To most college students, politics may seem like something their parents and other adults do and that it doesn’t apply to them. This way of thinking leads to college students not participating in the political process. These elections and the legislation passed by those elected in these elections will directly affect college students, whether or not they realize it.
According to CNBC, only 38 percent of 18-24 year olds who were eligible to vote in 2012 actually voted in the election. This was the smallest percentage of any age bracket.
It seems that college students think that either the things going on in the “real world” don’t affect them or that, even if they voted, it wouldn’t make a difference.
It’s important to note that everything happening in politics today will eventually affect college students in the future, whether directly or indirectly. It may seem like budgets and laws don’t have anything to do with life in college, but they do.
For example, student loans affect most students right now. In the past decade, the amount of student debt for college graduates due to federal student loans has risen by 56 percent, according to U.S. News. Changes in the funding of these loans as a result of decisions made in Washington, D.C. can have a very big impact on the lives of college students across the nation.
Even to civic-minded students, it may seem like just one vote or one voice in a nation of more than 300 million people may not make a difference, but in reality, each individual vote adds up. If everyone refrained from voting because they thought their vote couldn’t make a difference, then no changes would ever occur.
Many college students who don’t care about politics don’t think anyone will listen to what they have to say, but often the opposite is true. Politicians and government leaders know that today’s college students are the nation’s next leaders.This is why candidates campaign on college campuses—they are attempting to gain the support of this demographic of people who will shape what the country will look like in the future.
With the presidential election coming up in November and the campaigning for it which has been going on for a quite a while, now is the perfect time for college students to get involved in the political process. They can start by paying attention to what is being said by and about the candidates and by learning what issues are most important to Americans going into this election.
The next step is to actually participate. Even though many students are away from home on election day, most states offer absentee ballots with which college students can vote and make their voices heard even if they can’t physically make it to the polling place.
So, college students: Start paying attention to politics now while you are in college. Your voice does matter. Participating in the political process helps shape the future of the country, and your transition from college life to the “real world” will be easier because of it.