Political disillusionment is a common sentiment among college-aged people. Because of this, it may feel exhausting and frustrating to have a stake in the current political climate. Many of the problems facing our country are not only issues that young people haven’t had a hand in creating, but also ones that they haven’t had a hand in voting on until recently. Coupled with political polarization and division, many wonder why would they involve themselves in unsolvable controversy anyway.

Averse feelings to the political atmosphere is justified, but it’s important to distinguish the difference between disillusionment and disengagement. A failure to engage in the issues that matter personally, as well as those that affect the rest of the community, are a waste of opportunity and can have more severe consequences later on.

Political inactivity contributes to and reinforces many of the concerns of those representing the politically disillusioned. This includes deciding not to be informed, deciding not to engage in tough conversations and deciding not to vote. All collectively work to increase polarity.

Misinformation and ignorance go hand in hand with the partisanship — the less you know about a subject, the more likely people are to make uninformed decisions about it and refer to the more tribal sides of the argument rather than the most rationally considered.

People are more likely to feel disillusioned by a system if they see a bureaucracy doing nothing for them. Yet how is a system able to do right by its people when engagement and interest from its constituency is low?