Add something to a college student’s plate, and you might just see them cry. As someone who graduates in three months, I can tell you that the life of a student is hectic, and most of us are trying to keep up with much more than we actually can handle.
So, how do we have time for something else, like being politically involved?
Maybe you are a student who is looking at today’s political climate and wishing you could be involved and knowledgeable. Yet, you know how busy you are, and you definitely don’t have time to commit to a job or campaign position.
Thankfully, there is good news, because even as busy as you are, you can definitely still be politically involved. Here’s how:
Make A Few Swaps
Think about how many times a day you find yourself mindlessly scrolling through social media. What if you swapped a few of those times out for something more beneficial? For example, instead of hitting Facebook when standing in a long line, you could read one or two news articles that help you become a more informed American.
We waste SO much time digitally. Why not redeem it? Whether it is simply reading the news or researching policy issues you don’t know enough about, trade out a few sessions of mindless scrolling for learning useful information, and you will catch yourself becoming more and more knowledgeable with only a little time invested.
Read And Discuss
Don’t just read something having to do with politics-discuss it. Read a fascinating article about a Trump era policy or finish a book about capitalism and economics? Take the next step and actually talk about it with someone.
Although informing yourself is great, that’s not really what political involvement is all about. Being politically involved means you are engaging with other people, and what better location to do so than on a college campus where you’re surrounded by your peers? Start a conversation in the library, over lunch, wherever-just start it. You’ll be surprised by how much better the information stays in your brain and what you learn from the other person.
Get To Know Your Representation
One of the best ways to start being politically involved is by learning who represents YOU. You should know not only who represents you in Congress, but who does so at a state and city level as well. This is fairly easy public information to learn.
As you become more aware of the political landscape and start to develop opinions on prominent issues, you should also feel free to reach out and contact such elected officials. I worked as the personal assistant to a state representative for two years-trust me when I say that your communication is read and considered. Even a short email makes your elected officials aware of what their constituents think.
If you take NOTHING else from this list, take this point. If you don’t vote, you’re not only throwing away your loudest political voice, but abdicating one of your essential duties as a citizen. It takes very little time and makes all the difference in American politics-be sure to register and vote every single time you have the opportunity.
Call Your Representation In Congress
Finally, call your representation in Congress when important votes come up. This may seem scary, but it is really pretty easy, and it puts pressure on them to vote on behalf of their constituents back home when you do so. Look up their Washington D.C. numbers and give them a call! Not sure what to say? Here’s a script:
“Hi, my name is ____, and I am one of Congressman/Senator ____’s constituents from back home. I know that _____ is coming up for a vote today, and I am calling to urge them to vote yes/no.”
Your call will be noted and relayed. It takes about five minutes, but it allows you to play your part in keeping the pressure on Congress to represent the people.
Being politically active as a college student doesn’t have to be time consuming-in fact, it’s usually all about the little things. All of us are impacted by politics and government, and so we should all do our best to be involved in the system.
Is there something on this list you never thought of? Let us know in the comments!