Be mindful about current events


The Daily Illini File Photo

ISR lounge is filled with students studying on Wednesday, Aug 24 2016.

By Jamie Linton , columnist

 In the age of the social network, it feels like we’re constantly in information overdrive.  There are endless ways to consume news; however, as college students it’s easy to fall ignorant to the world outside Champaign-Urbana.

Most of the time, the Chambana bubble feels as if it only consists of academics, RSOs, sporting events and social life because — while there is more to our duelling cities than the University — they’re a far shot from the political hub of Washington D.C. or business hubs like New York and Chicago.

The result of this isolation, unfortunately, is a body of students who are largely out of the loop on global events. Maybe it’s the selfish choice to spend four years working on yourself and ignoring externalities, or maybe it’s that college students simply don’t care, there’s no doubt that we’re struggling to be conscious of some of the most important events that indirectly or directly affect our lives.

According to a study done on 18- to 34-year-olds, only 39 percent of participants said they typically actively seek out news, while 60 percent of participants reported they “bump into” it.

This being said, it’s clear that most college-aged students are vaguely aware of world events; however, a sizable minority do not care about it enough to seek it out, indicating they definitely aren’t discussing it.

Interestingly enough, this isn’t just a problem at this University — even friends who attend Ivy League schools in large urban areas have vocalized concerns about feeling bubbled in. It’s both comforting and concerning to learn that we’re not alone in the struggle to truly be well-informed, global citizens as 20-somethings.

It’s a shame that the institutions that supposedly aim to nurture young adult minds and develop us into more well-rounded, intellectual individuals are the very same institutions limiting us from expanding our minds. With this being said, it is up to students to put being up-to-date on current events at the top of our priority lists. If we fail to keep up with the world outside campus, we’ll be left in the dark when young minds matter most — for example, campus protests and voting in elections.

Luckily, there are plenty of resources for students who strive to be aware.  Many major newspapers offer student discounts for subscriptions, and the University even offers free Comcast XFINITY services for those of us who would rather watch a news program.  Additionally, email newsletter services that sum up the day’s most important events have become increasingly popular.    

No matter your unique situation, there are plenty of ways for students to become more knowledgeable, even in our rural Champaign bubble.

Jamie is a sophomore in Media.

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