When the election campaign first started, I had my strong opinions just like everyone else. I’m proud to say I’m usually the youngest person in the room, especially since arriving at college. But when I really thought about the fact that I won’t be 18 until February, I realized how strange this election campaign was going to be and began trying to look at the candidates from an unbiased point of view.
Since my political views weren’t going to make a difference in the outcome of the election, I decided to try and follow the candidates from a neutral perspective. However, this turned out to be even more infuriating than watching it with my opinions in mind.
This is the first election in which I have been so heavily surrounded by voters. As an elementary- and middle-schooler, there wasn’t as large of a focus on politics because no one could vote, and many of us were too young to be well versed in hot issues like abortion, sexual assault and immigration.
However, now that I am in college, these issues have become much more real and are major topics discussed during the presidential race.
As a journalism student, this election has an even larger presence in my college life. Not only do my classes debate over what the candidates say, we also analyze the media coverage and write about election-related events on campus.
While many of my classmates and peers have played an avid role in supporting their candidate, I began to feel detached from the whole process. Everywhere on campus, I am surrounded by student campaigns from the sidewalk chalk, to the debate watch parties, yet I feel the whole process no longer affects me because I can’t do anything about it.
While I have no say in who becomes the next leader of our country, most of my peers do. It has been interesting to watch the people around me transition from being shy and afraid to stating their opinions around their new peers, to fiercely debating in the lounge of my dorm. I’m interested to see how those who support the losing candidate will react in the time leading up to the inauguration.
It has become increasingly frustrating to watch other people prepare for an event that will impact my life, especially since I won’t be able to do anything about it. After a year and a half, I won’t be sad to see this election end and only hope its aftermath won’t be as destructive.
Featured Photo Credit: Feature photo courtesy of eric lynch on Flickr.
Morgan Politzer is a freshman journalism major and can be reached a firstname.lastname@example.org.