Feel like your vote really won't make a difference? Not sure if going out and voting is really worth the effort? These ten reasons why you should vote as a college student should give you some food for thought -- and motivation.
Ten Reasons Why You Should Vote as a College Student
- America is a democracy. True, it may be a representative democracy, but your elected representatives still need to know how their constituents think in order to accurately represent them. They are counting on your vote as part of that process.
- Remember Florida? The debacle in Florida that followed the 2000 presidential election is still fresh in many people's minds. Try asking those folks if your vote matters or not.
- No one else votes with college students in mind. Many people vote while thinking of other constituencies: older folks, people without health insurance, and the like. But very few voters are focused specifically on the needs of college students. When issues like student loan rates, educational standards, and admissions policies are on the ballot, who else is better qualified to vote than those currently experiencing the implications of such initiatives?
- College students -- also known as millennial voters -- are a key constituency in any, and every, election. With 44 million Millennial voters eligible to vote, your vote can make a huge difference when banded with others in your demographic.
- Millennial voters are more diverse than any other constituency. According to Rock the Vote, "Sixty-one percent of Millennials identify as White, while 17% are Hispanic, 15% are Black and 4% are Asian." Who else is going to vote to represent the needs of such a diverse constituency?
- No one likes a hypocrite. You're in college. You're expanding your mind, your spirit, your life. You're challenging yourself in new and exciting ways and learning things you may not have ever considered before. But when the time comes, you're going to pass on empowering yourself by voting? Really?
- Many people fought for your right to vote. No matter your race, gender, or age, your right to vote came at a price. Honor the sacrifices others made so that your voice could be heard when theirs wasn't.
- College voters really can swing an election. As Rock the Vote reports in its (fantastic) Young Voter Myths and Facts PDF, "Joe Courtney won by 83 votes; turnout at the UConn polling place was up nearly 10x that" in Connecticut in 2006. Want to call Courtney's opponent, or even Courtney himself, to see if every vote matters?
- Within the next 4 years, you may be getting a job, owning or renting your own housing, getting married, starting a family, paying for health care, or building a business. The policies you vote for today will have a huge influence on your life after college. Do you really want to leave those decisions up to someone else?
- You're living life as an adult now. Despite conventional attitudes about college students not being in the "real world," much of your daily life involves very serious and important decisions. You manage your finances; you are taking charge of your education and career; you are doing your best, every day, to improve yourself through higher education. In essence, you are becoming an adult (if you aren't one already). Your vote, then, matters most because you are finally able to cast it. Go voice your opinions on issues, policies, candidates, and referendums. Stand up for what you believe in. Vote!