OPINION: Students should independently explore political realms

OPINION: Students should independently explore political realms

When attending college, students have newfound freedom to discover and create their own perspectives. When students allow their parents’ political influence to control their views, students close a door on learning about different political ideologies.

According to Pew Research Center, a person’s political views change significantly between adolescence and early adulthood. This indicates that a student’s views start developing when they are attending high school and entering college.

Students’ political views should be influenced by their unique experiences with people and events in society, increasing their own political knowledge. According to research by the University of Houston, a college student’s political views deviate from their parent’s views significantly once students begin to experience diverse perspectives from various social groups on campus.

Students who refrain from learning other political perspectives prevent their individual political views from emerging independently.

“Honestly, students should have their own opinion,” sophomore music education major Victoria Sigur said. “The whole purpose of college is to develop a mind of your own as an adult.”

Parents who heavily influence the political views of their children can cause students to pay attention exclusively to only one side of politics — the side in favor of the people who raised them.

For instance, a student may listen exclusively to news sources dependent on their parent’s beliefs. The overwhelming influence of a parent’s opinion limits a student’s ability to explore all aspects of the political realm on their own.

Students who are aware of their individual political views can create political action. Not only do students have the power to create change themselves when they develop political perspectives of their own, but they also have the power to inspire others to do the same.

Recently, high school students walked out of their classes to protest against climate change, according to The Washington Post. Following suit, teachers walked out of their classrooms to protest against substandard conditions, low salaries and lack of educational resources for students, according to U.S. News.

Students who are aware of and confident in their individual political views have the potential to change society. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 22,385,000 young adults between ages 18 and 29 voted during the 2008 election. This was an increase in young adult voters compared to the 2004 election, which brought in only 20,125,000 votes from the same age group.

This increase in voting participation from young adults has the power to sway election results, according to Pew Research. Students who have their own political views impact elections and emphasize the importance of students doing their own political research.

“It can be viewed as negative when you don’t form your own opinions politically,” freshman music performance major Piper Johnson said. “Where do we go in the world if we believe in the same old generational views.”

Upon entering college, many students find themselves straying away from the political values of their parents — and that is okay. Students should take advantage of the freedom they have during college to explore the political realm on their own in order to create a unique and authentic opinion.

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