Summer break is here, which means most students want to shut off their brains for three months before having to return to school. This obviously isn’t realistic. Most of us have things to do over the summer, such as more schooling, internships and volunteering, while also trying to stay informed on what is occurring in the world.
At Syracuse, I’ve always found it easy to be up to date on news and politics occurring around SU, the country and the globe. If you didn’t hear about something from a news source, you might hear it from your friends, a professor discussing it in a lecture, or from overhearing people in the dining hall. According to a study done at Northeastern, the most common way college students get their news is from interactions with their peers, whether that be online or face-to-face. So, how will this change when these interactions cease for 3 months?
Even local sources for news and campus activities are much quieter over the summer, including The Daily Orange, the Tab, SU’s magazine publications and campus emails. While social media will continue to be an easy way to stay updated, lots of people might want a more tangible way to access information that isn’t an Instagram infographic. Thankfully, there are several other ways to stay up to date on news and politics while away from college, even if you’re busy with other obligations.
Listen to a podcast
Podcasts are a really easy way to stay informed. You can listen to your favorite show while getting ready in the morning, on your drive to work or while getting ready for bed. Podcasts can be more entertaining than reading the news and can be really informative in just 15-20 minutes if you don’t want to dedicate large amounts of time to them. Some that have been recommended to me include NPR’s Left Right & Center, Ken Rudin’s Political Junkie, FiveThirtyEight’s show or John Dickerson’s show Whistlestop.
Subscribe to email newsletters
There are several news outlets that provide something along the lines of “10 most important things that happened today/yesterday” daily for subscribers. Most students look through their inbox daily out of habit, so it would be easy to see and consume news during your routine email check.
My personal favorite of these emails is The Week’s, a magazine that pulls information from several other newspapers and magazines and sends an email every morning entitled “10 things you need to know today” to my inbox. Their daily email informs me about international and domestic news by giving a brief summary of the issues. Daily newsletters are an easy way to skim through the headline events of the day without having to read a full article or trying to figure out what to prioritize through an app, such as the Wall Street Journal or New York Times apps.
Follow journalists/news sources on Twitter and Instagram
If you’re not into keeping up with a specific news source, you can instead follow journalists on Twitter for their thoughts and reporting on certain issues. Often, these sources have more personal takes and opinions, going into more depth about an issue you care about. If you’re not willing to pay for a newsletter subscription or an app, you can follow the outlets directly on Instagram for highlights of their top stories that day. For both of these tactics, your news can be mixed in with your social media content, which makes access easy.
Download a news app to keep up with current events
If you want to dedicate yourself to staying informed this summer, the best thing to do is download news apps on your phone. I currently have 7 news sources on my phone (Washington Post, NYT, NPR, PBS NewsHour, USA Today, WSJ and The Week), and if you enable notifications, you can tailor them to your interests. I now instantly receive breaking news updates or notifications for sports, the arts, business, and more. When you have extra time, you can go into the app and read the breaking news articles, an international story that didn’t make headlines or take a deep dive into articles about your niche interest.
Just because the semester is over, students should not stop being informed about the world and their community. Students should take advantage of all the information accessible at their fingertips.
Hannah Starorypinski is a sophomore political science major with a minor in public communication. Her column appears bi-weekly, and she can be reached at [email protected].
Published on May 15, 2022 at 7:46 pm