After several hard months of campaigning, knocking on doors, shaking hands at rallies, and debating with other candidates, the Midterm Elections ended on November 6th, and not everyone was happy with the outcome.
I was waiting with my friends anxiously watching our phone screens for the results to be announced on multiple news outlets. And as they did, we felt defeated at first. But as the night went on, I realized something happened greater than my candidate of choice winning the election.
Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Jahana Hayes of Connecticut were elected as each state's first African-American woman to go to Congress.
The new governor of Colorado, Jared Polis, is the first openly gay man to be elected to that position in any state.
Both Sharice Davids and Debra Haaland are the first two Native Americans elected to Congress, with Davids representing Kansas and Haaland representing New Mexico. Davids is also the first lesbian Native American to earn the position.
Illhan Mohar from Minnesota and Rashida Tliab of Michigan are the first Muslim women elected to Congress ever.
29-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York is the youngest woman ever to be elected to Congress.
So many barriers were broken last Tuesday, and I consider that a HUGE victory.
411 women, people of color, and LGBT people were elected to the Senate, Congress, and state positions.
The past few years have been a wake-up call for people in our country. Citizens realized that change needed to happen, and for it to occur they needed to elect the people who can voice their opinions and vocalize the desires of the state they represent.
In comparison to the last Midterm Election in 2014, there was a record voter turnout, with 49 percent of eligible voters participating versus the 36.4 percent in the last election. Additionally, more people in the age range of 18-24 voted in this year's Midterm in comparison to the 2014 election.
So, your representative or candidate of choice may not have been elected. But that's OK. I understand that you elected them to voice your opinion about issues that truly matter in our day and age, but when I think about the progress that has been made, I can't help but be excited about what is to come for our nation's future.
This election was the first time I have ever voted. I am proud to say I exercised my right to vote, and I hope that you voted and you are proud to do so. I felt like this time, I mattered and the issues that I hear about all the time could be resolved with the candidates I elected for. They may not have been elected to their positions, and that saddens me a little.
But of the people who were, I know that they will make great progress for our country and that I will be heard in Washington.