In the past few presidential elections, I feel like obtaining the vote of young people, students especially, has been a major goal of each candidate. As a college student, many issues in this election will directly affect me.

Even more so, as a college woman, I feel like being educated in regards to my vote is essential. As a registered Democrat, I have strong feelings towards many current issues. However, I have respect for my fellow Republicans, Independents, and everyone in between. The only people I lack respect for are those who are apathetic towards voting and elections.

Voting is our right as Americans. We should be grateful every day that we live in a nation that not only allows us to vote, but encourages it! We have two candidates who are striving for our vote.

With the issues we have seen in Egypt and Syria, there is no reason that anyone won’t be voting next Tuesday. Or, hearing people claim that they dislike all presidential candidates, so they won’t be voting.

That is absurd.

First of all, you do not have to vote for the Democratic or Republican candidates. There are many others running that just do not get as much press.

Secondly, the proposals on the ticket are JUST as important in the election. The proposals will most likely affect your daily life more than the election of the president.

Also, your senators and representatives will be speaking and voting FOR YOU for the next two or four years. To me, that vote is more important than voting for the president. If I don’t vote, I have no right to complain about how issues are dealt with in Michigan.

That being said, the only thing worse than not voting, is voting without being educated about the issues. Voting without knowing what you’re voting for defeats the entire purpose of the process. When people are discussing their political views on Facebook (because we all know that’s the best way to change the world…) and claim their vote for Romney or Obama because “I’m a Democrat” or “Someone told me something dumb Romney said once”, I just feel disgusted.

The only reason you should vote, or not, for a candidate is because of YOUR feelings and beliefs, not what Johnny Red State said on a social network. Don’t allow yourself to be swayed by how others feel on the issues and candidates. Personally, I like to hear different points of view before I make my decision, but I also have to take everything I hear with a grain of salt.

Everyone knows how heated people can be when it comes to politics, so it’s always important to keep in mind your personal views so as to not get confused or influenced by incorrect or subjective information.

Since I am 20, this will be my first presidential election that I am able to vote in and I could not be more excited. I have watched all of the debates, spent much time researching all the proposals in non-partisan ways, and read a lot on the senators and representatives.

Although I am a Democrat, it’s VERY important to make sure that I agree with all the Democratic candidates before I vote.

I hope to see all of you at the polls next Tuesday well educated, excited to enact your right to vote, and ignoring all of the idiotic political claims on television and Facebook. This will be a legen-wait for it-dary election and we should all be excited and proud to be involved!