Why the Cactus Rebellion?

Why the Cactus Rebellion? How do a bunch of stressed-out college students entering the Showker Prize come up with a team name like that?

Well, here’s the short story. When you and your buddies are stressed out, you just come up with weird things.

Not very satisfactory, is it? Well, here’s the long story. After the stressed-out younger versions of ourselves came up with this team name, we realized that we are in fact the Cactus Rebellion. So first, why do we make up a rebellion? Because society expects us to be miserable. We’re “special snowflakes” who can’t handle life. We’re the generation of people who are not going to grow up until we’re in our late 20’s. And we are here to say, Wait! Our generation isn’t necessarily like that! They just need the tools to succeed! And we will give them the tools to manage their stress and reach their fullest potential! We need to outright rebel against the negativity the world constantly throws at us!

Now is a rough time to thrive. The political climate is uncertain, college students are entering greater debt, the nation is struggling on how to combat injustice and prejudice, college students are dealing with rape culture, the world continues to be devastated by war, college students are struggling from increasing rates of depression and anxiety, the increasing legalization of marijuana has led to American fields previously used to feed the global poor replaced to grow marijuana, and college students are trying so hard to wrestle with these issues and solve problems while the world tells them that Millennials can’t. Not only is it a difficult time to be a human seeing the struggles of the world, it is difficult to be a college student with struggles of your own.

In other words, the world is becoming a desert that wears people down. So many times, when college students are faced with the struggles of the world, instead of engaging with the world and facing these struggles head-on, we shrink back. We see the desert and we don’t think we can survive. We can barely survive our own little deserts in being college students! Bridgewater College is seeking to raise up future leaders of this generation. In order to be able to lead, we must be able to thrive in these harsh deserts when people need us. We need to be the voices of hope and the advocates for the change that we want to see in the world. We need to become as resilient as a cactus. Our team has chosen as its mission to empower students to become resilient cacti in every desert, so that they can bring meaningful change to the world. Because if you want to solve the world’s problems, you need to learn to solve your own problems. In order to be the strongest leader you can be, you need to recognize all the stress that’s holding you back and break free.