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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Which European country could I move to if need be?
I’ve heard many of them will be more than welcoming to fleeing Americans.
Hibernation is sounding pretty good right about now.
Wake me up when November ends.