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Why teens should make an effort to follow the news

Photo by Lily Hultgren ’25
By regularly following the news, teens are able to stay more informed with what is going on in the world. Today, teens can have access to the news even on their phones, where they are able to view news articles, broadcasts and more from a variety of different publications.

Before my junior year, I honestly never kept up with the news. I had only a vague idea about some current events, especially because they often aren’t covered in our classes at school. While I was interested in current events, I didn’t put any effort into learning about them. I thought that the world was too chaotic and it would be too overwhelming to read article after article about crisis, conflict, messy politics and even more horrific and discouraging information.

However, as I embarked on my junior year, I found myself constantly surrounded by information and media about huge events that were happening at both the national and international levels: Kevin McCarthy was ousted from being Speaker of the House and later replaced by Mike Johnson, the Ukraine-Russia war was continuing to be fought, the Israel-Hamas war had begun and much more. It was impossible to avoid confronting these major and complicated issues. And so, to somehow make sense of it all, I decided to begin to read news articles on these topics.

I was surprised to find that the more I read and the more I became informed, the less overwhelmed I became. Not only did becoming more knowledgeable about current events help me navigate the world around me, but I also found myself gaining motivation to learn even more and motivation to take action on issues that I felt strongly about. 

Many teenagers, such as myself, were not as eager to engage in the news over the fear that the overwhelming amount of information, that is often difficult to process, would impact our mental health. Especially, with social media circulating news everywhere it can be difficult to process everything that is going on in the world. (Infographic by Lily Hultgren ’25) (Infographic by Lily Hultgren ’25)

Regularly checking the news online quickly became a habit. As of now, every day I look at articles on a variety of different current issues. I even started exploring different formats of news, like news on the radio and news podcasts.

Now, I can see that my choice to not engage with the news was a privilege that many cannot afford to stay ignorant on. For a countless amount of people, the issues discussed in the news are directly impacting them in a way that we might not be able to ever fully understand. But, to truly make a difference in the world, we have to take the steps to understand what is going on and understand others’ experiences and perspectives. That starts with being informed.

if teens can at least start putting in the effort to be more informed on current events, then we can be better equipped to navigate and improve the world together.

— Lily Hultgren ’25

It is a privilege that many of us can choose to stay ignorant, but that attitude has to change. Yes, the world is messy. It is brutal. It is overwhelming. It can be hard to read about. 

It is tempting to live in a bubble, protected from the chaos of the outside world. However, it is our duty as teenagers, the next generation who will soon share the responsibility of leading the world, to become engaged citizens. We can only do that once we start and continue to educate ourselves on what is happening all around us.

I am not saying that every second of your day should be consumed by the news and that you shouldn’t take any breaks from absorbing information, but if teens can at least start putting in the effort to be more informed on current events, then we can be better equipped to navigate and improve the world together.

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About the Contributor
Lily Hultgren '25, Paper Features Editor
For Paper Features Editor Lily Hultgren ’25, joining Inklings was an opportunity to improve her interpersonal skills and do something she loves in the meantime.  ““I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone and interview people I don’t know, which is something I get nervous about,” Hultgren said.  As a junior, a veteran now, in Inklings, she thinks that the organization has helped her push beyond these fears. She has definitely seen her own improvement.  “Having to constantly talk to new people for articles and for broadcasts has really helped me learn more about myself and other people.”

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