You’d have to be living on a precious island, or have your head stuck way up in the clouds to not be aware what an insane sensation this year’s presidential election is. American politics have never been more of a show. But it’s not just a show- because you have a role, too. This election is probably your first where you are of legal age to vote. I am also going to assume, particularly keeping in mind that you’re in college, that you most definitely have opinions. You’re developing an image of yourself, and you’re most certainly developing an image of the world. I’m sure you have at least one or two feelings about everything that’s going on, right? If you’re still indecisive, keep reading for 10 reasons why college students should vote!
1. There are millions and millions of you.
First off, let me remind you that you’re far from being just a lowly college student. The U.S. currently has about twelve million college students; that’s not including others who fall under being a millennial (the total would be over forty-four million). That’s a whole lot of possible votes and a huge reason why college students should vote. You are part of quite an impact. The notion that your vote does not have an impact is a cruel lie against democracy, and it’s a crime against your rights and freedom as a free-thinking individual. Your vote is part of the millennial vote; do you know how badly the political parties want your vote? College students are ambitious, educated, passionate voices for what they want their future to be. The United States really belongs to us. What happens now will affect us for years to come.
2. This is your right.
To vote is a right. Countless people have fought with their lives for you to be able to participate in a presidential election. You have a voice! You have power to speak! Freaking use it. You’re a new, bold mind who cares about your life and how you live it. Your country is your home- that’s where you live! This is where you live as an individual; you deserve to have a say in what kind of home you should live in. Remember, the U.S. belongs as much to your family, your friends, your professors and classmates as much as it does to you. To not vote is to remain silent in the face of your country, to say nothing against what you want to change. It’s such a loss for you and ultimately for the nation as a whole if you deny yourself your own right. How can anyone hear or listen to you if you don’t express yourself?
3. This WILL affect you.
I really won’t buy it if you tell me you don’t have strong sentiments (negative or positive) towards any of the presidential candidates. I know you care and you have opinions- which may be exactly why you don’t want to vote. That’s exactly why college students should vote. Not voting will not change or prevent something; it’s a lack of action. Having a new president is inevitable. Not voting is also not a form of protest because it’s not a statement, it’s a lack of a statement. Even if you sincerely have no thoughts or feelings about this presidential election, even if you honestly just don’t care, well, you should. This election is gonna affect you in the end. So vote before it is the end!
4. You have more than two choices in voting.
If you didn’t know, surprise! Your only options are not just the Republican and Democratic candidates. They’re called the third parties. There’s the Libertarian party, the Green party; you can also write in your own self-elected politician. Yes, you can do that. No one should really tell you how to vote, but you should be told what your options are in voting. Who to vote for and why you believe the candidate should have your vote is your decision. (Also good to discuss views with others, do research, and ask questions.)
5. Do good and vote between evils.
“I don’t want to vote between the lesser of two evils.” Yes, yes, you do. One, as said in the paragraph above, there’s not only two choices. Two, it’s the lesser of two evils. I mean, even if there is no candidate you want to vote for because you want them as president, then you should still take advantage of voting against someone as president. You’re certainly still making a strong, valuable, effective statement in your vote. Not voting is definitely potentially allowing the greater evil to win.
6. Not voting is not a ‘protest vote’.
I’m going to go back to a previous point and passionately protest the idea that to not vote is in itself a protest. Not voting is not giving an opinion, or an action towards change. It’s a complete lack of action. You not voting is not standing up to what you see as corrupt, or wrong, or something that must be done differently. The only way your thoughts are going to have an effect is if you vote. Not voting is ultimately apathy. If you are apathetic; meaning you sincerely do not care about this election or its outcome, I’m implore you to explore your cares and beliefs and compare them to the current state of things. By all means protest what makes you angry or with what you disagree with! But you have to understand that not actually arguing (AKA voting) is no form of argument, no protest at all.
7. One of the easiest ‘adult-ing’ things to do.
You’re an adult now, college student! That means having responsibilities, and voting is a huge and powerful responsibility. It’s your job as person, as a young American citizen to get out there, register, and vote, there are too many reasons why college students should vote. If the whole idea of registering makes you anxious because you don’t know how, no worries. There’s plenty of resources that you can find on your campus or online. Speaking of campus, I’m positive your university would be more than thrilled to know its students are ready to be active voters. Make others and yourself proud!
8. Prove people wrong by doing what’s right.
You know that whole thing about ‘young people not caring’? Doesn’t that bother you? I mean, it’s totally disregarding you as an individual with beliefs and thoughts and dreams. Prove people wrong. Prove that you do have beliefs and thoughts and dreams- voting is one of the best ways to do that. Stand up for what you hold to be right and true by doing the right thing: by voting.
9. This election is particularly important.
There’s a lot that election has on the table. Our current issues are many and huge; many would argue one of the biggest issues being the actual candidate(s) themselves. It is so, so crucial that you take part in this, these issues are reason enough why college students should vote. Think about this: how do people you look up to feel? Your favorite band, actress, author? Consider that other countries have many remarks, because if you keep your ears open, the world has so much to say about this U.S. presidential election. That’s because our next president isn’t just our leader; the United States president is a figure of the world. It’s an understatement, but this particular election is particularly a big deal. You’re going to want to be involved (which voting does).
10. Because it really matters.
To greatly compact and summarize everything, you should vote because it really, really does matter. My vote’s important to me. The fact that my family, friends, and those around me are voting is important to me. This election affects me; if anything it’s made me realize more about what I belief and stand for (as well as against) as a person with a mind, heart, and dream. Whether you have yet to grasp this completely or not, I hope you do now: even if you think you are not affected, even if you simply have no concern about this election or voting, know that this election concerns you. This is the most important reason why college students should vote. This is about you, us and the world!
So, don’t you, as a college student, want to be a part of something like this? I think you do. I think you should vote.
Do you have other reasons why college students should vote! Comment below and share the article!
Featured photo source: tumblr.com and politico.com
Becca is a 19-year-old Austinite who studies English at the University of Iowa.