7 Thoughts I'm Having As Election Day Approaches

7 Thoughts I'm Having As Election Day Approaches

Just seeing those huge blocks of text in the comments section hurts my head.
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Now that the 2016 presidential election—Doomsday, as I’ve even heard some refer to it—is only a few days away, talk of the election in any form is impossible to escape. Memes, videos and viral posts are scattered throughout my Facebook feed. I hear it being discussed among groups of friends in my classes and in my dining hall. As much as I want to shut it all down and block it out, I realize that I, too, am part of this new generation of voters counted on to initiate positive change in our country. Unfortunately, though, every time I make an effort to watch one of those videos, read one of those posts or listen to one of those conversations, my head feels as if it wants to explode. Along with the frustration that I really do not believe there is any way for me to help initiate positive change with the options given, these thoughts keep flooding my mind:


1. I don’t even completely understand all of the intricate ins and outs of American politics.

I am going to be perfectly honest here. There have been several times when I’ve had to look up definitions of certain terms I’ve heard or ask my friends to clarify the meanings of things, and I know that should not be the case. Or at least, I feel like that should not be the case. I feel very ashamed of that. It has not made this election season any easier for me—not easier to hear about, and not easier to make a decision about. The information I’ve got to work from about the candidates has come from the same sources it has for everyone my age—debates, Internet articles and social media—and for some reason I feel like that’s not enough, because I haven’t been able to shake this feeling that all of my peers have a broader knowledge base than I do. Particularly the ones who discuss their beliefs openly, frequently, loudly and confidently. Like, how?? I want that.


2. I can’t believe this is the first presidential election I can vote in.

The election that will directly impact my generation is the election that has been repeatedly referred to as a complete joke, the one with candidates deemed “orange crayon” and “crooked Hillary.” Fantastic. Just fantastic.


3. I kinda want to delete my Facebook account.

Political conversations among the millennial generation this fall have played out largely through social media. When I’m not seeing memes about Trump’s pumpkin-colored skin, I see articles shared by my friends who are apparently always armed and ready for a full-blown comment war, because that’s what always happens. Just seeing those huge blocks of text in the comments section hurts my head.


4. How guilty would I actually feel about wasting my vote by writing in “No One”?

This joke has been circulating for months, but I’m actually starting to seriously consider it.


5. This. Is. So. Stressful.

My body activates the flight response every time the election is mentioned because it legitimately stresses me out. Trying to think about what I’m going to do on November 8th feels worse than trying to remember what homework I have to do over the weekend.


6. Which European country could I move to if need be?

I’ve heard many of them will be more than welcoming to fleeing Americans.


7. Hibernation is sounding pretty good right about now.

Wake me up when November ends.


Cover Image Credit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9HM13vH3mA

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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