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On Staying Informed From Inside The Vanderbubble

Posted by on Sunday, March 13, 2016 in Academics, College Life, Communications, Culture, Diversity, Fall Break, Freshman Life, General Information, Nashville, Professors, Student Life, Studying, Teachers.

I recently arrived home for Spring Break (a much needed hiatus from the ever busy college life), so naturally my dad started poking at my opinions on the election. Slightly embarrassed, I told him I hadn’t done quite enough research to make an educated decision. Needless to say, I felt more than uninformed; I felt stupid. I realized it had been almost a week since I read the news.

Upon getting into Vanderbilt, I knew I was being invited into a pool of intellectual curiosity and new perspectives. What I didn’t realize was just how REAL the Vandy bubble is. The length of Commons to Branscomb becomes your comfortable community and your own little world. Even though we have all the resources at our fingertips, it’s easy to fall behind on current events and the outside world.

Here are some tips to stay up to date on world events in college without sacrificing too much of your coveted free time:

1. Follow news sources on social media.

Social media is a part of every college student’s life. At least for me, the first thing I do in the morning is check my newsfeed. Yes, I live for the videos of monkeys helping a puppy cross a river or the spring break beach pics, but Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter are the perfect places to follow the new source of your choice while keeping things time efficient. Just “like” the page and it will automatically pop up on your feed.

2. Subscribe to theSkimm.

If you’re tight on time and are often bored by traditional news reporting, subscribe to theSkimm. Each day around seven a.m., theSkimm sends an e-mail blast covering world events. It goes into entertainment, politics, and more in one e-mail. The best part is, the trained writers make the e-mail fun to read and seem like a conversation with friends. Also, it’s free!

3. Ask those around you about issues.

We’re in a think tank of diverse and intelligent individuals. Our professors are specialized experts in a plethora of topics, and our peers come from around the world. I believe that 90% of what you learn at Vanderbilt happens outside of the classroom. Asking your professors and peers about current events offers insights that you may not have previously explored. Don’t be afraid to learn.

4. Turn on the news once in a while.

Whether you prefer CNN, Fox, or Entertainment Television, turn on the news while you get ready in the morning or do your homework in the evening. Even if it’s in the background, you’re still digesting current events so that you won’t be awestruck when an interviewer (or your dad) asks your opinion on something.

5. Take it piece by piece.

If you’ve fallen far behind on news, it can be intimidating to catch up in one sitting. The worst thing to do is give up. Pledge to read one article a day, go to one news website, or watch one hour of news a day. By the end of the week, you’ll have a much better idea of what’s going on in the world around you.

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