Should you be concerned with politics?


Abbie Ehrenberg, Sr. High Staff Writer

As a high school student who aspires to go into the field of International Relations and Foreign Service, I try to keep up with many American and global issues, both political and otherwise. I’ve had many peers tell me that politics are “too difficult for them to think about right now,” or “they don’t affect me.” Additionally, when talking to many adults about my passions, they have expressed how they knew nothing about the world or politics when they were my age. So, as high school students, should we be aware of the political issues of our world, or are they the responsibility of adults? 

In short, the answer is yes, we should be aware of what is happening around us, because no matter how old you are, political decisions and world events impact us all. 

Informing yourself about the current state of your country and the world, even as a teenager, is essential. However, this does not mean that you have to form opinions about every topic. Simply having the knowledge is sufficient.

Many young people who are concerned with politics feel that they are underrepresented in government, and this is true. While the average congressperson is around 60 years old, the average U.S. citizen age is 38. Although there are age limits that restrict political positions to more experienced politicians, young people can actively work towards more representation. By informing yourself of the state of your nation and world, you become better able to cast votes for the people that you want representing you, once you turn 18. And if there are events and movements that are important to you, it is great to speak out and influence others with your voice.

All this to say, if you don’t want to be an activist, especially as a busy teenager, that is understandable and logical. You don’t have to immerse yourself in the New York Times app for hours a day either. However, having an understanding of what is happening in the world and the vastness of it, as you navigate life is important, and it will help you shape the world that you want to live in. It’s good to listen to an unbiased nightly news source or read a few credible articles. I know that many of us, myself included, often receive news from social media, like TikTok. Although this can be beneficial, as it engages us with the news, it is frequently unreliable. I find that when I hear about some event on TikTok, it is best to do some of my own quick research. Not a lengthy study, but it is good to know what is fact and what’s fiction. 

In conclusion, educate yourself about the world and what’s happening, but don’t feel pressured to know everything or have an opinion on everything.