Leila Zein-Phillipson | Torrey Pines High School Junior
“Voting for the first time was really exciting -- the best part was getting my own ‘I Voted’ sticker. I’ve waited for that for 18 years,” said Torrey Pines senior Sam Stafford.
For the weeks preceding the elections, Facebook and other social media websites overflowed with teen political debates and opinions. Some enthused teens sported bumper stickers on their cars and wore shirts to show support for their preferred candidate.
18-year-old seniors in the San Dieguito Union High School District (SDUHSD) were able to vote in this year’s election. However, those eligible to vote were not the only ones involved and interested in the elections.
Riley, 17, a senior although not able to vote in the elections, followed the debates and voiced her opinion. “I think it’s important to know what’s going on politically. The elections and the choice of president affects everyone, if not directly certainly indirectly.”
Students form their own political opinions based on class discussion, social media and as well from their parents. Parents’ political views often influence how their child thinks politically.
“I take after my parents because they subscribe to liberal media, so when I read that my views are tainted; I try and have my own opinion but it’s hard when you’re raised a certain way,” said Nathalie, a junior at Canyon Crest Academy (CCA) who enjoys getting involved in political debate via Facebook.
On the contrary, Tasha, a junior at Torrey Pines High School (TPHS), feels differently, “I’m underage and I can’t do much about the government, so I don’t like to get involved.”
Jake, founder of Conservative Club at TPHS, believes voting is a privilege, and although he was not able to vote, he was still passionate and campaigned for his preferred candidate. Jake feels it is important for teens to be involved in politics and form their own, personal opinions. “I evaluate my opinion from the facts presented to me through media, my personal experiences, my faith, and my business. I disagree with my parents’ political views on some topics,” said Jake.
Whether teens’ views are swayed by their parents or formed personally there is a certain pride that comes with the privilege to vote and to be involved politically even if one is not eligible to vote. Liberal, Conservative, undecided or not yet involved. The future is in the hands of the youth.
According to Franklin D. Roosevelt, “We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.”