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Focus on real issues when voting next week

On October 26, 2010

Even though we all have different backgrounds, morals and political associations, we all have a collective interest in a few political agenda items.

These items can affect us now and in the long term. No matter your age, everyone will be affected by health care reform.

Federal funding for college students is something that is also pertinent right now. If you have student loans, it will directly have an impact on you.

Like many children in America, most of our children will attend public school.

While the quality of our children's education will mostly depend on the teachers in the school system, the federal government does have some control.

The No Child Left Behind Act was drafted in 2001 and signed into law in 2002 and has had a big impact on how children are taught.

Billions of dollars have been invested into the No Child Left Behind Act since it became law but many question the results. Since the Act is based around standardized testing, many think this puts a restraint on how teachers teach and what students learn.

There have been talks about amending the act in the near future. This is an issue that may not concern college students now, however, in the years to come, it may be our top political priority.

Even though we are many years away from being eligible to collect social security, it is still important that we pay attention to what is happening with the money we are putting into the system now.

Just because we are putting money into Federal Social Security, that doesn't mean that money will be there for us to collect when it is time.

There have been many debates on how to ensure that there will still be funds available years down the road, but no promises are being made.

If we want to have the opportunity to have social security money like our grandparents, we need to let our legislators know how we feel on the situation. Our generation should not feel as if we are going to be worse off than our parents and grandparents.

These are important issues that should be taken to the polls versus superficial ones.

At the same time, we need to keep in mind that, for some of us, the people elected will still be in office when we graduate, and our concerns will change.

We need to not just think about issues that affect us now, as college students, but the issues that will affect us when we're paying off those student loans and trying to raise some kids and buy a house.

All things being connected, all sorts of issues are going to affect us somewhere down the line anyways.

Most of us haven't been voting very long. For some, this will be the first election they have had the opportunity to vote in. So inform yourselves early and get into the mode of researching candidates and their positions early.

Make informing yourself a habit and you won't end up being the person that always votes a one-party ticket.

And please, don't vote for someone because they happen to be attractive or charming. While you may think that's a bonus now, it won't be when they get a haircut.

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