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Dec 08 2015
by Adrian Thomas

5 Issues That Will Define Our Generation

By Adrian Thomas - Dec 08 2015

Us millennials in college have an exciting time ahead of us. We have grown up and live in a world with unprecedented advances in technology which has lead to an increase in global connectivity but at the same time has occurred while other major issues confront society. Whether they are good or bad, these issues and phenomenons and how our generation handles them in the future will ultimately determine how we are defined and leave our mark on history.  

The Telegraph

1. Climate Change

We all have heard the term "global warming" ever since we can remember. The facts are there and it's an issue that isn't going away any time soon. More and more we are hearing about politicians bringing this issue to the table, which has caused increased debate between supporters of initiatives to combat climate change, and climate change deniers. According to a University of Texas Austin poll, sixty-eight percent of voters under the age of 35 stated that in the 2014 mid-term elections, they were likely to vote for a candidate who supported reducing carbon emissions. This suggests that climate change is definitely an important issue when it comes to younger voters. It's safe to say that climate change is going to be a major talking point for elections in the future, so it's an issue worth knowing about, no matter what side of the aisle you are on. 

Associated Press

2. Foreign and Domestic Terrorism 

It's a sad fact of reality, but for us in college we have grown up witnessing one tragic attack after another, and combatting terrorism on the domestic and foreign level is very much at the highest priority of national security especially with the recent attacks in Paris and in San Bernardino, California. Ever since 9/11, terrorism has been an important issue for politicians to confront on the domestic level with more gun control measures, and on the international level with trying to stop the influence of terrorist groups. Within the United States, gun control is an issue that will be a talking point in the political realm in the future. According to the Pew Research Center, around half of millennials believe in the importance of gun control over Americans' right to own guns. As you can see, it's an extremely divided issue, and it is important to take gun control into account because due to the various tragedies in recent years, gun control is and going to continue to be a highly contested issue.

3. Globalization

This century has witnessed the rise of a new era of globalization with more nations around the world developing into industrial-based, consumer societies. The world is becoming more connected economically, which means trade barriers are coming down and more jobs are being created. There are many pros and cons of globalization, and you can find a list of them here. The major issue that globalization is going to bring about for students in college right now, however, is the fact that many companies are shifting their employment to countries where they can pay workers much less in wages and produce goods at a cheaper price. While it's a positive phenomenon that more countries around the world are able to enjoy the benefits of industrialization, it is going to create a higher demand for jobs globally and make job markets more competitive. 

Jeff Koterba via timesunion 

4. Political Partisanship

Current college students have witnessed a few elections in their lives so far, and it does not take a political expert to know that currently, American politics is extremely divided over ideologies and other issues. According to the Pew Research Center, political partisanship is deeper than it ever has been in the last twenty years. Although we are not the ones running the country just yet, it raises the question as to what the political climate will be like when our generation begins to run and hold public office. Currently, we see the government at a stalemate over various issues, and presidential elections like the one happening know where party support on both sides is extremely adamant. Our generation can start determining the political climate right now by voting, but should definitely keep in mind what is at stake in the future before casting a ballot.  

Marketing Land

5. Social Media 

All of us have witnessed the development of social media tools in our lifetimes, and some forms of social media have become integral parts of who we are. We have essentially grown up with tools that have allowed us to consume information and connect with others faster than any generation in human history, so what does that mean for the future of this phenomenon? Will it make us less social as some studies suggest? Will it cause older forms of technology to evolve or new forms of technology to develop? Whether you're on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. or not, social media is going to be an immense part of our generation and future generations to come. 

Lead Image Credit: USA Today College 

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Adrian Thomas - Boston University

Adrian Thomas is a student at Boston University majoring in broadcast journalism and minoring in Spanish. He enjoys traveling, playing tennis, and obsessing over high-end coffee. Follow him on Twitter @AdrianBThomas or on Instagram @adrianb_thomas.

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