University students lack political curiosity

El McCabe

As you have probably heard by now, the U.S. government is shut down until further notice as of Oct. 1, 2013. On that day, Facebook and other social networking sites erupted with statuses and comments about the shutdown. It was the first time millions of people heard about this huge issue, let alone understood the implications. The issue did not exist for so many people because of the lack of interest with current events that continuously plagues our generation. Even after people inquired and found out the causes and implications, they continue on with their daily lives, in the process pushing such political issues to the side and assuming they will fix themselves.

Though this issue extends past students trapped in the “Bucknell Bubble,” it is still prevalent on campus. University students and other people of our generation feel like political and government issues are reserved for the “adults.” We demand the respect of adults, yet part of us still does not want to face the adult world and its issues. This paradox leads students to shelter themselves from adversity and remain uninformed.

What people do not realize are the consequences of this mindset. First of all, without any understanding of politics and current events, students will not be able to participate in the governmental decision-making process and help make crucial changes to our government. America needs our generation to step up, voice our opinions about political issues, and make a difference in the outcomes. This access and knowledge to political policies, events, and strategies is essential to informed decisions in the voting booth and functioning in the “adult world.”

Unfortunately, this shift in thinking often does not happen for young people until after college or even graduate school when they enter the workforce. Those who have no knowledge of current events prior to entering the workforce find themselves struggling to catch up with all that has happened in the last 25 years of their lives. That is a long time to be uninformed and unaware. It is crucial this process of information happens sooner.

I am not saying go study The New York Times and become obsessed with every negative news headline you see. Since almost every news headline is negative, you can drive yourself insane becoming fixated on it all. Simply watching a little bit of the news a week or reading the weekend paper can make a world of difference. Only then will our generation be able to make a dent into political happenings and participate in all aspects of society.

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