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This is Why College Students Should Follow the News

I didn’t really pay attention to the news for the majority of my life. Don’t get me wrong – it’s not like I was clueless when it came to current events, I would just much rather read something else. Whenever I made an attempt to fully learn what was happening around me, I was left feeling frustrated and depressed. Everything seemed to be focused on the negativity in the world.

So what changed?

The short answer is my outlook. The long answer: I took a writing class with a professor who changed my life during my sophomore year of college. She began every class by asking, “What’s going on in the world today?” One of the requirements of the class was to increase our news consumption so we were prepared to discuss anything in class.

So the first few minutes of every class, we discussed everything from world and local news, to political and celebrity news. We occasionally had quizzes, too. As a result, I got into the habit of reading the news every morning. Whether I get my daily fix in as soon as I wake up, during breaks at work or while I get my nails done, it’s something I look forward to every single day. I have become aware of what is happening around me, passionate about certain world issues and confident talking about politics.

Unfortunately, not every college student has the same life-changing experience that I did. They might be getting their news from the wrong sources, or they might not care because they don’t know what the benefits are. And who knew that there was a wrong way to receive news?  

A lot of college students fall into the trap of relying on social media posts for their news updates and this is wrong. I’m a huge fan of social media for its many other uses, like for sharing ideas and connecting with people. However, when it comes to sharing news on social media, you have to be extremely cautious. Facebook and Twitter are breeding grounds for fake news.

The concept of fake news as we know it was never really a concern before the 2016 Election. Now, we have to question whether every article we see is real or not. There are people who will read article headlines on Facebook and automatically share them. They think that’s enough news consumption for them.

And why is the news important?

It’s essential that college students keep up with what is going on in the world. By paying attention to the news, we not only come off as more professional, we become more educated. Think about how great it would be to be able to have intellectual conversations with others about relevant issues and actually know what you’re talking about!

Be informed enough to be able to have an opinion on a few thought-provoking topics; you’ll notice the difference in yourself after just a few weeks. Set aside just a few minutes a day to catch up on the days events. Trust me, it will be so worth it.

You don’t have to flip through a newspaper or tune into a news channel every evening to catch up on the news; email lists and iPhone apps have made news consumption a breeze. Some of my favorites, which have gotten me A’s on my news quizzes, are theSkimm, The New York Times Morning Briefings and the AP News app! Subscribing to news apps is one of the easiest ways to get your daily intake of the news.

There’s no excuse to be uninformed in the digital age, so find a verified news source and make it a part of your daily routine today.

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Amina is currently a senior at Montclair State University studying communication and journalism. She has a passion for writing, digital media and creating content. When she's not writing, you can probably find her catching up on current events, trying new fitness classes or searching for the next best restaurant. You can view more of her work at aminalake.com.
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