作者：北美考试教学中心 托福写作组 崔国花
Some parents and educators worry that students today seem to care little about anything but entertainment. The alienation of the young from social issues, as critics warn, will not only impede individual development but also harm society as a whole. However, in my opinion, students today are more interested in politics than their counterparts in the past.
To begin with, it is easier for young people to access political news than their counterparts decades ago. Due to the unprecedentedly prevailing modern media, everyone is highly exposed to a large amount of information about politics. Once a person hears about certain issues several times, interest in them will be generated spontaneously. For instance, my brother, like most middle school students, seldom searches for international news on purpose. However, such stories and reports come into his sight in one way or another. Sometimes he asks questions about political activities trending on Twitter or Instagram. When other family members fail to answer his question, he might search for answers online or turn to his teachers. This is less likely to happen in the past. Most people would only get information from the media they chose. Thus, it is not surprising to see that the lack of knowledge and understanding in politics easily disengaged students’ interest in politics.
Besides, students today are more involved in politics than ever before. In recent years, many schools, especially esteemed ones, pay more emphasis on instilling citizenship and global awareness. Related courses are set and political activities are organized. Therefore, young people have more chances to be engaged in such fields. Take Model United Nations as an example. Students are required to present countries and their positions in a made-up General Assembly. In MUN, each representative will study certain topics, figure out their countries’ stands, and defend their countries in debate with other representatives. During the preparation, participants will accumulate a large amount of knowledge about how a country makes decisions. When debating, the representatives will understand the difficulties and glories of politicians. All these can push young people to consider politics from different perspectives. Then, it is not uncommon to see they are more willing to talk about political issues. On the contrary, however, most students in the past were excluded from politics. There were fewer such political activities for the young to learn and practice politics. Insufficient opportunities to engage in politics also made their interest in such a field vanish.
All in all, I think today’s students are more interested in politics because they know more about it and are more engaged in it.