Why we should stay up-to-date on the world around us


Brad Anderson

A picture of the symbol that represents the icon for our AP World History class.

Before I started high school, I never really considered myself someone who liked to be affiliated with history. It was always a monotonous subject for me. I always thought that you had to be constantly updated on the latest news—whether that be reading the New York Times every day or studying at the library 24/7 in order to succeed in the course. 

But, after completing three history courses, I’ve come to realize that it doesn’t take a genius to be able to know what’s going on around the world. 

However, it wasn’t until my freshman year of high school that history started to become more than just a subject for me. I had no idea what class I wanted to take, but because everyone was online that year, I didn’t really have a say in which courses I wanted to take; I just took the ones that were required. 

Ninth grade is pretty much a blur for me, from going online to seeing people in person constantly made the chaotic transition from online to in-person, the one course that stood out to me that year was Civics and Economics, mainly because that was my only way of understanding what was going on in the world around me. 

Sure, it was unnerving, seeing protests happening all around the world along with the number of COVID-19 deaths and cases broadcasted live on CNN, but if there’s anything that’s come to fruition within the past few years of my life, it’s that speaking up about these types of things can make the world more aware about what’s going on. 

Speaking up about these types of things can make the world more aware about what’s going on. 

For example, Civics taught me to be more aware of what’s going on in the realm of politics and has made me comprehend that we’re more than just citizens; we’re people with a voice that play a monumental role in the way our government works. 

Economics, ironically, was a subject that was so intriguing that it is now something that I want to major in because of how much it affects our lives and how we, as consumers, play such a big role in the market industry. 

In my sophomore year, I decided to take on a challenge and try one of the most difficult AP courses offered at our school: AP US History. Despite the class being one of the most challenging, I learned about 700 years of our nation’s history and slowly started to speak up about important issues that were prevalent to me. 

Nevertheless, after my sophomore year, I knew that I didn’t want my knowledge of history to be thrown out the window, so instead of taking one history course during my first semester of junior year, I took two: Model United Nations and AP World History. 

AP World History was interesting first semester because a lot of what we were being taught was a combination of concepts that we had learned throughout our time in school. What made it more fun was that we were able to apply it to our life through the use of games such as the Age of Empires and the Trial of Genghis Khan.

The Age of Empires was a 10-day event that consisted of battling in the woods, creating teams, building shields, as well as preparing for the big fight to simulate what it was like to live in the olden days. The Trial of Genghis Khan was a 5-day trial in which everyone played different roles, such as a peasant or his grandson, to eventually determine if he should be deemed guilty. 

Model UN, the class, was more intriguing because every Monday, at the start of class, we would do “current events” where we were given five minutes to search for a news article. After the time was up, we would set a speakers list and give a 30-second speech with no preparation or notes. On top of this, we would do simulations in which we would represent a country and respond to different scenarios such as climate change and even a zombie apocalypse. 

After taking several history courses, I’ve come to the conclusion that you don’t need to be a genius to be able to educate yourself on what’s going on in the news. Whether you spend hours reading over news articles on sites such as the New York Times or spend just ten minutes watching CNN 10, whatever you spend your time doing, as long as it’s news related, it will definitely help you in the long run.