It’s easy to get lost in the college bubble. Perhaps you have acknowledged that all you are hearing is only what is going on inside the boundaries of your campus. Maybe you are curious about what is going on in the outside world, but can’t fit it into your crazy schedule. Or maybe your professor is quizzing you on current events. No matter the reason, you found the right place to learn how to be informed about the world outside of the college bubble!
Below are four ways you can stay informed while living on campus, and on a time-and-wallet budget:
1. Email Subscriptions
There are plenty of news sites out there that you can subscribe to and become up-to-date daily. However, most come at a cost we college penny-pinchers hate to pay. Luckily, there are sites that can email you the highlights of the news or possibly their entire newsletter for free. One of these sites is called TheSkimm, which breaks down news so it’s easier to understand. They typically send one email per day with a few different highlights ranging from U.S. politics, international politics, and sports. Plus, it’s a short read so you can get informed fast! But if you do wish to read more than a quick snippet of the news, they typically link articles that will go deeper into a subject they brush upon. Also, they provide definitions for those of us who don’t understand the lingo.
If you’re not one for reading, then podcasts may be a great alternative for you. While you are on your daily commute to class, running on the treadmill, or just cleaning up your dorm room, you can listen to a podcast about the news to be updated on what’s happening. One highly regarded podcast is NPR, which is not limited to political news. It also touches upon art and special human interest stories, so you can also get the latest scoop on various parts of culture. So if you’re looking for a way to stay informed and get things done, this may be the perfect method for you!
3. Social Media Accounts
Yes, even social media can help you become informed. Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter have a wide array of accounts that can cover anything in the news from general to specific. One example of a broad news account is @betches_sup, which has accounts on all three social media platforms listed. Their posts, or reposts of other news sources and celebrities at times, give you the highlights of what is currently happening in the world. However, it is a left-leaning platform and if this isn’t what you are looking for, there are other news accounts that can swing in any direction. Also, since this is social media we are talking about, the posts are quick and easy reads. Therefore, this is another great way to get the latest news while you are on the go.
4. School Newspaper
If you prefer to go old school, take a look around campus for free newspapers. They are usually available in places that are hubs of activity, such as the entrance to a dining hall. The newspapers provided vary by the college, sometimes it’s an outside newspaper and other times it is the college’s newspaper. But don’t be quick to drop the school’s newspaper – they are useful in keeping you informed about outside events too! Also, it’s never a bad idea to learn more about what is happening in town, because local news is just as important as national or global. And if you can’t find physical ones, you can check out your school’s library to see if they have a free online subscription to any newspapers. That way you can save paper while you’re at it.
5. Join a Club
If you have a specific area that you want to learn more about, college clubs are sure to cover it! From feminism to the environment, most colleges will have a club you can attend to learn more about the subject. Many clubs range in the degree of participation. Most are not demanding and only ask that you come to meetings to discuss what’s going on in the world. Others may encourage you to participate in events that are held outside of the club meeting times. While this does take up some time, it is free and it is a great chance to talk with others who know more about the subject.
6. Use an App
Maybe you do prefer to read the articles on the web, but don’t always have the time to read them right away. There are many apps out there that allow you to save articles for later, such as Feedly or Pocket. Through these apps, you can accumulate a collection of articles to help you understand current events. And what’s even better about these apps is that they are free! So not only does it allow you to manage your time by deciding to read articles when you can, but it also keeps money in your wallet.
7. Take a Class
If you need the motivation to stay informed, taking political or current events class is a great way to carve out some time in your day to dive deep into the outside world. This can also be a two-for-one if one of these classes fulfills a requirement, so not only are you expanding your knowledge of the world, you’re getting your classes done too! Often times these classes will also give you access to other resources that will allow you to stay on top of current events so you can continue your education beyond the classroom.