Perhaps you don't think of voting as a privilege. It's definitely not the first word that came to my mind when I thought about voting. In fact, I think I speak for many college students when I say that we don't even think about voting much in the first place. If we do, I fear that it's thought of more like a chore or just something to get crossed off a to-do list. Another privilege that we can often mistake as a chore is going to college. College is a privilege that millions of people around the world don't have access to. Attending any sort of college right now actually puts you in an elite minority across the globe. If you add the fact that you have the opportunity to vote and have a voice in what goes on in your country, you become more than just privileged, you become influential. Millions of children and teenagers around the world don't even have the option to go to elementary or secondary school, let alone college. And if they're not educated, how can they cast an educated vote? And even if they are educated, what if their country doesn't have open elections or let women, minorities, or young adults vote? The fact of the matter is, even though it doesn't always seem like it, you were born into a privileged existence. The question is: what are you going to do with it?
Even if you're convinced that you want to use these privileges, you may wonder if your vote will even matter in the big picture. If you turn on a presidential election speech, most likely you will hear more about Medicare and Social Security than anything about college students. Have you ever wondered why they don't seem to "care" as much about topics that affect us? Well, perhaps they don't "care" because you don't care. Maybe they're not talking about you because you're not listening. Maybe they are just talking about the issues that matter to the people who are actually voting. If you're not voting, why should they care to take a stand on issues that affect you? But the sooner we get involved and start paying attention, the sooner we can actually make a difference in our own lives. We can effect change in areas of our lives that seem outside of our power. And whether we realize it or not, we really are the leaders of tomorrow. Today it might just be casting a vote on a single candidate; tomorrow it could be one of us running for a position in the government.
So why should college students vote? We should because it's an amazing privilege to vote, and it's an incredible opportunity to actually cause change. I may not be able to convince all college students to vote, but as for me, I've realized that if I stop caring about voting,
I stop using the privilege to make a difference in my own life and others.