Staff Editorial: Students’ connection to the world

With complicated world issues arising in Libya and other Middle Eastern countries and state issues concerning the adjustments to and the agenda of a new governor, adults have plenty of good topics to argue about. We high school students, too, have concerns about where our world is going, right? Maybe not. We aren’t uncaring people, but, as students, we’re sometimes sheltered from hard-hitting news. It’s like attending school has put us in a secluded bubble that we can’t see past in order to care about the “big issues.” Sometimes, we don’t even know what is happening on the outside at all.

Anyone can be well-informed, be it in suburbia or in a big city. But, for the students who spend seven hours each day in a classroom, worldly topics are often filtered out before they even reach our ears by topics that more closely concern us.

Maybe we feel that, as students, these “big issues” adults are always concerned about may not directly affect us, and so our concern is lacking. These issues are affecting the very world we live in and we just accept it as normal, not noticing the effects on us.

We just hear from our parents a little of what’s happening in snippets at dinner or around the house; rather than reading or watching the news, our outlet for information is Facebook. The information we get is something every one of our friends will care about: information that is tailored to us. True, this information gained from random Facebook statuses is relevant to us, but this knowledge is not exactly necessary for us to understanding our changing world.

How often is there a status update about the freedoms being restricted by governments in the Middle East or new legislation passed in Ohio? The truth is we don’t know because we don’t read those kinds of statuses; we don’t get that kind of information.

We hear about the difficult homework in chemistry class or about a classmate’s weekend vacation because those are the issues that visibly affect us. We have the opportunity to obtain any information that we want through the Internet, yet we set Facebook as our home pages instead of CNN.com. Why? Because Facebook gives us information about us and our friends: seemingly important things.

Outside of our school lives an ever-changing world that we miss because we remain sheltered in the confines of our high school.

When there’s a violent suppression of protestors in Libya, we hear about it surely, but there’s so much distance between us and the heart of the conflict that we don’t think it will affect us. The information goes ignored. Few of us even realize that filling up our cars with gas is more expensive and can be traced to the conflict in Libya. Ohio Governor John Kasich is making many changes to our state, including legislation regarding job creation, abortion legislation and various policies regarding education and workers’ rights. Our world is changing, a world that we will eventually have to become a part of, and we don’t even realize it. Our schooling remains the same despite the radical changes happening overseas and pending state legislation, for the most part.

High school is said to be a time to concentrate on grades and athletics. It’s about reaching milestones and “finding ourselves.” We do homework, play school sports and, the rest of the time, we’re either sleeping or in class. If something isn’t directly affecting our school lives, then it’s likely we won’t even know it’s even happening. All of these things keep us trapped under rocks where we cannot relate to the news that is really affecting us.

It’s not that we don’t care, it’s just that we’re uninformed. We keep track of our own homework schedules, practice schedules and personal agendas, along with our friends’.

In a matter of years, we will enter a world that is constantly changing. Because of our packed schedules, we stick to retaining the information that seems to directly impact us, sometimes ignoring some of the most important changes in our community and our world.