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By Anna Walsh
Whether you’re in a classroom or “the real world,” it always pays to be up on the latest news. Don’t let a time crunch leave you on the outside of the conversation — you don’t have to read everything to stay in the know! Keep your approach to current events quick and efficient, and soon you’ll be the one breaking top news to your Twitter feed.
Choose your sources wisely. Commit to reading one or two reputable, timely news sources every day. Choose well-written publications — smart articles explain their points better, helping them stick in your mind longer. While comedy shows can do a decent job of exposing you to relevant material, they don’t often achieve the unbiased standpoint of more mainstream forms of media, so strive for balance in the news you consume. Glancing over the headlines from several different sources will provide a comprehensive look at various angles, helping to inform and focus your discussions.
Create a plan of action. Once you've chosen your sources, carefully decide when and how you plan to consume them. Most major newspapers allow you to choose between online, paper, tablet and podcast formats, so think in terms of time management—when can you realistically fit one of these options into your routine? Perhaps you can read a newspaper while eating breakfast or listen to a podcast while walking to class. Regardless of which format you choose, you’ll be more likely to maintain the habit if you base the decision on your existing routine.
Make it worth your while. Following a newspaper (or five!) won’t do you much good unless you can remember and apply what you read. If you don't have time for cover-to-cover, prioritize. Figure out which sections will give you the most bang for your buck—for most people, that means front page news and articles relevant to your field. Discuss current events with friends to keep all of you on your toes, and use your info savvy to reach out to past employers. Sending along an interesting article via email serves the dual purpose of showcasing your intelligence and sharing useful information, making keeping in touch a breeze.
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