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Staying in the Loop While Away at School
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Stay in the Loop While Away at School

October 17, 2016

College is a time to expand horizons, but sometimes we can forget about the need to stay up-to-date with current events, especially during an election year.

Universities open our eyes to brand new things, brand new people and brand new perspectives. It can be information-overload as you take five classes and meet people each day.

While all this can be overwhelming, it is our responsibility as citizens to stay informed with what is happening around us.

Current events (no, not celebrity gossip) will impact your future.

This year’s election is a great example of the need to be informed. Fact checking has never been so prevalent in any election cycle, and it is because citizens deserve to know the facts.

Not being informed enough (along with the “hassle” of absentee ballots) is one of the biggest reasons college students stay home from the polls.

Less than 50 percent of all college students actually voted in the last presidential election (which had a higher voter turnout due to the national attention), according to a study from Tufts University.

More than 20.5 million people are currently enrolled in college, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. That means students are 5 percent of all eligible voters.

You may say that one vote cannot change the election. But what if 10 million other people also thought that and stayed home?

Imagine if they all voted.

That is making an impact. That is change. That is collective power.

Voting is easy, but staying informed on the policies can be hard. It is easy to get caught up in drama of politics, especially this year, but responsible citizens will research the platforms of the candidates and choose the one who will best reflect them.

This goes for all the races on the ballot, not just the presidential race at the top of the ticket.

You will also be voting for school board members, mayors and maybe governors. These offices have a more direct impact on you wherever you live.

Being informed doesn’t have to be a drag on your day.

Following some reputable news outlets on Twitter, including your hometown paper, is a good way to catch the day’s most important stories. Subscribing to email newsletters, like TheSkimm and BuzzFeed, which mix in some joy to their reporting, can be a great way to start the day.

Just reading one article a day and can benefit the whole world.


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