There’s a stigma that young people don’t care about their surroundings. From posting every event on Instagram and Facebook to recording every moment on our Snapchats, it seems we’re thoroughly consumed with what’s going on in our own personal lives. This isn’t necessarily bad, but it can make it seem like we are self-absorbed. We need to take a break from our own lives and see what is happening around us.
For example: the presidential elections.
Presidential elections are taking off. Candidates are touring the nation, expressing their different plans to turn our country around, each promising something bigger than the next. Soon, the primaries will be here, and it’ll be your chance to choose the candidate for your party.
It’s easy to shove this topic to the side and let your feelings about the whole situation be neutral. You may be thinking, my vote doesn’t count.
Imagine how many hundreds of thousands of people are thinking the same thing.
Senior religion major Joe Hoffman shed some light on why it’s important to vote. “If people say my vote doesn’t count, they need to realize that a lot of other people are saying that. If you have fifty percent of Americans say ‘I’m just one person, my vote doesn’t count,’ it has a huge effect.”
Be assured—our vote does count!
Although Statistic Brain says that 58.5 percent of people ages 18 to 24 are registered to vote, Civic Youth states that only 45 percent of people aged 18 to 29 voted in the 2012 elections.
It’s not that young people don’t care. There are many topics for which young adults have taken a stance on, from equal marriage rights for all, to police brutality in the African American community. Young people have not only talked about these topics, but they also have taken a stance and voiced their opinions.
But there’s another way you can voice your opinion and make it count.
Junior nursing major Nicholas Jones is excited to be a part of history. “I’m a virgin voter. I’ve missed out on all the other elections in my life because I wasn’t old enough. So yeah, of course I’m going to vote, I’m stoked!”
Whether you’re a virgin voter or not, take time to research the candidates and see what they stand for. Not everything the candidate says will be accomplished if he or she wins the White House, but you can get a rough idea of what this candidate stands for and how they influence his or her leadership style.
A word of caution: When you’re looking at candidates, make sure your research is thorough. After recent CNN Democratic debate, every newspaper, magazine and news channel stated that Clinton won the debate by a landslide.
NPR wrote, “Hillary Clinton, the candidate with the most to lose may have come away having gained the most.” Vox.com ran the headline, “Hillary Clinton Silenced Her Critics”
CNN declared Hillary Clinton as the winner after they deleted a poll which showed Bernie Sanders as the winner. Consdier this: CNN’s parent company, Time Warner, is one of Hillary’s biggest donors.
If we look at online polls and social media such as Twitter and Facebook, the people undoubtedly chose Bernie Sanders as winner.
Remember, money talks. Do your research, get informed and vote.
As a citizen, it’s important for you to care because the next president affects how this country will be shaped for the next four years. If you’re ready to talk about why black lives matter or how students are accumulating debt at a high rate and yet no one cares, then take time to voice your opinion through your vote.
Most of us in college are old enough to vote, so exercise your right as an American. I challenge you to look past your Snapchat and care about society.
Naomi Prasad is a sophomore chemistry and biomedical science major from Federal Way, WA. She enjoys painting, swimming, flying kites and being at the beach.