FSU student Tiffany Brown likens the speech to a military briefing.
When Tiffany Brown was younger, she thought of the State of the Union address as a well written speech performed by a great orator. Now, she sees it more as a military briefing about important national issues.
"When a person is running for president, they have a platform," she said. "The State of the Union is reintroducing us to their platform each year."
Brown, 23, said President Obama's speech Tuesday will give him a chance to let groups that supported him know he hasn't forgotten about them.
"Millions are going to tune in to say, 'Hey, what can we expect from you this year?' " said Brown, a senior political science major at Fayetteville State University.
Brown said she follows events like the State of the Union address closely. She's concerned about issues such as Social Security, the job market and the downsizing of the military. But like many others, she's also interested in health care and the economy.
"I feel that things happening now affect us," she said.
Brown said she thinks the president's speech needs to focus on reassuring the American people.
"We had all these great ideas, but we were left hanging," she said.
Americans need to be reassured about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Brown said.
Many people are confused because even though they hear a lot about the wars ending, their family members still are being deployed. The president needs to explain why Americans are fighting, she said.
Brown said Obama needs to clarify details on the repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell'' policy. Congress recently repealed the policy that prevents openly gay people from serving in the military, but its implementation still is up in the air.
"We're still unsure of that," she said.
Brown said the average American does not understand health care reforms. President Obama needs to offer a step-by-step explanation of what already is in place and what people can expect in the future.
The president also needs to go into depth about programs to help students who have to borrow money to pay for their education.
"A lot of students are really concerned about how they're going to repay those loans," she said.
Brown said she feels that Obama has done a good job considering the issues he faced coming into office. Some people thought he would come in, wave a magic wand and make things immediately better, she said.