Opinions: Nayak knows: Talking politics


I always have the latest news on-hand thanks to news apps on my cell phone. Whenever I find an article of interest, I love collecting more opinions from my closest friends: Valerie Carrizales, Morgan Fryman, me, Chloe Lozano and Nicole Breer (12).

On a routine Saturday night, I can be found at Chloe Lozano’s (12) house surrounded by seven or eight of my best friends for a sleepover. We all find a comfy position in her basement, whether it is settled on her couch or snuggled in a sleeping bag. I can be found nestled in a pile of blankets and pillows, my make-shift bed every time I sleep over at Chloe’s house.

While we do have the stereotypical teenage girl conversations about boys, college stress, friend drama and beauty tips, we usually spend the majority of our time talking about politics.

Our conversations are not exactly the civil back-and-forth I would find at one of my parent’s dinner parties. We basically scream at each other but in a nice way. The group of us shouts and yells at unnecessary decibels out of excitement not anger.

I know that’s a bit contradictory, but it’s true. We aren’t actually fighting, as an outside observer might assume. In fact, we all agree with each other on the majority of major issues.

It’s important to be familiar with issues of interest in the country. Part of being a responsible adult is taking the time to educate myself, which involves getting other opinions.

Most of us don’t have the knowledge to back up any economic assertions, so social issues (like marriage equality or gun rights) are normally the topics of choice. And when economic concepts are brought up we normally talk about the wealth gap instead of taxation or federal budget.

Our political ideologies overlap most of the time, but not always.

When differences in opinion rise to the surface the atmosphere may become a bit awkward, but we all mean well, in general. I welcome opposing opinions just to bring diversity into our discussions. I mean, how egocentric of me would it be to think that my opinion is always the right opinion. Listening to others is how I keep myself honest.

I’m in my element when I’m around my closest friends. I feel open to express my personal justifications for different issues. Although my friends and I do agree the majority of the time, our disagreements don’t cause hostility like one would think.

One’s political ideas are founded in the way he/she was raised. While my parents don’t normally discuss politics at the dinner table, they have imparted values in me that have shaped my outlook on society.

My interest in politics was sparked by AP Government but has survived thanks to a mutual interest within one of my friend groups. They motivate me to actually take the time to learn about various issues concerning the government and politics.

I’ve become addicted to my “USA Today” app. I love reading “TIME Magazine.” I just want to make sure that I know what I am talking about.

I want to major in Political Science. The formation of varying beliefs just fascinates me, and I hope to be able to explore trends within the nation in that respect.

Most people shy away from touchy social issues in fear of being judged, but I’m ready and willing to talk to anyone who will listen and offer a response. Part of being an informed citizen is understanding contrasting viewpoints, so I guess a little friendly debate is healthy. 

We are all going to gain the right to vote after turning 18, so we might as well become familiar with the issues concerning our nation.

When I tell some friends who aren’t a part of the sleepover conversations that I regularly discuss politics I get a mix of perplexed expressions and raised eyebrows. Political debates are not the usual passtime among Americans in general let alone teenagers. I’m okay with being unusual here. This extracurricular activity helped me decide what I want to do with my life.

Maybe in college I’ll join a political activist group or a discussion group. But for now I am perfectly content divulging my political outlook surrounded by the comfort of my closest friends.

Disclaimer: I chose to omit the specifics of my political beliefs so I am not speaking for my family and friends just myself.