While many young people are fortunate enough to grow up in a politically-infused household filled with respectful discussion, I had no such experience. Growing up as any only child in a middle class family, my parents were entirely more focused on getting to work on time and making sure I made it to dance class. However, I do not see growing up in an apolitical household as a negative. Instead, I used this void to my advantage and took it upon myself to dive into the world of politics to learn and formulate opinions for myself.
I always found government and politics fascinating, so I started my journey by watching the nightly news and reading as many news articles as I possibly could. I made it a point to read and watch from a variety of papers and news networks, in order to see situations from different viewpoints and learn for myself who I tended to agree with most. Remaining open-minded is essential when learning about politics because it allows you to discover for yourself which viewpoints you naturally gravitate towards. When I first began this journey, I was unsure of what political party I most closely identified with and where I wanted to place myself on the political spectrum. However, I came to learn that I felt most closely aligned with the Republican Party and its values and ideologies seemed to be the right fit for me. Luckily, I chose a party that I have come to love and has allowed me so many invaluable opportunities to grow and meet many more like-minded individuals, much like the young women behind Future Female Leaders.
Since I’ve become so passionately involved in politics, many of my friends more interested in the subject and are eager to ask questions and learn more. It always warms my heart when I see a friend reading up on the news or when someone eagerly comes to me wanting to discuss the day’s top headlines. This extends past my friends as well. After watching me become so involved and passionate about politics, my parents have also become more knowledgeable and informed about politics and government, especially the ongoing presidential election. This has brought us closer and now we are able to have those fiery discussions that I have always found so interesting.
If you are someone like me and come from a background knowing very little about politics but find yourself extremely interested in the subject, I encourage you to take the plunge; you never know what the result could be! Politics may sometimes seem boring or drab, but I assure you the situation is the exact opposite. There is no better time to get involved than the present, especially during such a crazy and hectic election year! This is a great way to dive into such a fast-paced world, and this election is proof that politics is not all about old, white men. For the most part, candidates on the campaign trail are taking their stances on certain issues, many of which reflecting the position of their respective parties. This is a great way to learn where each party, and more specifically, where each candidate lies on an issue, and it can be a very helpful tool when deciding which party you most closely identify with.
I also need to stress the importance of formulating your own opinion on a topic, while learning all sides of a story. Solely relying on the advice or wisdom from friends, family or even newscasters or certain newspapers will prohibit you from fully enjoying your experience of learning about government and politics. Remaining objective is the best way to choose a party or formulate an opinion that you will remain confident being part of going into the unforeseeable future.
Growing up in a politically inactive family allowed me the opportunity to find a subject that I love and that I feel passionate about, while affording me the opportunity to meet new people. By taking charge and diving into something new, I was able to expand not just my own mind, but the minds of my friends and family as well.