Things I've Learned in the 2016 Election
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Things I've Learned in the 2016 Election

The Importance of the Vote

Things I've Learned in the 2016 Election
ABC News

As someone who turned eighteen in August, this election is my first that I actually get to vote in. I know the same is true for most of the people I'm friends with, even if they're older than I am. Due to this fact, this is the first election that I've truly followed and paid attention to. That might sound bad, but I was hardly fourteen during the last election, and back then I didn't care about much of anything other than friend drama and Netflix.This election, however, is arguably one of the most important elections in recent history, and I've sort of had a bit of a crash course in the way politics works over the past few months. It's been a hell of a ride, and I learned a lot along the way. Here are some of the most interesting and important things I've learned about myself, the election, and politics over the past months.

1. This election is unlike any other.

This is one of the things I've heard a lot from people who've been able to vote in earlier elections. This election is incredibly unlike any other, full of developing scandals on both sides, and the first time we've had a presidential candidate with no prior presidential experience. That's so different, and us first-time voters are put in an incredibly unique situation because of it.

2. People will be incredibly defensive over their candidate.

Maybe this is just because of who the candidates are, but everyone seems to either love or hate the candidates, with no one really in the middle. On both sides, Trump and Clinton, their supporters openly and vocally hate the other. It's understandable, really, but it's still interesting to see how strongly people feel about the candidates of this election, and how no one even slightly likes the opposing candidate to theirs.

3. The presidential debates are more of an orchestrated show than a proper debate.

The debates in October were a lot more structured than I was expecting them to be. It was somewhat surprising, really, but at the same time, it was understandable. Every question had a time limit, and the whole debate was capped at ninety minutes. I think that it would be more beneficial to both the candidates and the people watching to have unlimited time to answer questions, as the time limit can make people say things they don't mean and trip over their words.

4. Registering to vote is not that hard.

I always expected registering to be some whole huge process. Having to go to the DMV, showing proof of residence, going through all of these steps and loops and ladders. It was actually incredibly easy. There were people all over campus with boards and forms who were willing to help, to the point where it was a bit overwhelming. I registered in the first week of school, but they were there until the last possible day to register. It was incredibly helpful, but also a bit annoying after I had finished, but kept getting asked if I had yet. Overall, though, it was far more good than bad.

5. Rhetoric is one of the most important things of a campaign.

This may seem a bit absurd, but the way people say things has a lot more impact than you even realize. You can say the same thing in two completely different ways, and it'll have a completely different effect. Trump and Clinton have each taken a different stance on how they say things. Trump tends to try to incite fear in people, whereas Clinton tries to keep things more logical and reasonable. Both of these things work in different ways on different people, but both are valid approaches.

6. Voting is one of the most important things you can do.

If you can and don't vote, I really don't understand what you're thinking. One of the unique things about the United States is our right to vote. Men have always had the right to vote, but women and people of color had to work hard for years to earn those rights. Sitting back now and not voting is almost disrespectful to the memories of the people who worked so incredibly hard to get you those rights. Voting takes maybe an hour or two of your day, and you're having an incredible impact on the future of our country. Please, go out and take the time to make your voice heard. It's one election every four years. You can take the time to do something so important for our country.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

23 Pandemic-Approved Date Ideas That'll Send Sparks Flying From Six Feet Apart

There's a safe way to date right now and yes, it includes masks.


While some people would rather opt out of dating altogether during the pandemic so they don't have to wear a mask on a first date, others are choosing to listen to both guidelines and their heart in order to find love during the time of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Should you be one of the individuals welcoming romance right now, there are pandemic-approved dates you can go on that still adhere to guidelines (and yes, you'll have to wear a mask).

Keep Reading... Show less

20 Books About Latin And Hispanic Heritage Absolutely Everyone Should Have On Their Bookshelf

Any ally of the community needs to be reading these incredible reads.


I go through phases when it comes to what I like to read. I am typically reading two books at any given time: one serious nonfiction and one escapist fiction novel to have on hand and open up depending on my mood.

What remains consistent, however, amongst most of my fellow bibliophiles is a desire to try new and different authors and genres. I, as an Indian woman, have been partial to reading books written by fellow Indian and Desi writers since I first got a library card.

Keep Reading... Show less

In our patriarchal society, men hide from their feelings, but toxic masculinity is literally killing men. They swallow the pain and move on so that they can look, feel, and act "tough."

But, strength is derived from asking for help and voicing your struggle and, trust me, working on your mental health is one hell of a struggle. The real way to "man up" is to acknowledge the downfalls in unjust societal norms. Mental health problems do not mean that a man is weak, they are neurologically-based disorders that require professional treatment.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Asked 46 Women What They Thought About The Term 'Plus-Size', And Here's What They Had To Say

It's 2020, where change is inevitable and norms are not only questioned, but challenged.


