I was walking past the Johnson Center two weeks ago when a fellow student stopped me dead in my tracks.

The student said, “Vote! Go vote! You need to vote!” I kindly replied, “I’m sorry I have to go take an exam. I don’t have time.” The student proceeded to tell me, “Yes you can! There’s a vote van that will pick you up at Sandy Creek Parking Deck and take you for free! You need to vote! You have to vote!”

I casually walked away from the student who had just begged me to vote, like their life depended on it.

In all honesty, I had absolutely no idea who the candidates were in the election. I knew nothing about either of them. Therefore, I did not know who would make a better impact on society.

What would be worse: not voting at all or voting in ignorance?

In American society, citizens are taught that they need to vote. They are taught that voting is a privilege and that it is disrespectful not to vote.

While this principle holds true, it is also contradictory. While I do agree that individuals should cast their ballot and embrace the great freedom that our country provides, I also believe that it is better to suspend judgment and not cast a ballot if you don’t know what you are voting for.

Politics are not black and white. Often, both parties make a lot of sense and could be effective in regards to their beliefs and plans of action.

I was talking with a fellow student a few weeks ago, and he was inquiring as to whether I was conservative or liberal. I informed him that I did not know and that I am choosing to suspend judgment for now.

The student said, “Well, where do you stand on gay marriage and abortion?” When people think politics, they frequently think of gay marriage and abortion.

While these issues are extremely relevant, they are some of the most frequently debated and controversial. They are certainly not the only issues that define politics.

Most children grow up knowing whether or not their parents are Democrats or Republicans and likewise their parents’ beliefs are drilled into their minds.

Naturally, when these children grow up they will most likely identify with the beliefs their parents have taught them since childhood.

While there is nothing wrong with someone agreeing with their parents on political matters, it is important to question what one is taught.

I have learned that I need to figure out what I believe politically, even if it means not identifying with a political party in the process.

It is an honor to vote and American citizens should undoubtedly exercise the privilege. But it is also honorable to be wise enough to say, “I don’t know enough about these candidates to decide who would be better,” become educated on the matters at hand and vote in the next election instead.