College students and political involvement

Texas State is a great University to check how Millennial’s are actually getting involved with politics. With the school quad constantly bombarded with early voting information and political signs, this college campus in particular has political involvement written all over it. Even if you aren’t into politics, you just can’t avoid the overwhelming sense of political importance. In my humbled opinion, this is a great thing. It enables the young adults who aren’t involved find a way to slowly encompass politics in their daily lives. Texas State also does an exceptional job helping college students register to vote, which shows the dedication that the student body has to get involved.

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So the big question still lingers in the mind of those who just don’t care about politics: why should I care and why should I vote? Well the answer is quite simple and with the help of a few statistics, it isn’t too hard to find why this generation’s voting habits are extremely important for the future of this country.

For starters, Millennial’s make up the largest population in the U.S., representing about 1/3 of the entire population of the country. When you let that sink in, it isn’t hard to comprehend the importance of our decisions. Our vote and our political involvement make up for 1/3 of the country’s decisions. That power comes with immense responsibility, and in theory can be a very dangerous thing.

One issue I’ve seen with my generation is the negative power social media has in showing us what candidates we should vote for in the next upcoming 2016 presidential election. To keep it simple, social media presidential posts lack substance. For example, if an 18-year-old kid sees on social media is the words “Make America Great Again” that may have some psychological affect on how they see that candidate. If I am repeatedly seeing this presidential slogan, I may be entitled to think a certain way about the country and not in terms with real issues surrounding the nation. And all social media outlets are the same. If a young adult sees a meme on Facebook about how Bernie Sander’s wants to raise the minimum wage and provide free public college, that individual can make that decision on whether they will vote on the candidate in a matter of minutes if not seconds. With that, there is no substance.

A simple solution to this problem is reading online articles and watching the presidential debates as a platform to see what candidate suits you, rather than taking someone else’s word for it on social media. As a generation with this much power, we must be responsible consumers of knowledge. Take the time to actually research candidates and make educated choices that way. We are a smart generation, and our political involvement should show that. College enrollment has gone up with this generation, and the likeliness to go to graduate school has also increased 35 percent, showing that we are educated and responsible. If you’re smart enough to receive a college education, take a few minutes out of your day and truly research your candidate.

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So how does my generation tend to vote? Attending school at Texas State, I am fortunate enough to see both sides of the political pendulum. The city of San Marcos is just south of a very liberal city, Austin, Texas, but on that same note, we are still in Texas, so conservatism still predominately reigns. USA Today wrote an interesting article on the positions Millennial’s take in today’s politics. The survey found that 82 percent of this generation support background checks for all gun purchases, transition to clean energy by 2030 at 80 percent, and the acceptance of refugees from foreign conflicts at 53 percent. This is just a testimony to the how the future will be shaped. Through these studies, liberal progressivism is evident in how Millennial’s think. However, the generation is still young, and perspectives change with age.

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I am genuinely excited for the next presidential elections, particularly to observe how my generation votes. Statistically, we still aren’t voting as much as Generation X and the baby boomers, but I feel this election can surely change the tide. Republican or liberal, we must vote in 2016. We hold 1/3 of the countries power, so let’s show this world exactly what we can do. We are the Millennial’s, so let our political footprint be seen in the decades to come.

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