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How To Be An Adult: Know Your News

By Alexa Harrington

It’s 7 a.m. and you’ve just woken up after having slept a delicious eight hours. You do your yoga, jump in the shower, make some eggs and whole wheat English muffins and then settle down before class with a hot cup of joe and The New York Times. You’ve read almost the entire paper before you realize that it’s time to head to school. As you walk out of your apartment to your shiny, vintage Jaguar you realize that your car alarm is going off. Wait a minute, you don’t have a car alarm … you don’t even have a car. That alarm going off is your alarm clock, you big dummy! You’ve pressed snooze six times and class starts in 10 minutes!

How silly of your subconscious to conjure up such an impossible scenario. Besides the fact that none of us get more than five hours of sleep at night, or that vintage Jaguars are far too precious to be parked at the scroungy apartment complexes we live in, The New York Times cannot be read in one sitting! Well, maybe it can, but it would take an eternity!

As glorious as it seems to sit down with an actual newspaper and actually read it, it’s not as easy … or frankly, as fun as you would think. Who has the time? Not to mention, that pesky ink!

Because most people do not have the time to sit down with the newspaper, they sometimes end up forfeiting news altogether. But this shouldn’t be an option.To be an active, well-rounded, empathetic and productive human, you must keep up with the happenings of the world — not just at the University of Texas at Austin, or Austin, or even just this country. Believe it or not, stuff happens outside of the good ol’ US of A, too…often times cooler and better stuff.

While there are tons and tons of informative and thorough news sources both in print and in digital out there (The New York Times, The Huffington Post, CNN, etc.), a lot of their articles tend to be pretty lengthy, each taking several minutes to read. If you are one of those lucky people that does have the time to spend on more in-depth news reading, then please do!

But for those of you who need something a little quicker, I’ve got some options for you. These news sources are my top three favorites, and they get the job done.

If you are the kind of person who probably won’t make it to the end of this article because you have better things to do than read stuff, it’s pretty safe to assume that you feel the same way when it comes to reading the news. I have two suggestions for you, 1.) Please read this entire article because writing for you beautiful people is about all I have to live for. 2.) Read The Skimm.

The Skimm is a newsletter that is delivered to your email at the start of every day. The content is digestible and gives you the gist of the most important matters going on globally.

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Although the logo is of a “woman on the go,” guys, you, too, can partake in all that The Skimm has to offer — that is, if you’re okay with clicking out of fantasy football for a minute.

The Skimm is written conversationally, and the diction is friendly. My only critique is that sometimes in an attempt to talk like one of your friends — that one friend you’re kind of embarrassed of — The Skimm ends up using corny puns and jokes.

But of course, hilarious people must learn to deal with the humor of those less fortunate than them. So actually, reading The Skimm at the start of your day will not only give you the “4-1-1 on this whole news dealy-o,” it will also warm up your patience hat for all of the unfunny people you have to encounter! That’s like killing two birds with one stone. What a good … dealy-o.

Okay, you’ve tried The Skimm, and it’s wonderfully quick, concise, and to the point, “but where are all the pictures?” you ask.

That’s where Circa comes in.

Circa is a free app that summarizes news articles, while also supplying links to the original news item. But the best part of Circa is that it’s loaded with photographs and visuals, and it’s interactive.

Here is a screenshot of the Circa home screen.

You can choose to “follow” stories that particularly interest you, and you can also customize topics. But, remember, reading the news is supposed to broaden your knowledge, so don’t just choose to follow topics that you love like “arts and entertainment” because chances are you already know a lot about that subject. It’s important to know even the boring stuff like “business” and “politics”… yuck, I know, but it will pay off when everyone thinks you’re super worldly and smart because you know that Russia is threatening to reduce European gas supplies, but also a little weird because you just blurted out that fact while sitting on the toilet in the public restroom.

News is exciting, people! Stuff like this may happen!

Once featured by Apple in the App Store as “Editors’ Choice”, it’s easy to see what Apple saw in Circa, it’s young, fresh, informative, and it has a beautiful interface.

Currently, Circa can only be found in app form, but it will soon be making an appearance on the web.

Alright, alright, now you’re thinking, “The Skimm and Circa are great at summing it all up, but what if I have a little extra time and I’d like to read more?” Well, good for you! Get your smarty-farty little behind over to The Week. (I’m starting to sound like The Skimm. Maybe I’m that friend I mentioned earlier.)

The Week covers a vast array of topics from world news to a section called “Idea Factory,” which features stories on cool, new innovations, inventions and more. And if you change your mind about liking to read, don’t worry, there is a “Speed Reads” section, you hypocrite.

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The Week has a Twitter to keep you connected 24/7. Here is an example of one of the many interesting stories The Week publishes.

The Week provides the news that you need to know, but just as importantly, it provides a huge amount of news that you want to know, not to mention there is a whole section for puzzles! The Week, unlike The Skimm and Circa, does not just regurgitate condensed information, it creates independent and interesting stories every time that are still a manageable length.

If you’re tired of looking at your screen all of the time, subscribe and get a tangible copy of The Week Magazine delivered to your house. (However, flipping pages is incredibly difficult so I would not recommend this.)

So kids, I mean adults, (why can’t I remember y’all are adults, now!?) I know that keeping up with the news seems boring, and I’m not going to lie to your sweet pubescent faces (I mean beautiful, mature faces) reading about the stock market is ridiculously boring but that could just be because, what the heck is a stock market?

I’m not doing a very good job here. What I’m trying to say is, these three sources among tons of other ones that I haven’t even mentioned, will give you good news, and it won’t take too much of your time at all. And, once you start, you will want to keep reading and learning, and you might just find yourself making more time for the news after all.

Bonne chance, mes amis! (See how worldly I am.) *wink*

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