Since the last day of finals in the spring, much has happened both nationally and internationally. Some of it did not seem to affect the average Springfield College student, such as the continuing struggle of the “Arab Spring,” while other events hit much closer to home, such as the tornado that ripped through campus and the hurricane that left many students without power as they came back to Springfield.
The nation as a whole was taken to the brink of default, fought ideological battles in the capital, recently remembered the 10th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack on United States soil and witnessed the presidential race begin to heat up.
Most of this may seem unimportant to college students. After all, Muammar Gaddafi’s regime toppling or the United States’ credit downgrade may not seem to have much of an impact on day-to-day college life. Students still have to go to class, do their homework and sweat through practice. But what is going on around the world and here at home will have a huge impact on the future, in a very real way.
The future of our country is directly affected by everything going on in the world around us. Jobs after graduation, our children’s education and how are country views such things as sexual orientation, religion and healthcare are all areas of our lives that are in flux.
While we as college students worry about quiz grades and our annoying roommate, our country is changing. This is by no means a bad thing, and this is not a war between two opposing sides. There is not a right and a wrong side, but as citizens of our country and as humans living in a world much larger than ourselves, it is important to recognize these events and ideas.
At this point in our lives, college may seem to be the most important thing but never forget that there is much more going on in the world. This does not mean that every student on campus should turn into a political activist or should be marching in the streets. But pick up a newspaper, flip on CNN and pay attention to the world around you because you never know what impact you could have.
What happens today will affect us all in the future. As distant as the countries problems seem to you and me, we need to remember that everything that happens today, we will have to live with. Any elections in the next four years will have a huge impact on how our daily lives go. Depending on whom is elected our country could fundamentally change. It is our duty as citizens of this country to take an interest in the world around us.
College students around the country need to remember that we are the future leaders of the world. We have the power to change the environment around us, both for good and for bad. This is a tremendous responsibility that we need to embrace. The world is ours for the taking. So get involved. Vote. Pay attention. Read a newspaper. Watch the news. And when an opportunity arises to change the world. Take it.
Josh Ernst may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org