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You want to be jump into the political arena but can’t vote yet, so how can you be involved? I know this struggle all too well. I’m still going to be 17 at the time of the general election in November, but I have found many different ways to participate!

 

1. Social Media

Social media is a great way to participate in politics! You can express your opinions, read other people’s ideas, and follow political accounts. People today are highly involved with social media, so one of your posts could resonate with another person and make him or her see other sides to debatable topics. Tweeting about presidential debates is my favorite way to utilize social media to be involved in politics. My friends that follow me who don’t keep up with elections can read my tweets and be more aware of what’s going on.

2. Attend Rallies

Rallies are another good way to get engaged in the political scene. My friends and I attended a Donald Trump rally when he came to Raleigh even though none of us are supporters of Trump. It was interesting to listen to him speak and see how rallies are organized. If you attend a rally, you can hear more of the candidate’s platform and see how different he or she is in person, opposed to what is shown on TV. I noticed at the Trump rally that a lot of what is shown of him on TV is taken out of context and viewers aren’t given the whole story.

 

3. Join a Club

Joining or starting a political club can also get you involved in the politics. The school I attend now is extremely liberal and has quite a few clubs supporting the Democratic Party. Up until a few months ago, our school didn’t have any clubs that supported the Republican Party, so a few friends and I decided to start one. Our club meetings involve having debate watch parties, talking about current issues in the world and at our school, and coming up with ways to promote conservative ideals. We have also had fundraisers for organizations that our club supports.

4. Take a U.S. Government Course

If you’re interested in politics, definitely take a class about government. There are so many different types of classes on this subject offered at high schools and universities. Some courses even do a mock election, which would allow you to see how elections work. My freshman year of high school, I took civics and economics and learned so much about our government; this class is what really sparked my interest in politics. My teacher was a lobbyist for several years before teaching and even worked on the Reagan Bush Campaign in 1984. If you have teachers with experience like this, I highly recommend taking a course with them because they can offer so much information to you.

 

5. Be Politically Aware

Probably the most important thing you can do if you want to be involved in politics is to be aware. Read newspapers, watch the news, understand both sides of the debates, and talk with others. If you aren’t exactly sure what’s going on, it’s hard to form an opinion, so make sure you know the whole story.

Ryan S
CONTRIBUTOR