Educate yourself: Why current events demand your attention
In college, it seems like often times we can get so wrapped up in our own lives, we forget about the world around us. While everyone is entitled to spend their free time as they please, I strongly encourage everyone to read the news, and read it often.
Current events are important. We cannot let our lives go by without understanding what is happening both in the United States and abroad on a day to day basis.
Even as a journalism major, I know I have been shocked in my classes when a professor asks about what is going on in the news, and next to no one in the class has any idea. This simple truth speaks volumes about the decline the news has had in the lives of college students. If even those who are studying how to report on what is happening fail to know what that news is, the future seems to be bleak. Reading the news, though, is important regardless of major and everyone from physics to history to public relations should make an understanding of current events a priority.
In the past, students have been a major catalyst for change in the government and society. If we let ourselves become uninformed, we lose the power we have as a population, the power to make a lasting impact that will positively affect our own futures as well as the futures of those that come after us. The thing is, to make change, you have to know why that change is called for and without the necessary political and societal knowledge, that is more or less an impossibility.
By making ourselves ignorant, we are doing ourselves a great disservice. We are taking away our own rights and power to be heard. Also, on a global level, we are lucky to live in a society with a free press. We should take advantage of that and not squander something America’s founding fathers felt so strongly about that they had to amend the Constitution to secure its safety.
It can be something as simple as tuning in to CNN during dinner or getting New York Times alerts sent to your phone, all that matters is we do not forget that, in addition to being members of the Seton Hall community, we are also members of the world. While the famine in Somalia or the riots in Greece may not seem important to your everyday life, they are. The world, especially with the way everything is becoming more interconnected, is becoming smaller. What happens here or there is arbitrary, what matters is that it is happening and somehow it will impact us.
I understand that everyone is busy, that is just the nature of college. But learning is not restricted to the walls of the classroom. There is an entire world around us that only we can be responsible for finding out about. As we get an education from our institution, we are also obligated to continue educating ourselves.
Alyana Alfaro is a senior journalism major from Randolph, N.J. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org