A lot of students seem to think that because they have their degree, they need not require any more learning. This is not true, no matter what stage of your degree you are in, you should continue to keep your mind active. One of the ways this can be done is by staying up to date with current affairs. There are multiple benefits in doing this. Staying aware of what’s happening in the world around you is an attractive trait for employers, but it also helps you to be a better person.
However, staying up to date with current affairs doesn’t just mean watching the latest series of Brooklyn nine nine (although it is great). There needs to be a greater awareness of what’s happening with the government, the law, and even the weather. I’m not saying you need to be an expert in every area but showing you’re aware of specific events is important particularly if they may impact your day to day life.
We should be aware that we are in a privileged position where we can access media freely. By using our position as students, and employees to keep ourselves and others educated, we can ensure that information is not restricted, and problems are more easily understood. A prime example of the importance of staying up to date is the recent news about the fires in the Amazon rainforest. I first heard about them on social media and it was only a few days later that BBC news started reporting them. There we have two different methods of getting information. There are different ways ofaccessing information and they will each offer a different viewpoint.
For example, you can download a news app, the BBC one is very reputable and sends updates straight to your phone, but there’s also apps like The Guardian or even The New Yorker if you want to pay a subscription. Most phones have a news feature incorporated but it is better to have another app available just to receive different points of view. The wider variety of sources you have leads to a more well-rounded view of current events. This can be done whenever you have a spare moment to catch up – or possibly first thing in the morning when you are scrolling in bed.
Podcasts are another way of gaining different viewpoints in an accessible way. It’s also something different to listen to on your walk to University in the morning than the Mamma Mia soundtrack. This will also help you to stay alert and ready for the learning environment. They’re also very useful for fitting in to any part of your day, such as working out at the gym and using a commute time. Even just listening to a podcast regularly can help your view of the world to be broadened.
Social media is one of the more accessible ways students can widen their viewpoint. Instagram and Facebook both have lots of options for students to follow news and up to date articles. The problem with these is that the source of the news is not always reputable. This is related to the fake news scandal that happened with Facebook. When you see articles or news on facebook don’t take it at face value, always double check.
My last option for accessible news could be considered old fashioned, but there’s been a comeback in magazines and newspapers. Actual physical newspapers. These come at many different levels from a local community newsletter to a city paper to one that covers all world events. These are beneficial because it forces you to have the time to read them perhaps over breakfast, or in the evening before bed. Catching up on the day is a very important job everyone should do, no matter the way that you choose.
Why it’s important
Employers prefer people who stay up the date with current affairs because it shows that you are not just focused on one subject area, you are a more well-rounded person. The best thing about this is it doesn’t take much time and once you start the rest of the habit will form.
Obviously, some careers require an up to date knowledge of current events such as a journalist or a presenter, but no matter what area you go in to, your job will involve working with other people. These other people will have their own opinions and thoughts and when encountering people who may disagree with you, it is important that you can back up your opinion with examples. This can only be done by staying aware.