I am a college student. I am a product of the public-school system. And for years, I have been terrified of the potential of a shooter coming to my school. This is my story, and it is shared by children all across the United States. It has become a part of our culture. And that is sickening.

This does not need to be a part of our lives. These senseless tragedies need to stop now. I believe I speak for all my peers and educators when I say we are not going to take this anymore.

The recent tragedy in Florida shook me to my core, and as I speak with those around me about the event, I feel helpless. Besides feeling angry, disgusted, and sad, what can I do? This repetitive cycle seems unstoppable, an insurmountable feat that I don’t know how to conquer.

A week after the shooting in Parkland, I’m sitting here feeling hopeless but those whose grief is not even fully comprehensible to the rest of us are taking a stand. In an article from the New York Times this Sunday, I read about how the survivors of the shooting are raising their voices while grieving. Please take the time to read it for yourself, so you too can have the experience I did.

Change is possible, but only if we work to make it happen. For those of you reading who are students, I believe it is our time to rise and demand some real changes in the legislation. Some real focus on what can be done to protect students and end these senseless tragedies. Because I don’t think there is just one answer to ending this. But I do believe we need to put our attention as a nation on this issue. The time is up, and we won't rest until there is no more.

Please take the time to consider taking these steps to make a change.

1. Contact your senator and ask them what they’re doing to address gun violence and school shootings.

202-224-312 will direct you to an operator that can connect you to your senator, or you can find further contact info here.

2. Sign the petition to participate in the National School Walkout on April 20th.

And then follow through.

3. Keep the conversation going about gun violence in schools.

If we stop talking about it, the problem only gets worse.

Whatever your political leanings, I think we can all agree that something needs to be done about stopping these tragedies. If we work together, we can find a real solution.