Reading the news is a habit that has to be formed—and it’s an important one. The earlier you start paying attention, the better.

It’s like Jenny’s (played by Carey Mulligan) speech from the 2009 film “An Education

“It’s not enough to educate us, Ms. Walters, you’ve got to tell us why you’re doing it.”

Jenny has a point. I can’t just tell you that you have to read the news every day- I have to tell you why and entertain you while doing it (because it doesn’t have to be boring, either.

Here’s why:

1. So you can have awesome things to talk about when you’re out with your friends. Isn’t it annoying when there’s a lull in the conversation with your friends? Why not talk about the current debate over women in the workplace? Plus, it’s never fun when your friends know more about what’s going on in the world than you do. Get on the same page.

2. So you can get a job in the future. People who get the best jobs know what’s going on in the world—the news can serve as information as well as inspiration. Going pre-med? Stay on top of all the latest health and science news, it’ll make you a better doctor. Same with every other profession out there.

3. So you can stay sharp. The more you read, the smarter you stay. You learn new words, new ideas, new concepts and movements. All news is useful news because all reading is valuable.

4. So you can form your own opinions in national and international debates. If you haven’t turned 18 yet, you’ll be turning 18 very soon—that means you’ll probably be a voter. Not only that, but you’re a citizen of the world. People who change the world have pored over the news, forming their own opinions on the biggest issues, like hunger, poverty, and war.

5. So you know what’s happening around you, outside the “collegiate bubble.” It’s pretty easy to get caught up in the “collegiate bubble-” meaning, you stop paying attention to everything outside your college town. College students get caught up in their own stuff and forget that our country is at war or that everyone in D.C. is debating the second amendment. It’s time to burst the bubble.

BONUS: News You Can Use

So, you’re probably not familiar with “news you can use.” Enter Kicker. Kicker is a new site that I write for, founded by an alum of The New York Times, with a staff of all ages. Every day, we post a new “must-read” story that explains the day’s news and “Today in 10,” a great way to catch up on the person, image, and more of the day.  Come check us out if you want to hear about how Congress resembles the movie Mean Girls or what’s up with the year’s flu epidemic or whatever else is happening. We’ve got the low-down.

This guest post was presented to you in partnership with