How to Stay Politically Engaged: Back to School Edition

Going back to school is always stressful, especially with all the issues gaining traction this year. But no need to feel alone this upcoming year. If you have an interest you’re passionate about, why not express it? Find folks with common (and uncommon) interests to build a community! 

Discussing your political or civic interest in issues can be enlightening to your peers, and those conversations can bring up topics you hadn’t even considered. No one expects you to be a world-class debater (though it’s definitely exciting if you are), but having open discussions is an essential way to learn more about your interests. This semester, take on these tips to become politically engaged on campus, even if it’s a remote campus. 

Engage in Classroom Discussions

It can be daunting to voice your opinion in class. But, just as it’s important to listen to others’ views, it’s also important to express your own. By discussing how you feel about a topic, you can open the minds of others in your classroom! Be sure to conduct research and bring up relevant facts to support your points. In doing this, you open up the opportunity for growth for all your peers and professors. 

Recommend Readings to your Classmates

Have you ever read a great book or article and not had anyone to discuss it with? Change that in your classes. Recommend a book to someone you talk to in class! When you recommend a book, you’re creating a great discussion that can bring in new perspectives. Be sure to bring up a text relevant to your class; that way, you can bring it up with your other classmates or even during a class discussion.

Take a Course Outside your Interests 

College is all about taking the time to develop your interests! Though it’s important to take classes to stay on track, take a course that can help you grow personally, not just academically. Courses in departments like Political Science, Sociology, or Ethnic Studies can teach you perspectives outside your own. Check out your campus’ course listings and find a class you may never have thought to take.

Join a Political Club

Clubs on campus are a great way to get to know like-minded people in your community. There are clubs that are involved with a specific party and others that just teach about political involvement. Going to a meeting can help you access a different network of people and lead to potential opportunities. Find your campuses list of organizations and see which orgs have Zoom meetings to get involved this upcoming year.

Thinking of running for Student Government on campus? Check out our blog post on campaigning on campus during COVID-19.