Media Literacy Is The Key To Being A More Socially Responsible Young Adult

Media Literacy Is The Key To Being A More Socially Responsible Young Adult

An informed and knowledgeable student makes for a socially responsible and aware young adult.

Living on a college campus it can be so easy to close yourself off from the rest of the world. Ignoring the rest of the world, our lives seem to go on in our own “college bubble.” But for the rest of the world, breaking news doesn’t include “Susie and Matt from Beta hooked up” or “I heard Sara is officially blacklisted.”

It’s important, as young adults and the future of America, to look beyond our campus’ and see the realities of the world we live in today. There is certainly a lot going on at any given moment, and contrary to popular belief, the majority of current events impact us college kids more than we may believe.

What is the most terrifying is that instead of turning to credible news stations, students and young adults are learning about and forming opinions on news based on click-bait and independent sources on social media. How can a generation who forms opinions based on bias news and unreliable, independent sources form meaningful opinions and create conversation about current events in today’s society?

Media literacy is formally defined by the Center for Media Literacy as, “a framework to access, analyze, evaluate, create and participate with messages in a variety of forms — from print to video to the Internet. Media literacy builds an understanding of the role of media in society as well as essential skills of inquiry and self-expression necessary for citizens of a democracy.” Colleges flourish with so many different types of media and using these resources to connect with others and expand our minds way beyond individual Universities helps us grow as future leaders.

Since media is such a huge part of society today, students need to stay up to date and use media to their advantage. While it is easy to get caught up in the daily life on campus, students need to remember that there is a big world out there. Media gives us a bigger picture of what’s happening in the world, and how it can affect us individually.

The Center for Media Literacy states that, “Media literacy, therefore, is about helping students become competent, critical and literate in all media forms so that they control the interpretation of what they see or hear rather than letting the interpretation control them.” So next time you are scrolling through Twitter, make an effort to follow a few news organizations instead of “Common White Girl” or “Total Frat Move.” Take time out of the day to read and interpret the news you see and form opinions based on what you believe.

The next time you grab a cup of coffee and open your laptop in the morning, take a few minutes to turn to any news source you prefer (I find ABC and NBC news to be the most credible and reliable) and read or watch the headlines for the day. When you see important events going on that will impact you, it’s important to form an opinion on it, but only after doing thorough research on both sides of the topic. When conversations arise about controversial current events, use it as an opportunity to grow in your understanding of the issue before closing yourself off to any new information.

Media literacy promotes the ability to learn through different means available and conversation sparks movement toward a greater understanding of both parties. Media literacy and educated conversation should be promoted and flourish amongst the young adults of today’s society, especially on college campus. After all, an informed student makes for a socially responsible and aware young adult.

Cover Image Credit: Wilfred Iven

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To All Incoming Freshmen, When You Get To College, Please Don't Be THAT Freshman

I am pretty sure we all know who I'm talking about.


As we are all counting down the days to return to campus, students are looking forward to meeting new people and reuniting with old friends. And then, there is the freshman.

We have all been there. The eagerness and excitement have been slowly building up through months of summer vacation, all waiting for this moment. I understand the anxiousness, enthusiasm, and insecurities. The opportunity to meet new people and explore a new area is very intriguing. But let's be real, you are here to make memories and get an education. So here are a few pieces of advice from a former college freshman.

1. Don't be that freshman who follows their significant other to college

This is the boy or girl who simply can not think for themselves. The 17-year-old puts their own personal goals and interests aside to sacrifice for a six-month high school relationship. This will more than likely end at an end of semester transfer after the relationship has been tested for a month or two in college life. So if you want to really enjoy your freshman year, make your own decisions and do what is best for you.

2. Don't be that freshman who lets their parents pick their major

"You are not going to school just to waste my money."

This is a statement you might have heard from your parents. As true as it might seem, this is definitely not a good way to start your college years. If you are not majoring in something you can see yourself doing, you are wasting your time. You can major in biology, go to medical school, and make the best grades. But if deep down you don't want to be a doctor, you will NOT end up being a good doctor. When it comes to picking your major, you really have to follow your heart.

3. Don't be that freshman who gets overwhelmed with the first taste of freedom

Yes. It is all very exciting. You don't have a curfew, you don't have rules, you don't have anyone constantly nagging you, but let's not get carried away. Don't be the freshman who gets a tattoo on the first night of living on your own. Don't be the freshman who tries to drink every liquor behind the bar. Don't be the freshman who gets caught up being someone that they aren't. My best advice would be to take things slow.

4. Don't be that freshman who starts school isolated in a relationship

I'm not telling you not to date anyone during your freshman year. I am saying to not cut yourself off from the rest of the world while you date someone. Your first year on campus is such an amazing opportunity to meet people, but people are constantly eager to start dating someone and then only spend time with that person.

Be the freshman who can manage time between friends and relationships.

5. Don't be that freshman who can't handle things on their own

It is your first year on your own. Yes, you still need help from your parents. But at this point, they should not be ordering your textbooks or buying your parking pass. If you need something for a club or for class, YOU should handle it. If you're having roommate problems, YOU should handle it, not your parents. This is the real world and college is a great time for you to start building up to be the person you want to be in the future, but you can't successfully do that if your parents still deal with every minor inconvenience for you.

6. Don't be that freshman who only talks to their high school friends

I know your high school was probably amazing, and you probably had the coolest people go there. However, I believe that college is a great time to be on your own and experience new things. Meeting new people and going to new places will allow you to grow into a more mature person. There is a way to balance meeting new friends and maintaining friendships with childhood friends, and I am sure you will find that balance.

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