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FYI, Keeping Up With News Is Easier Than You Think

Ok, guys. It’s almost 2020, so let’s get something straight. 


Things that are objectively cool:

  • Engaging in intelligent, curious discussions with classmates and friends

  • Being an active citizen

  • Paying attention to things going on in your community


Things that are objectively NOT cool:

  • Using your busy class, work, and co-curricular schedule as an excuse for not being in touch with issues in your community and the world 

  • Dismissing issues around you by saying you “aren’t really into that kind of stuff” 


This past federal election showed me that, despite being more engaged than ever in politics and social issues, students and young people still carry these not-so-cool traits around, as if it’s no big deal to take a back-seat and let the world’s challenges fix themselves. 


I guess I sort of get it. Keeping up with the news while balancing school, work, and life can seem like a daunting (and frankly, tiresome) task. The excuses are nothing new: when would I even have time to keep up with all these issues going on in the world? How can I follow news stories when I can’t even keep up with my own life? There’s nothing we can do about it anyway.


OMG, that is totally the worst mindset to have! Youth CAN and DO have an impact – we are, after all, Canada’s largest voting block. It may seem like a lot of work (with no reward) to stay informed, but today, the reality is that it’s never been easier to keep up with the world around us and be active citizens. 



Subscribe to newsletters.

Nowadays, there’s a newsletter for everything and anything. Pick out some topics that are important to you and subscribe to get daily, weekly, or monthly updates. My personal favourites include Forbes (for business and economic news), The Good Trade (for daily news on sustainability and lifestyle), Medium Daily Digest (for curated content on anything and everything, based on my interests) and of course, the fun Her Campus newsletters (an instant mood-brightener!) 


Sign up for Global Citizen.

A newsletter-slash-website that literally rewards you for being an engaged member of society. Global Citizen provides you solid, easy-to-digest content on challenges in the world – environmental, social, and more! Just sign up online or on the app, and you’ll start collecting points the more you read. These points go towards awesome prizes like concert tickets! Sometimes, it pays to be informed! 



Use the power of your smartphone.

Three words: apps, apps, apps! There are literally countless to choose from – free, paid, and subscriber-based. Looking for straight-up news from your favourite sources, at your fingertips? I’d recommend the CBC app or any other national news platform for quick, easy reads to keep you up-to-date on the latest in Canada. If you’re into American politics (which, right now, you probably should be) CNN is the go-to. For all around general news, The Skimm is a great option; it collects everything you need in one place. 


Take advantage of your daily commute. 

This tip requires minimal effort, but will have a huge impact on how aware you are of news issues. Listen to podcasts and radio shows on your way to work, school, or in between classes. You’ll take in news like a sponge; plus, it’s entertaining! My top suggestions are Freakonomics, The Daily by the Daily Telegraph, or any of the CBC News podcasts. For something a little lighter, give What A Day, Canadaland, or The Daily Show with Trevor Noah – Ears Edition, a chance. 


Learn to love reading the news! 

Traditional news sources tend to be dry and pretty boring. We don’t blame you for wanting to steer clear. That doesn’t mean that reading newspapers and magazines can’t be interesting – and worth your precious time. Find sources you love (whether they align with your views or challenge them) and commit to reading an article a week. In no time, you’ll start looking forward to it, I promise! 


Putting the effort into finding sources of news that work for you makes a huge difference on how you see the world and how you play a role in it. Staying informed isn’t a choice anymore; it’s COOL, and more importantly, it’s a responsibility we millennials need to take seriously if we want to leave the world better than we found it. 

Former study-abroad girl who won't shut up about it! Big fan of Harry Potter, politics, strong coffee, baby goats, and oxford commas. Elisabeth is a senior at uOttawa, studying communications and political science.
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