When I was growing up, I always held a certain fascination with the world around me. As a young girl, I was always interested in watching the nightly news at home with my parents and staying informed about the world around me to the best of my ability. As I grew up, this interest developed into something greater and I realized that I truly wanted to take a more active role in the world around me, which leads me to now. As of right now, I am a third-year student at the University of Alberta studying what I truly love: politics.
I know what many of you might be thinking, and I’m here to tell you that you’ve probably been led astray in your thinking about what good a political science degree might do for you following graduation. No, not all political science majors want to become politicians. Actually, in my experience not a lot do! It has also become a somewhat common assumption that we are too set in our ways and often can’t see the value of political platform that is different from our own beliefs. Personally, I am able to see value in most political ideology and am always more than happy to discuss an issue with another individual, regardless of political affiliation. The world is not black and white, and politics is no exception.
There are a lot of misconceptions that follow the study of political science, like any liberal arts program. The unique issue that follows any political science major, however, is the dilemma of the world in which we live in today. As a world, we are facing severe instances of despair, war, poverty and general discontent all over the world. It is a complicated political environment to say the least. So, where does a political science graduate fit into all of this? I can’t speak for us all, but I truly hope that when I look back on my life, I can say that I made a difference in the world. This isn’t such a difficult thing to do since each and every person is making a difference every day. However, as political scientists (or soon to be), should we have all the answers for these difficult questions? Many people would say yes, and that we are the future of the government. For me though, these questions seem quite a lot more difficult than just a simple answer. It will take more than those educated in this field to change the nature of the world around us. Myself, as well as so many others, have been dreaming of impacting the world since we read our first newspaper or were sitting in a social studies class. Whatever it was that inspired us to be in this program is important, but alone we are not enough. In order to inspire change, we all need to stand together as citizens of this world, regardless of political beliefs.
By saying all I have said, I want the message to be clear that graduates of political science programs are important to the strength and unity of society, not only as politicians but through so many other ways as well. This strength may be further fostered through the unification of the larger population, despite potential political divisions. If we all learned to put our differences aside once in a while, the world would most definitely be a better place. One that we can all take pride in no matter what education we may have, or not have.
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