Being a student, living on campus makes it so easy to lose touch with the outside world.
I live in halls of residence and don't have a television. I also have very little structure to my evenings.
When I'm at home, the television is on all the time in the evening. We always eat dinner while the news is on and at 10pm, we turn over and put the news on again, just to see what's happened in those 4 hours. My dad will very often catch the news over 4 times a day: the breakfast show, 12 o'clock news, 6 o'clock news and the 10 o'clock news. And sometimes, if he can't find anything educational around midnight, he'll turn to BBC News 24 and watch that for a while.
But here I'm lucky if I look at the homepage of the BBC news website at least once a day, let alone read any of the articles. My evenings have no plans. Some days I'm out at societies, some days at the gym. Sometimes I spend the whole evening in another flatmates room watching Sun, Sex and Suspicious Parents or another educational, mind broadening program. But rarely do I sit down and think 'I'll watch the news, I'll catch up with what’s happening in the world'.
We are so isolated on this campus, we live in an insulated society where the external world rarely infiltrates and you have to go actively seeking it. I catch snippets of current affairs on the university radio but if I was to watch Have I Got News For You? I'd be absolutely oblivious. And I feel ashamed of that. I'm watching Question Time at the moment, incidentally filmed here this week, and each new topic raised I understand very little about. I really need to catch up on the news more.
|BBC 30 years of Question Time|
How can I argue that young people deserve the vote? I always argue that young people know enough about politics, are educated enough about the issues facing our country and the wider world, to be able to have their say in the elections. But I'm not doing anything that suggests this is true. If you asked me vote on which party I wanted in government, I would base my decision on 8 month old information. I don't know how the coalition has been dealing with events in the past few months. I don't have anything to base my decision on so why should I have any sway on the future of our country? I’d like to see my habits change so that I at least feel I can competently discuss the issues happening in the world.