The Day After: Election Day

The Day After: Election Day

November 9th, 2016

The weeks leading up to the presidential election day were of utmost importance and incredible rhetoric. News outlets, social media and other sources focused on the presidential race more so than in previous months discussing the scandals, issues and platforms of both candidates.

In these weeks, we liked to think we were a united America with a few separations here and there, but this separation is something we were working on, or so we thought.

On November 8th, 2016, the United States faced one its most historical presidential elections. And, perhaps one that divided Americans the most. This day will forever go down in history.

Even more important is the day after.

Students slowly came out of the comfort of their rooms and moved on with their day under the unusual overcast Florida skies. Some students were crying, some were celebrating, but from I saw, many were very confused.

A few professors were discussing the election, trying to gather our thoughts, but many students refused to talk. We are still so surprised from the results.

A friend and staff member reached out to me to comfort, and numerous Rollins organizations provided spaces for discussion and counseling for those who needed someone to listen.

Let us back track to the night before.

Sitting in my room doing homework and monitoring the electoral vote count for the candidates, it was clear to me something was utterly off. So many people expressed their desire to vote for Clinton, yet Trump was winning right before my eyes. How is this possible?

I took a deep breath and quickly realized my theory was wrong. Clinton would not win in a landslide and Trump would win.

And, so I took to social media. As votes were tallied from Florida to California, one thing was clear; many of us expected very different outcomes. I went to sleep around 1:30 a.m. certain our next president would be Donald Trump.

Right before I went to sleep, I reflected upon what I would tell my kids someday. I will tell them today is the day America realized its own division. I will tell them that I woke up on election day and felt numb while many of my friends were hurting. I will tell them in that moment, I made it my mission to spread love because love is the most powerful thing in this world.

This morning, I woke up to gloomy skies and an even gloomier atmosphere on campus. Students were crying, and expressing their fears and anxieties of a Trump presidency.

Again, I took to social media. Hundreds of friends and family posting about the election, whether they were expressing sorrow or happiness, it ranged.

Across the nation, protests are being held via social media and in universities and towns. People are expressing their opinion. Others are spreading love whenever and wherever possible.

Election day was a monumental day in history, but it is the day after that sparks the future of this country. Today, the skies are grey and the electoral college chose Donald Trump as our next president, but our future generations will know many of us rose up and fought for love. And we will keep fighting for love.

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I Blame My Dad For My High Expectations

Dad, it's all your fault.

I always tell my dad that no matter who I date, he's always my number one guy. Sometimes I say it as more of a routine thing. However, the meaning behind it is all too real. For as long as I can remember my dad has been my one true love, and it's going to be hard to find someone who can top him.

My dad loves me when I am difficult. He knows how to keep the perfect distance on the days when I'm in a mood, how to hold me on the days that are tough, and how to stand by me on the days that are good.

He listens to me rant for hours over people, my days at school, or the episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' I watched that night and never once loses interest.

He picks on me about my hair, outfit, shoes, and everything else after spending hours to get ready only to end by telling me, “You look good." And I know he means it.

He holds the door for me, carries my bags for me, and always buys my food. He goes out of his way to make me smile when he sees that I'm upset. He calls me randomly during the day to see how I'm doing and how my day is going and drops everything to answer the phone when I call.

When it comes to other people, my dad has a heart of gold. He will do anything for anyone, even his worst enemy. He will smile at strangers and compliment people he barely knows. He will strike up a conversation with anyone, even if it means going way out of his way, and he will always put himself last.

My dad also knows when to give tough love. He knows how to make me respect him without having to ask for it or enforce it. He knows how to make me want to be a better person just to make him proud. He has molded me into who I am today without ever pushing me too hard. He knew the exact times I needed to be reminded who I was.

Dad, you have my respect, trust, but most of all my heart. You have impacted my life most of all, and for that, I can never repay you. Without you, I wouldn't know what I to look for when I finally begin to search for who I want to spend the rest of my life with, but it might take some time to find someone who measures up to you.

To my future husband, I'm sorry. You have some huge shoes to fill, and most of all, I hope you can cook.

Cover Image Credit: Logan Photography

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Irish-American History Is Just As Important As Any Other Culture, You Can't Prove Me Wrong

I cherish being Irish and I will not let anyone let me feel bad for that.


Depending on when you're reading this, Saint Patrick's day has either just passed or is around the corner. For me, Saint Patrick's day is tomorrow. I've been debating this article for some time now because I didn't know how it would be perceived. At this point, though, I feel it's important for me to get out. No, Irish people were never kept as slaves in America, and I will never be one to try and say they were. However, Irish people were treated tremendously awful in America. A lot of people tend to forget, or just try to erase entirely, the history of the Irish in America. So much so that I felt shameful for wanting to celebrate my heritage. Therefore, I want to bring to light the history that everyone brushes under the rug.

In 1845, a potato famine broke out across Ireland. This was a big deal because the Irish lived off, mainly, potatoes. They were cheap, easy to grow, and had tons of nutrients. So when the famine struck, many people either died of starvation or fled to America in seek of refuge. When the Irish arrived in America they were seen as a threat to the decency of America. People viewed them as drunk beasts, sinful savages, barbaric, violent, belligerent, stupid, and white apes. When the Irish would go to look for jobs, many times they found signs that read "Irish Need Not Apply," even when the job was hiring. Therefore, the Irish did the jobs no one wanted, and even jobs African slaves wouldn't do. The biggest example of this is when Irishmen built canals and drained swamps. They were sent to do these things because of the enormous amount of mosquitoes; in the swamp, they would get bit and ultimately die of malaria.

Also, during this time, Irish people were poor and therefore lived in the same neighborhoods as the free African Americans. A lot of the Irish people were friendly with their neighbors of color and even got into interracial relationships. Because the Irish lived in these neighborhoods they were seen as dirty and even a lot of people at this time put African Americans higher on the totem pole than Irish. One person during the time even said, "At least the black families keep their homes clean."

The main reason American's outlook on Irish people changed was that most Irishmen took up fighting for the Union in the Civil War. I make this argument, not because I think the Irish suffered more than African slaves. I don't say this in means of trying to erase the struggles of the African slaves. I do not think that any of our ancestors should have been treated the way they were. I mean to say that the Irish did in fact suffer. Irish people were treated wrongly on the basis of...nothing. Simply because my ancestors hailed from the shores of Eire, they were treated with malice. And I write this simply because I want people to remember. I want people to understand what happened.

On Saint Patrick's Day this year, next year, and for the many years to come, I want people to embrace the Irish culture. I want the folks of Irish heritage to not be ashamed of where they come from; to not be ashamed to share their culture the way I have for many years. I want everyone to have a beer, wear some green, eat a potato or two, and dance the Irish step; to celebrate the history of Irish people with a bit more understanding than before.

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