In what was both a humorous and serious one hour event at the White House on Tuesday, United States President Barack Obama sat down with Tumblr founder David Karp and answered and discussed questions sent in by young adults all across the U.S.
From student debt to gun violence, President Obama shared his views and opinions on some of America’s most prominent issues, and proposed ways to fix them.
During the event, Mr. Karp asked President Obama questions sent in by Tumblr users.
Tumblr, which was founded in 2007, is an insanely popular blogging website with over 190 million blogs and 83.1 billion posts. With over 90 million posts a day, it is one of the most popular and used blogging sites in the world.
Mr. Obama answered numerous questions and gave future, financial and education advice to young adults.
He gave advice to those entering or searching for jobs to do what they enjoy most. “You are going to do best at what you most deeply care about,” Mr. Obama said, adding that if your job is what you enjoy, the effort you put into it won’t “feel like a burden.”
President Obama also gave his insight and financial advice to those going into college, saying that an “investment in college is always going to be a smart investment”, but that it is import to research what you’re investing into, as to avoid wasting money and time on things of little to no use to you.
He also encouraged teens and young adults to find more than just one way to achieve a goal or dream–you don’t need to take the traditional road.
Mr. Obama warned teens and young adults of the dangers of not believing that they have a voice and the ability to make a change, saying that is of the utmost importance for people to realize and know that they are capable of making the world a better place.
As for the numerous problems faced at schools and universities across the U.S., President Obama stressed for the need for people to take control of the steering wheel and to choose their education and life path.
Too many young adults see college as a box to check, he said, as opposed to an opportunity to find out what matters to them. Numerous “Young people waist a lot of time” on things that aren’t important and beneficial to them, he warned.
“Education is not a passive thing… it is an active passage” of finding what matters and is important to you, he said.
Mr. Obama seemed to suggest that schools should not just teach text book material, but also teach students traits and skills which will come in handy when they enter the real world.
He also touched on the importance of allowing transgenders the same rights as others.
The controversial subject of gun violence was also discussed by the president. Gun violence has been rampant in the U.S. in the last two years, with numerous mass-shootings happening across the country, including on Tuesday.
“Our levels of gun violence are off the chart,” President Obama said, adding that he does respect gun violence, but believes that it is absurd that a bill can’t be passed to make those who wish to obtain a firearm first go through a background check.
He also encouraged those who want a restriction on guns to take action, saying: “If the public opinion does not demand change in Congress, it will not change.”
Mr. Obama said that the reason gun restrictions haven’t taken place on a wide scale is because those who want gun restrictions are not taking the same level of action as those who do not want gun restrictions are.
He stated that until people take action, not much is going to change.
The president warned that mass shootings have become the “norm” in the U.S., and added that he is willing to work with others to bring an end to gun violence in the United States.
In conclusion, Mr. Obama answered a question about where he saw himself in ten years, saying that while he does not know where he will be in 10 years, he does intend to make every day of the remaining two and a half years of his term “count”. He said that it encourages him, despite all the negativity he deals with on a daily basis, that he is able to do something in office that helps others’ lives.
He said that if he comes away helping those in the middle class, it’s a good day for him.
He also added that he and his wife, Michelle Obama, are interested in working with and developing young people for a brighter and better future.
And lastly, President Obama warned young people not to become cynical; believe you can make a change; “Look out on the horizon,” and take advantage of opportunities.