Zareen Wajid, Talent Acquisition Specialist
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Election day occurs the Tuesday following the first Monday in November. Yeah…Thank goodness, it’s just words we have to decipher and not a complicated calculus equation. Regardless, on that day, voters report to pre-determined polling locations and cast their ballot for various public officials. Now remember, United States is a constitutional federal republic, meaning that U.S. citizens elect public officials and these officials represent U.S. citizens’ needs and concerns. That’s kind of a big deal if you can’t tell. So naturally, people aren’t waking up on Election Day thinking “yeah I’ll bubble in C all the way down” or “I’ll just copy the ballot choices from the guy next to me” or “I will choose the longest name because it’s more likely the correct answer”. Don’t send villagers with pitchforks after me, but this may be something that high school and college students may be doing on exams, while choosing majors, etc.

Ahem…so without further ado, here are some lessons students can learn from Election Day:

    1. The importance of Deadlines. Not sure if you know, but you have to register to vote. If you are registered to vote in Dallas, Texas, then that is the only place where you can vote as that’s how your precinct and polling location is determined. Obviously, there is a deadline to register. If you don’t register by that deadline, then you will have to wait until the next Election Day. Similarly, high school students have college application deadlines, scholarship deadlines, assignment and exam deadlines. College students have internship application deadlines, FAFSA deadlines, classes registration deadlines, and of course, assignment and exam deadlines. You must plan accordingly to meet and/or beat these deadlines. Otherwise, you missed your chance and will have to wait until next time. And, that’s a bummer!
    2. The importance of Researching and Making Informed Decisions. Voters must do their research on the candidates that are running for office. They must consider the issues that the candidates are challenging, as well as the candidate’s party platform. Then, in accordance to their research, voters cast their ballots. Similarly, high school and college students must do their research prior to “casting a vote” for which college to attend or for what loans and financial aid to accept. They must also do their research on what major to study- finding the job outlook for that major, industry trends, soft and hard skills needed, the length of time in school for a certain profession, etc. There’s a quote I recently read that sums up the which-major-to-choose-pandemonium: “choose a major you love and you’ll never work a day in your life because that field probably isn’t hiring”. As explicated, you must do your research when choosing a major if you want to get a job upon graduation. Students must also do their research when applying for internships and jobs- research about the company and the position. Only then can students write well-crafted resumes and do well on interviews. Only then can students make informed decisions, and be ready to face actual challenges (that life gladly likes to volunteer you for).
    3. The importance of Utilizing Your Resources. Voting for a candidate is far more than just bubbling the box next to a person’s name. That candidate you are voting for is representing you. This means that potentially you are welcome to contact this person once he/she is elected and voice your concerns. Furthermore, even prior to the election, you can be a part of the campaign and the candidate’s platform. Is there a social, economic, religious, etc issue that needs to be addressed? Well, who better to address it to then the person that represents you? Yep, being a well-informed citizen allows you to utilize your resources appropriately. Similarly, high school and college students must also utilize their resources. Students select to attend a university for its theatre programs, its advanced biology labs, its fees, its connections with alums and large companies etc, and so, they should utilize those resources. They must make connections, expand their network, and continuously learn. Being able to utilize your resources is the single most important concept for high school and college students (and everyone else, by the way). That’s how you land a job (aside from graduating of course).

Well, there you have it. If you are 18, I hope you are voting on Election Day for you and your community’s future. Similarly, if you are in college, I hope you are “voting” for your future success and your community’s betterment.