.

But the presidential election is our chance to take control of our voice. On Nov. 6, young people all over America will exercise their right to vote. Some people think we’re too young to matter, that we don’t know enough or that we’re not qualified to make weighty decisions. That’s simply not true.

As citizens and members of the Philadelphia community, our actions affect those around us. The choices we make on Election Day are more important than ever.

Tomorrow, we will send a message to those in charge. We can bring attention to issues that matter most to us. Maybe it’s education and how we’ll prepare generations after us for college. Maybe it’s our own job prospects in this economy. Maybe it’s how our generation chooses to deal with the most controversial social issues.

We can show elected officials that we’re a force to be reckoned with, that we have demands that are unique. We will no longer let others dictate what goes on in the national agenda. We’ll finally have a say.

In 2008, one in ten registered Penn undergraduate students didn’t vote. Don’t be that one person. Don’t silence yourself. Make yourself heard this election and cast your ballot this Tuesday.

College seniors Abby Tran and David Weiss as well as College juniors Abby Case and Russell Abdo are members of the Penn Leads the Vote Executive Board

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