In this day and age, it is so easy to want to completely avoid the topic of politics. With what we have been hearing from both sides of political debates, a lot of the time it feels so toxic to read about and stay informed when it comes to politics.
Often, college students feel like they do not hold a place in politics. When looking at our most notable political leaders, it is hard to identify with candidates who do not seem to fit our demographic or hold our same perspectives. In general, this disconnect can prevent college students from feeling as engaged or interested in the political scene.
Though these feelings of disconnection are stronger than ever, politics are now becoming more and more of a polarizing and dire issue. Many of the issues which are currently on the public stage are ones which could alter our futures. As the youngest voting demographic, we will live to see the long-term effects of political decisions currently being debated among our older voting counterparts.
According to Jordan Misra with the United States Census Bureau, the 2018 midterms had a youth (18-29) voter turnout of 35.6%. Every other age demographic listed all had considerably higher percentages, with the next age group (30-44) having a voter turnout of 48.8%.
Though this is normal in our country, it should not be. As the youngest group of people voting, we are sure to see the future implications of what happens in politics today. This should mean we need to focus even more on making our voices and opinions heard through the voting process.
The impact of the election would be massive if college students vote this November. Campus Vote Project, a campaign striving toward increasing votes from college students, states millennials and Generation Z will be the biggest group of eligible voters in 2020, but because of their low-turnout, they probably will not be the largest group to actually vote.
According to the Pew Research Center, topics such as economy, healthcare and Supreme Court nominations are the top three most important issues for this 2020 election. Oftentimes these issues can feel like distant problems which will not directly affect us regardless of who is in office. But even if these issues do not appear to impact us right at first, they certainly will in the future.
When you are voting in current elections, you are voting for the future and the life you want to have in the U.S. Because we have a right to vote, we should use it. As students, it is one of the most valuable tools we have to change the future and make an impact. Not only that but setting an example for our peers to be involved, leading the standard of being interested in politics and knowing the effects it can have on our lives is supremely important for the state of our nation.
My advice is to educate yourself about what is at stake. Read what the issues are and focus on those rather than the candidates. At the end of the day, what legislation was passed will be much more important than who was in office. You have a right to vote, and as educated citizens, we should. We owe it to our country now and to the future of our country.