Sitting in the middle of Starbucks, the only thing that was louder than the music on the loudspeaker were the voices of college students, urging their peers to voice their opinions on the recent election results. While I've said my peace to those who are close to me, aka my thousands of friends on Facebook and my parents, I felt as if the one person who could actually make a difference in the matter should hear. So, that's when I pulled out my favorite pen and a piece of scrap paper, and wrote a letter to soon-to-be Mr. Obama.

"Dear Soon-To-Be Mr. Obama,

My name is Cassidy and I am a 19-year-old student studying journalism and communications at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. You must get thousands of letters every day from constituents, but I am here to just say one thing--thank you.

In 2008, when you came to the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut, I had the pleasure of high-fifing you. I watched as I nearly wrecked my Nintendo DS by standing in the pouring rain with my mother. I watched as I could see tears of hope streaming down her face as you spoke, each tear a glimmer of hope. I was 11 years old at the time, and you probably don't remember that day, but I do.

Now, as you begin to leave the White House, I need you to promise me one thing. Just one thing. I need you to keep advocating for us college kids, us millennials, us children of immigrants, us women. I cannot believe I say this, that I'm terrified in living in a country that I grew up worshipping. I would pay millions of dollars to go back to 2008, as I looked at my home as a safe haven, not a zone for prejudice and racism. On a liberal campus, I've never questioned my safety, up until now. So, what I'm asking you to follow through on; be that glimmer of hope again, just like you were for my mother back in 2008.

You will always be one of the most prominent figures in my life, and I cannot thank you enough for that. It's too bad I was the runner-up for the American Legion Laurel Girl's Nation back in high school, it would have been a great opportunity to thank you in person.

Loyally,
Cassidy Kotyla

P.S. I voted for Hillary. Also say hi to your family from UMass Amherst!"


I've never felt like growing up in the United States should allow myself to be associated with fear, similar to countries that the government terrorizes their own citizens. However, as I sit in this cramped Starbucks, I hear just that. Mr. Donald Trump, I plead with you to be level-headed. I refuse to live in a country that promotes violence. I cannot justify throwing people into prison for a minimum of two years if they try to cross into a country in hopes of escaping the nightmare they currently live in. I cannot fathom a life where the environment is considered second to our material needs. Do not allow your own citizens to suffer because of your desires and actions. Most of all, I implore you to treat your peers with respect. When I came to college, it was my first taste of what diversity really was like. With taking the time to learn about people's differences, backgrounds, concerns, and worries about their own futures, it allowed me to see the world in a different light. Because I'm not the one who just won the presidency, I'm practically begging you, Donald. Make the right choices.

We just spend the last eight years with a president who not everybody liked, but was seen as a compassionate and devout human being. I can only hope that the next four years we can see the same amount of compassion in your actions, Mr. Trump. I want to be able to have my peers see the glimmer of hope in your eyes one day.