Can We Make America Civil Again?

Can We Make America Civil Again?

Friendly reminder that your petty Facebook war does nothing but make you look childish.

The November 2016 election is fast approaching. More people are attempting to educate themselves on the future of America, while others are still sparking sophomoric arguments over the Internet as they bask in the light radiating from their smartphone or laptop.

It's quite entertaining, honestly. I get a thrill out of seeing people argue with one another in such uncouth ways.

It is OK if you like a particular candidate. It is OK to discuss your thoughts and feelings regarding that candidate, whether it be with a fellow supporter, someone who does not support that candidate or someone who lacks a concise opinion on the candidate or the election in general.

It is OK to disagree. In fact, dialogue between different parties or viewpoints should be encouraged and discussed in a calm and mature manner. People become so overly confident and comfortable behind their social media platforms that they feel that anything can be said without consequences. People often forget that we must be mindful of others' reasonings for having the opinions they have.

Someone can think Donald Trump is not the best fit for the presidency just as much as someone else may believe that Hilary Clinton doesn't suit the role.

It isn't OK to degrade people for what they believe. We live in a free country, and no one should feel ashamed of what they think because of the fear that someone will pick a fight with them if they rightfully express their views. It isn't OK to tell someone that they are worthless solely because of what letter is on their voter registration card.

Someone's worth is not based off of political ideologies. If you cannot hold a mature discussion with someone of differing political views, then I personally don't think you're at the maturity level to consider those sorts of ideas to begin with.

What makes our country so great is that we have the ability to express how we feel about certain subject matters. We are so fortunate to be free to think what we want; quite honestly, I think a lot of people take that luxury for granted.

Twitter and Facebook fights are mind-numbingly stupid and pathetic as is. There is no need whatsoever to aim for the jugular over any sort of social media platform when discussing something as important and serious as politics.

I am so tired of people using the political affiliations of others in a derogatory manner. No one should ever feel at fault for what they believe. While there is a factor of choice involved with political viewpoints, people cannot really help thinking the way they think. If they like big government, then let them. If someone is strongly pro-gun, that's OK too.

Discuss your views, come to a mutual understanding of the opposition's thought process, and move on with your life. I promise you that subliminally posting about those "stupid (insert party here)s" will not make any difference in the outcome of this year's election.

Cover Image Credit: Alex Bihm/The Collegian

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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.

Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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