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.