As I look forward to graduating from Harvard-Westlake and entering my adult life, I realize that I am completely unprepared to be a voting citizen. The 2016 presidential election is approaching and most of the graduating class will be eligible to vote. However, I suspect that I am not alone when I feel that I am unprepared to vote next year as a college freshman.
After pondering this subject for some time, I began to see that I felt completely unprepared to be a voting adult. Sure, I have a basic understanding of the voting process and its importance. However, when it comes to the details of the voting process and how one goes about voting, I feel lost. From becoming a registered voter in a party to receiving mail-in ballots to following the candidates in an election, I have a general understanding of these aspects of voting, but not nearly enough information as I want to have before I graduate.
I feel that Harvard-Westlake should provide more opportunities and encouragement for students to become educated about civics before they depart.
Whether this is through taking AP Government or a week-long informal class at the end of senior year, each student should leave high school with adequate information about how they can fulfill their role as an eligible voter. Students should emerge from Harvard-Westlake as active participants in the governments, able to make informed decisions when they vote.
Although the Harvard-Westlake community is connected and involved off of campus, this may not be the case on the college campuses where seniors will find themselves next year. It seems every two years news stations report the shockingly high number of people who do not vote even though they are eligible. By becoming educated voters, we have the opportunity to challenge these numbers.
As the 2016 presidential campaign begins to get media coverage, it becomes more apparent to me that the responsibility to be an active voter is looming.
Rather than brush off voting until the next election or voting for the candidate my parents vote for, I want to be confident in my ability to establish my own beliefs and make them known through the voting process. I hope all other students have the same desire as well.