Four Ways to “Pop” the College Bubble

Before going to college, it was fairly easy to stay up-to-date on current events. My parents watched the news, subscribed to newspapers, and would discuss important topics with me. When I moved away to attend college last year, I was blind to the possibility of being trapped in the “college bubble.” It wasn’t until a friend admitted to me that she didn’t know who any of the Republican presidential candidates were that I realized how little I knew about the upcoming election. And I soon realized that this “college bubble,” or the separation between the real world and the campus world, didn’t stop at politics. Although I was continually learning and studying new topics, I knew very little about current events and the world around me. I didn’t even have time to keep up with the Kardashians, as I hardly took the time out of my day to turn on my tiny  TV. And, with the absence of radio, I even found myself out of touch with the music world.

With this realization, my roommate and I formed a new years resolution. We decided that we would watch the news for a half hour every day, and try to be “well-informed citizens,” as we liked to call our future selves. Our resolution lasted a couple of months, but because we were so busy being full-time students, it became harder and harder to find time to watch each day. I soon became lost in the “college bubble” once again. But this time, I was prepared to escape it. With these four simple steps, it was easy for me to stay well informed about the world and my university, minus the commitment my new year’s resolution entailed:

  • I began to pick up a copy of the University’s student newspaper each day
  • I set my internet homepage to the official website of a news source that I trusted (in my case, the Chicago Tribune)
  • I downloaded the “NYTimes” app on my phone and enabled alerts for breaking news stories
  • I followed reputable news sources on Twitter (CNN, Wall Street Journal, the local paper, the News-Gazette, and yes, even E! online for those darn Kardashians).

Suddenly, it was easy to stay up-to-date on the news. Whenever I signed onto my Twitter, opened up my internet browser, or flipped through a copy of the “Daily Illini,” I read the headlines and had the option of reading the full article later, when I had the time. I had successfully popped the bubble.

While going to college, it can be easy for students to become so involved with campus life that they are unaware of anything happening beyond it. It can be very difficult to keep a worldly perspective while so many fun events, interesting people, and challenging classes beg for your attention. Despite this, it is important to make a conscious effort to remain well informed. When you escape the “college bubble,” you’re adding to your own intelligence. Trapped inside, well, you may get some weird looks when you ask, “Mitt who?”

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Emma Weissmann

Emma Weissmann

Emma Weissmann is a sophomore at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign pursuing a degree in News-Editorial Journalism with an interdisciplinary minor in Leadership Studies. Emma enjoys traveling, trying new foods, and snuggling up on the couch with her cat, “Louie.” She also spends her time volunteering and hanging out with family and friends.
Emma Weissmann

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