RACHEL EDGE: Brexit sparked young people's political passions

Student Shout is the new weekly column by journalism students at Highbury College.

Tuesday, 17th October 2017, 11:21 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 10:30 am
Student Rachel Edge is passionate about politics

At 16 I made the decision to drop out of my English A-level course – I didn’t want to ruin my love of books.

As part of the college’s policy I had to take up another course. The only option was something called citizenship.

It was made up of a rabble of students who had dropped out of other courses or had low attendance.

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It wasn’t the first choice course for most of us.

However, I persevered and found it to be the most interesting part of my college experience.

I learnt about the political climate at home and abroad.

I learnt about fundamental laws and social and cultural issues facing our society.

If it hadn’t been for citizenship I don’t think I would have an interest in politics or even have contemplated studying journalism.

So what of other young people who didn’t have the opportunity to study such a course?

Many of my peers may see politics and current affairs as boring – but not all.

As the turnout of the last election proved, the kids are now paying very close attention.

At the 2017 general election 72 per cent of 18 to 24 year-olds registered to make a cross in the box.

That says an awful lot about young people wanting to be heard.

The tuition fees fiasco was the ignition and then everything really boiled over with Brexit.

I certainly felt it among my friends.

It’s time for the government to realise even if they don’t like what Jeremy Corbyn is doing, he is getting young people talking and voting.

Perhaps schools should do more to encourage debate in lessons.

My parents talk of an O-level in something called the British constitution.

Maybe an opportunity like that would help inspire even younger minds.