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If college students spent as much time learning about politics and current events as they do to stalking strangers on Facebook, the world might be a better place.
The world of politics and current events is one of little appeal towards college students. It’s one full of terrorism, extremism, war, depressed economies – pressing issues demanding attention.
As it stands, understanding what lies behind headlines and the meanings of newscasts is considered an optional task.
Why open a newspaper or tune-in to CNN if it’s not an assignment? There aren’t signs of war outside our front doors. Our economy is depressed, but we aren’t homeless.
College students have slipped into a mindset of ignorance: If it doesn’t affect us, it either isn’t happening or does not matter. Consequentially, young adults preparing to enter the real world aren’t really ready at all. As a mass, we’re uninformed and thus ill-prepared.
Acquiring an education and brightening our futures derives from the general purpose of college: preparation. But also, preparation entails the readying for an approaching, colossal responsibility: the responsibility of being a citizen.
This isn’t an annoying effort to pressure you to vote, give back to the community or help the old lady cross the street. This is an effort to urge you to simply learn what’s going on beyond the boundaries of your life.
You don’t have to give money or change the world. But right around the corner, we will enter a world much bigger than our hometowns. Entering it obliviously isn’t fair to those citizens who have been battling it for years already.
Every day, young adults hesitate to become informed and leave the task to the few who are interested and actually care.
But in a generation of vicious distractions, the number of individuals who take the time to care is decreasing. The distractions won’t fade with time; the solvable problem is the habit of deferral.
You can’t leave your laundry to the stranger in your apartment complex; don’t leave your citizenry to them either.
There is no blatant blame with regard to the cause of such increasing ignorance prevalent in college. Addictions to social networking and iPhones classify as major distractions, but can’t be solely blamed.
From our doorsteps, the heap of politics and social issues merge into one intimidating monster that a young individual fears and likely refuses to touch. Learning about one politician leads to awareness of a disturbing crisis which requires understanding of yet another overwhelming truth.
College students hesitate growing informed because the task feels impossible and scary. Well, there is some truth to that.
National and global awareness is composed of frustration, cruelty and injustice, but it is nothing more than reality. Part of becoming an adult means facing the rawest of realities.
Awareness isn’t pretty, but proudly owning up to responsibilities of citizenship proves an accomplishment worth the negativity.
But how does a college student get informed?
Luckily, the answer isn’t hiding in a textbook or within a formula – it is rather simple. You start.
Pick up a paper, turn on a televised news source that works for you, or navigate your way through news and politics on the Internet. Once you determine your medium of choice, commit. Catch up on the headlines after dinner every day, between classes, or on the bus; there is always time.
Making the decision to fulfill the responsibility of being an informed individual requires staunch commitment; the world changes with each day.
If the commitment seems like a chore, it’s because you haven’t dug in yet. Once you do, you’ll find that understanding the bigger picture that you’re a part of is innately interesting.
Suddenly the rising gas prices will make sense, watching elections will induce an unanticipated excitement and gradually you’ll discover your own, educated voice.
Knowing and understanding the changing world around you is the first step towards making a difference.
Contact CU Independent Copy Editor Devon Barrow at Devon.firstname.lastname@example.org.