No, I Am Not Going To Tell You Who To Vote For.
Over the past month or so, I have found myself in the midst of many a political chat. Whether it be over dinner with friends, at work, or even on dates. In the lead up to the federal election this Saturday, the conversation generated by my peers about who they are voting for has been one that I often, accidentally, enter with a very opinionated point of view. People also often ask me who I am voting for, and sometimes even for a run down on the major parties, because they know I studied politics at university and show a keen interest in the matter. However, I have come to learn, that no one can tell someone how to vote. Despite this, I do believe that the candidate you vote for, who represents a party or set of political ideals and policies, is and should be a direct reflection of your beliefs and values as an individual.
I strongly believe that every vote counts - often the candidate you have numbered sixth on your ballot will dictate who exactly your vote ends up supporting on election night. This year, Australia has seen the highest enrolment of young voters ever, at 97% of eligible voters under 30 signing up to participate in democracy! A big pat on the back to us. Our generation has the power to really make a difference in this election, especially in inner-city seats. However, despite the high level of enrolment, the vast number of conversations I have had with friends has highlighted that a majority of people still don't know exactly how voting works (in terms of preference deals and the preferential voting system), and furthermore, aren't 100% convinced that they are voting for candidates that actually support their views.
My advice is this: instead of voting for whoever your parents vote for, or who you believe you 'should' vote for, or even voting for the leader you hate the least (they will likely change anyway with our current track record) vote for the candidate in your seat that is running for the party that best reflects and represents your views. How do you find out who that is you ask? There are a number of different online quizzes that take no more than five to ten minutes, such as this one by the ABC that will generate your very own political ideological chart. Trust me, you might be surprised by the results.
And if you are thinking 'I really don't care' about any of this at all? You clearly do a little because you read this entire post. Let's get voting people.
D for Degree of course! Bet all of you dirty minded people out there thought I was talking about something else. Like dishwashing detergent. Got you again. This is absolutely clickbait, my apologies. But hey, there's a first time for everything.
This is probably my least favourite question of all time.
The hot topic on everyones lips. It's the standard question that you get asked by your aunties and uncles, your bosses, and hell, we even ask each other. Every time I run into an old school friend, or find myself awkwardly chatting to a student that I kind of know from a broadening unit two years ago whose name I can't quite remember, I find myself falling into the trap, and asking them the exact question I know they do not want me to ask them.
You hear it at least once a day, or maybe you scroll past memes about it. 'Next year'. The topic has caught on faster than the Birkenstock rebirth. With so many of my friends graduating from their undergraduate degrees at the end of the year, including myself, it seems like a reasonable question to be asking. But no one seems to quite have the answer. There are so many routes I could go down. Further study? Year abroad? Euro trip? Move over east? Work in retail forever? Move out? Stay home? Save? Spend? Anything but get an actual, real life, adult job of course.
For me, there has always been a very clear, next step. From primary to middle to senior school. From high school straight into university. But no one quite prepares you for what comes next. For when we actually become 'adults'. Never have I ever not had a clue what my next step will be. In conversation with my friends, I discovered that many of them are struggling with the same conundrum. For as long as we can remember, our lives have been an endless cycle of essays, classes, exams and long awaited holidays, which we yearn for, which seem to fly by in what feels like days not weeks or months. And half the time, we waste our holidays complaining about how we are beyond bored and how much we wish were were back into the routine of university, until we are one week into the semester and are already falling behind.
At the end of this year, there are no more 'uni breaks' or 'school holidays' for many of us. That is it. We walk out of our final exam, into the real world. It's both terrifying and exciting at the same time. Because who ever really knows what the future holds? Some believe our paths are already determined for us, some believe we are the masters of our own fate, the captains of our own ship. I'm still not quite sure which category I fall into, and if you are reading this, I'm guessing you aren't either. All I know is that I'm only twenty, and within two months I would have written my final essay. Four different majors, two different universities and two different degrees later, I somehow will graduate on time. And I can't wait to see what the future holds.
But I am BAck and here to tell you all about it.