Here at Step Up our main goal is to be involved and to be informed, but how do you get informed especially at a young age? It’s a little tricky because if you’re not careful you’ll sign up for something you didn’t mean to, but, with a little effort, you can be involved and informed in a short amount of time.
The first way is to watch the news. Follow developing stories, ask questions, bring out your inner Nancy Drew. A word of caution, though, make sure you know what your news sources’ affiliations are. Contrary to popular belief, all media is biased. Not saying that it’s not good to have an opinion, but, there are some media outlets that only cater to a specific demographic; that’s all a part of marketing psychology (but that’s a different article for a different day).
Another way is to do extra research. As much as we’d like to think that we know everything, we don’t. The only way for us to be really and truly informed is to do all the research that comes with a new topic. That means looking up laws, or speaking with professionals in the field. You don’t have to write a 100-page thesis on a topic, but to be informed and educated on a subject, you’ve got to take the time out to study it.
Lastly, conversation. It’s safe to say that this day and age is hypersensitive, but if we’re ever going to understand anything, we must ask questions and communicate with each other. How are you ever going to know and understand something if you don’t ask someone who has lived through that struggle? How can a pear know the life of an apple if it never asks what it’s like to be an apple? We have to stop assuming that we know everything, and that we have it all figured out when in reality, we don’t.
Overall, being involved is simply choosing to learn. There’s no perfect way to be involved, or fight for human rights. Learning about life from someone of a different background than you, is the only way to truly be informed.
Dominique is currently studying Psychology at Bridgewater State University with a double minor in Middle East Studies and Music. In her spare time, she is a poet and artist. She hopes to use her voice as both a journalist and artist to empower the unheard.