2016 marks the last year of President Obama's eight year term, which means that this coming November we will be choosing a new candidate to take his place.

While every voting citizen should be paying attention as we begin this important election year, young adults especially need to up their political game and be ready to make an informed decision come November.

We are being told time and time again that we are the future of this country and if that is the case, we need to act like it. Politics may not be the most exciting thing to follow, but it's important and it's real. The issues that these political candidates discuss are things that may affect us now or in the future, and it's imperative that we are well aware about what is going on in our country and that we have in a say in who is leading us.

According to an article from the Huffington Post in 2012, "voters from ages 18-29 represented 19 percent of all those who voted." Between 2008 and 2012, that number only increased by one percent, from 18 percent to 19 percent. That means that the other 81 percent of people who voted were people 30 and older.

But we are the ones who are the future of this country.

This year, we need to know what's going on. We need to watch debates, know each candidate's platforms, vote in the primaries and cast our ballot come November. We know from past elections (i.e. the 2000 presidential election between George W. Bush and John Kerry) that every vote counts; we all need to get to the polls.

If you aren't registered to vote yet, register now. According to registertovote.org, only 70 percent of Americans who are eligible to vote are registered; do not fall into the 30 percent that isn't voicing their opinion.

Watch the debates and familiarize yourself with each political party as well as each candidate and where they stand on all of the major issues, especially gun control, immigration and terrorism since those are three huge controversial topics right now. Be sure to do your own research and don't just believe something because one source says it's true. You can visit gop.com and democrats.org to learn more about each party, who is representing them and what they are saying about the important issues. Even if you lean more left or more right, it's still a good idea to know where each party stands just so you have all of the information in order to make an informed decision.

Be smart this election year. The future of this country is counting on us.