The bubble of university life: thrilling; rewarding; and utterly consuming. But is this way of living actually harming us? With the general election looming, it’s more important now than ever to consider how aware we truly are of events which directly impact our lives, and how we can turn this around.
As students we are prone to viewing university life as our entire world. We become so involved with our respective subjects and socialising that we often forget that we’re part of something far greater. Being this immersed in university is for the most part a positive thing, as it encourages full participation in the student experience. However, isolation from current affairs and global issues results in a lack of knowledge of the outside world, which is essential for us as academics to remain up-to-date with.
Concerning the election, do you have a clear understanding of your favoured party’s manifesto? Are you completely aware of what and who you’re voting for? Do you have a rough idea of the current situation due to natural disasters in Nepal and Chile? As students, we have a duty to know what is happening around us, and how it may affect us. Otherwise, we will enter a post-university world which we won’t understand, thus causing seclusion and ignorance.
Nowadays, there are so many mediums through which you can access the news. If watching presenters inform you about events do not interest you, the BBC News website can be a flexible and fast alternative. The Huffington Post app for android phones, with updates on headlines and immediate access to the news is another user-friendly tool. Or, if you’re looking for a source which is not as heavy, Buzzfeed is worth considering for its entertaining method of communicating new and events. Whichever you find works best for you, it’s crucial to utilise them regularly- perhaps at the beginning of each week as a starting point.
So, if you have absolutely no idea who is running in the general election, I strongly recommend that you take some time to educate yourself on current events. Not only will it pay off in the future, but you can also join in a conversation on politics and the environment without having to blag your way through it.
Moving away from news events, it’s also a lack of awareness with regards to poverty, disease, and war which damages us. It can be so heartbreaking to read about people suffering from these situations that we try to distance ourselves from them. I’m not suggesting that we should all spend days lamenting over this but a little compassion for others can remind us of our own position.
We are the future generation of professionals and intellectuals, and we have an obligation to maintain a certain understanding of the world which we live in. We should try to keep on top of events and issues and, if nothing else, we will at least be able to answer more questions on Pointless and University Challenge!