Nothing could have prepared us for the results of this election. If you were anything like me that night, anxiety was there, but you had a feeling everything would work out in the end, that there were enough of us out there to get us a victory.
I spent the evening at the election results party at Sarah Lawrence College. When I walked in, I was greeted with the sounds of cheering from the audience sitting on the bleachers—according to the three news stations on, Hillary had just won two states.
That cheering didn’t last though. The booing for every state Trump was projected to win got more frequent, shoulders began to slump, and we took longer sips from our snuck-in mixed drinks. They shut us down early, turning off the news and saying that it was going to be a while before there was a real result, so we all shuffled back to our dorms and opened our laptops to finish the night.
I cried myself to sleep. The next day I woke up feeling physically ill and depressed. It was a grey and rainy day, and the mood on campus followed. No one seemed to be talking to each other, we were all just wandering around in a daze wondering if this was really happening. I felt powerless, afraid, confused, and those who felt like talking about it felt the same way.
I’ve had a few days to process, but I still have that feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach. I am afraid for what the platform of hatred and xenophobia will do to our country. I am afraid about what will happen now that we’ve given power over to a man who ultimately might have no idea what to do with it. But through this fear, when I take a step back and really look, I realize the future isn’t hopeless, it isn’t over.
One of the great things about SLC is that the community is offering people ways not only to grieve and have support, but also find ways we can participate. I just spent an entire class period today discussing action plans with my peers. It was enlightening to be in a group of people that can handle a defeat, give ourselves time to grieve, and then pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and figure out what comes next. That power, that confidence, is what’s going to make the difference over the next few years.
What gives me hope is the image that shows how 18-25 year olds voted in this election. Nearly every single state is blue. My father emailed it to me with the text, there’s hope for the future, and it’s yours”. It brought an entirely new set of tears. We are a new generation that is ready for equality, for change, for making our country safe and secure both economically and socially.
We millennials—who constantly are defined by our selfie-taking, our instagramming, our tumbling, our tweeting—we are the ones that are going to make the changes of the future. We won’t let ourselves be set back in time, won’t let the government divide us, we are going to stand up and make sure we get the future we want.
We are going to be the next set of politicians, of lawyers, of teachers, of writers, of volunteers, of presidents. We will be the ones to make this country into something truly great—a country with a sense of love and unity and equality.
We are going to raise our children to be open minded, loving individuals that blend into one group, instead of separating into several different ones. It won’t matter who comes from what background, or what someone wears, who they love, or what pronouns they prefer. We know that everyone deserves a place in this world, and we are going to teach our children those beliefs. So events like this, where hatred, xenophobia, and division come into play, will never happen again.
This isn’t over. This is just the beginning. We may have lost this one, but we are not done yet. Our voices will get louder, and we won’t give up. We will have that day when we get to call someone “Madam President”, and when it comes, the win will be that much sweeter.