We live in a world where it's become customary to push boundaries, break rules, and question standards upheld by society. Though try as we might, some of these standards are harder to conquer than others — body image is one of the top contenders.

For years, the body positivity movement has pushed for the acceptance of all marginalized body types not represented or celebrated in the media. Recently, we've gotten better at appreciating and accepting all body types, but one thing that's still lingering is the stigma of body image in the fashion industry — more specifically, the term "plus-size."

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Sorry, But 'I Don’t Care About Politics' Is Not A Valid Excuse For NOT Voting

The younger generation of voters is so crucial to the upcoming election because our vote is going to shape the world that we are about to enter as adults.


When I ask my friends if they are voting this term most of them respond with "no" followed by an explanation of "I don't care enough," "It doesn't affect me," or "I don't keep up with politics," etc. I get it, as a college student I know that there are many other things to be concerned about like school, relationships, work, and friends. I also understand that keeping up with politics can seem like trying to keep up with an over-exaggerated reality show that has way too many seasons. Not to mention most news stations and websites are biased so it's hard to decipher if what you hear is true or fake.

However, despite all of this annoyance, as the next generation of Americans, we have to remember that we owe it to ourselves, our families, and to our futures to care.

Keep Reading... Show less

Taylor Swift Sang 'betty' At The ACMs And It Was The Perfect First Live 'folklore' Performance

I guarantee that Inez is spreading rumors about how fire this performance was.


The Academy of Country Music Awards were last night and the performances were wonderful, but Taylor Swift's live version of "betty" from her newest album "folklore" really took the cake for me.

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Anna Hernández-Buces

"Do you have big parties on Cinco de Mayo?"

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

9 Reasons I Unfollowed All The Fitness Influencers On My Instagram Feed

I don't need to feel bad about myself because of who I follow on social media.


Throughout quarantine, something that a lot of us picked up on was working out. With all the free time, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to work on that "dream bod" you've been wanting for years, or to just feel good about yourself.

A common way to stay motivated and keep yourself on-task is to follow fitness influencers on various platforms. For some people, yes, this can be a healthy and helpful way to keep your drive. In other cases, however, this can do more harm than good.

Keep Reading... Show less

The Ultimate Guide To Being A Latinx And Hispanic Community Ally

Educate and celebrate their culture to lift the community up.


It's well known that the Gen-Z and millennial generations are more passionate about social justice and conscious about their decisions as consumers as any other generation to come before us.

For these generations, making mindful decisions about where we like to allocate our money, who we choose to follow on Instagram, and even the books we like to read are extremely important to us. With the rise of the digital age, we are constantly consuming media and content, and so there's no longer an excuse for being uneducated if we want to be educated on a wide range of cultures.

Keep Reading... Show less

It was a day we all knew would possibly come but hoped it never would. The day the outbreak hit.

I remember, back in March, I was just about to return home from a socially distanced vacation in my Florida home with my mom and grandpa, when my dad called to tell us he was feeling sick. At the time, President Trump hadn't closed the borders, my school was still going back after Easter, and sheer panic hadn't yet flooded our news outlets. We were meant to return home on Saturday, but when the borders closed on Thursday, things got a little more serious.

Keep Reading... Show less

21 Romance Novels You'll Fall In Love With By The Fire

It's time to cozy up and fantasize about our fav fictional love stories.


Recently, I found myself reading a bunch of romance novels and it's truly unleashing the romantic side of me. With fall weather nearing, it's the perfect time to cozy up with a good book and ignite the romantic flame in your hearts with the turn of every page.

Here are 21 romantic books you should read this fall, some I've read (hence the reviews), and some I'm hoping to get my hands on.

Keep Reading... Show less

There is a lot going on in the world right now, much of which is contributing to the mental health crisis we've found ourselves in. While it would be fantastic to snap our fingers and jump out of our rut, that's not exactly how these things work. Thankfully, small, sustainable steps can make a huge difference in your mental wellbeing.

Keep Reading... Show less

These 10 Oversized Graphic Tees Are JUST As Cute As Urban Outfitters — And They're All Under $30

There is never a bad time to get some new oversized graphic tees, especially when they're all under $30.


While we all love Urban Outfitters' graphic tees, it can be hard to justify a $40 T-shirt, so I am always on the hunt to find cheaper alternatives that are just as stylish! Thrifting is always an option for authentic, vintage tees, but we don't always have the time to search through the endless aisles of Goodwill.

Lucky for you, there are still affordable alternatives that don't require quite as much effort.

Keep Reading... Show less

On Monday, "Dancing with the Stars" returned to our televisions with their 29th season. This season featured a lot of different changes including a new host, a new judge as well as a new judging system.

Among these changes, there were also changes to account for the coronavirus pandemic. Some of these changes included practicing socially distancing as well as different filming practices.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments