Sometime it's hard to find an opinion about anything relevant. It takes hours of scouring viable and "trustworthy" news stations and websites to get a grip on what happened over the course of the week, especially close to midterms when we typically lose track of what day it is and begin functioning on caffeine and the steady schedule of our classes. The most I could garner from this week was an upset Big Bird, a very confusing situation on campus (again), and the fact that voters didn't care that much about the presidential debate, because they ended up favoring the same candidate they had liked in the first place.
As a society, our lack of attention to critical details concerns me. Yes, PBS can seem like a waste of space, but I have a lot of good childhood memories learning about numbers and letters from "Sesame Street." When you learn the actual miniscule percentage of the national budget dedicated to PBS, it's difficult not to question why anyone is worrying about it instead of the bigger issues at hand, such as Social Security going straight down the toilet. Maybe we've all just finally admitted that Social Security for our generation is a non-existent notion, or perhaps that we don't like looking at the grand scheme of things because of how scary it is. Instead, let's pick on a station that I would rather let kids watch over a movie about cars turning into huge machines or a cartoon about a baby who loves to bash his parents.
As for the situation on campus, all I can do is hang my head. It's hard as a student to know that there has been a great deal of negative attention directed at my university over the past couple of years. From the time I first set foot on this campus until today, UT has undergone the most insane period of publicity that I have ever heard of, sans Penn State. Where are the "Big Ideas" and why are they not on the front pages of newspapers and headlines on the nightly news broadcasts? As a major institution known nationwide, the continual cycle of lying, cheating, firing, and restarting will continue to damage our national image in the long run. Something has to give. Someone has to change, and I don't think it's the coaches we're playing hot potato with.
Finally, the election is now less than a month away and I don't hear any talk about it on campus. I hear even less from people my age. This could be because UT is located in a prominently conservative area of our country and students are less likely to speak out in favor of one candidate or the other, aside from well-placed political bumper stickers. How many of you attend the Republican or Democratic student clubs on campus? Do we even have an Independent club? Does anyone even care? Why are we such an apathetic group of college students? I'm blaming myself, too, as I have never made the time to attend one of these clubs. However, I'll be voting and I know I am well informed on my decision. I'm voting on my own personal future and what I think will be the best for me and my future family as a college graduate fighting for my own version of an American dream. Are you informed? If you aren't, what does it hurt to become informed? It's a great way to kill time when you should be studying, because you know, these decisions are actually going to affect you and your future as an adult. It's time to form an opinion.
— Kayla Graham is a senior in English literature. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.