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COLUMN: Liberate yourself from your apathetic attitude

By Casey Saxton
On March 17, 2014

You couldn’t care less, right? If you’re an average college student, that’s a true statement. It drives me absolutely crazy that so many students are so apathetic toward things that matter. Of course, we all have our interests and hobbies that we actively engage in, but when it comes to the more “boring” issues, we all have a tendency to just tune out.

Stop it.

Stop tuning out. Our generation will never have the say or influence we deserve if you’re tuned out. You will never make an impact on anything if you don’t start to care.

A recent example on campus that proves to me that we have an apathetic student body is the poor turnout to USU President Stan Albrecht’s “Truth in Tuition” meeting he held a couple weeks ago. There were only a handful of students who attended. Do you care about your tuition dollars? Probably. The problem is that you probably don’t really care enough to attend a meeting to ask questions and speak up about it.

I know you probably consider yourself an adult, especially now that you’re in college, so it’s time to start acting like one.

Start caring about tuition. Start caring about education policy. Start caring about government and politics. Start caring about the welfare of others. Start caring about your future. Imagine how much better USU would be than it already is if all of our students actually cared. In order to liberate yourself from your apathetic attitude, I propose three steps:

— Step 1: Change Your Attitude

If you’re going to start caring about all of these “adult” things, you’re going to have to change your attitude. You need to first realize that things you might not be very interested in can actually have a huge effect on your life. You don’t need to be interested in it; you simply need to understand how things can affect you. Remember how elections week was just a few weeks ago? Remember how you didn’t vote (props to you if you did)? If your attitude reflected your pocket book, everyone on campus would have voted. Our student government manages a budget of more than $1 million each year that comes from the student fees you pay. Don’t tell me it doesn’t matter.

— Step 2: Speak Up

Once you’ve changed your attitude, it’s time to speak up. The world will never change and you will never have an impact on anything if you don’t open your mouth. Speak up about the issues that affect you. Speak up with questions you have. Speak up when you see something that is wrong. Speak up when you see good things happening. The trick to speaking up is being educated on the issues. If you’re educated on the issues, your voice will be credible; likewise, if you’re not educated on what you’re speaking up about, you won’t be taken seriously. There are many ways to speak up; you just have to be willing to do it.

— Step 3: Get Involved

Once you’ve spoken up, get involved. The world is run by people who show up and get involved. It’s not hard. If you’re concerned about Logan City’s parking rules around campus, go to a Neighborhood Council or City Council meeting and speak up. Call the mayor. Run for office. The possibilities about getting involved with things that impact you are endless. You might not even be initially interested in some things, but getting involved can spark interest and stir passion. You won’t be disappointed if you do get involved, and you may even begin to realize you can have an impact; you can be an agent of change. Just remember that nobody ever changed anything by doing nothing.

Casey Saxton, a senior majoring in business administration, serves as the Public Relations and Marketing director for the USU Student Association. He can be reached at ususa.pr@usu.edu or in TSC 332A . Follow Casey on Twitter at @caseysaxton.

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