November of 2016 was the very first time I got to vote in a presidential election. It was something that I looked forward to for quite some time. I heard my family talk about voting, we learned about it in school and around election time messages about it were every where, all of this combined made me want to experience voting for myself.
Well the time finally came. I didn't get to vote in the traditional sense of going to the polls and filling out the ballot there, because I am away at school I had to vote with and absentee ballot. Nonetheless, I was still exited, full of hope and happiness that I would be voting for the next president of the United States. When the ballot was complete I felt important and like I was actually helping to make a difference in the world and I couldn't wait to watch the results.
This election was the most I have ever been involved in politics. I thought that it was important to follow the news and the happenings of the two presidential candidates. When people were talking about the election and the views of Trump and Hillary, I actually knew and cared about what they were saying. I never expected to feel so involved and informed about what was happening.
My roommates and I made plans to watch the election results on Tuesday night, and we set the goal of not falling asleep until we knew for sure who the president was going to be. Tuesday night came along and we sat glued to the television screen for hours. It was almost impossible to focus on anything else. As the polls started to close and the votes started to come in we felt a variety of emotions, and it felt almost as if we were watching a sporting event.
One minute there were anxious feelings, the next there was hope and excitement, and then curiosity and disbelief. These emotions seemed go back and forth for the remainder of the night, but as the map started to fill up our feelings of hope and excitement turned to shock and despair. We couldn't believe what was playing out before our eyes. Was this a joke? Am I dreaming right now? Oh no, this cannot be happening.
It was true, it was happening and I have never felt so let down in my life. Remembering our vows to stay up until finding out who would be president, we pushed through trying to hang on to the little bit of hope that remained. We eventually abandoned all hope somewhere between 1:30 and 2 a.m. when Trump won over Pennsylvania. We went to bed sad, anxious and in fear of what was in store for our future.
Walking around campus, it was clear that a lot of others felt the same way. Everyone seemed to be down and moving at a slower pace than usual. All having similar thoughts on our mind. Social media wasn't an different, people posting things that everyone was thinking.
The only good things coming from this election were seen after the fact. Everyday people, and even celebrities, came together to show support and encouragement for one another. Similar support to that shown after a terrorist attack or mass shooting, but it was still a great amount of support and encouragement.
I have no idea what this means for America, and I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous and a little bit afraid of what is to come. I know that as Americans we will not let anyone take away our rights or stop us from reaching our full potential. Great things will happen when we stand together and stick up for what we believe in. We must live up to the expectations of our founding fathers, the soldiers who gave their lives, and all the people who worked so hard to get America to where it is today. Trump cannot make America great again, but if we stand together and fight for what is right we can keep America great.