America can now let go of its anxiety; the 45th President of the United States has been elected.
Whether your ballot depended on your parents’ preferences or your own opinion, your vote has helped shape America. Even third party voters, Harambe supporters and those who chose to sit this one out have contributed to the man who believes in making America great again.
I’m sure when you cast your vote, there was no way around the two popular, yet nonsensical candidates that will go down as the most memed political figures in history. Democrats and Republicans are plum tuckered out with this election, and there’s no turning back from what has happened. Donald Trump’s dreams for our future will become a reality now that he is the elected president, and the American people’s tolerance for bad entertainment (like this election) can only take them so far.
If you survived this 2016 election without completely losing your sanity, here are 5 ways to survive life after it.
Hold your breath for ten seconds. Breathe in. Now breathe out. The results of this election came as a surprise to many — an affirmation to some, and a rejection to others. A lot of people have forgotten to breathe this election cycle, anxiously awaiting their newly elected POTUS.
Now that it’s over, everyone has a chance to catch their breath. It is time to reflect on all the hot air that has been spewed these last 16 months, because at least first-time voters and those under the voting age can learn from the country’s mistakes. Anyone who is unhappy with the election will at least know what to do differently next time. So, let’s take a collective breath. Breathe in. Breathe out.
2. Sign Off Social Media
Everyone has an opinion on which candidate should have become the president, or what would have happened if certain groups had voted for this candidate instead of that one. Though you may disagree with them, you should at least respect their views. When their opinions are followed by offensive remarks though, or when the gravitas of the moment is treated with inappropriate flippancy, it’s nearly impossible to avoid retaliating with some hostile words of your own.
Millennials are known for being heavily outspoken, and college students have certainly expressed their political views in this election, especially on social media. But instead of attempting to knock some sense into unchanging minds and frustrating yourself, keep your sanity. Resist the urge to react to that uneducated person who decided to tweet the first thing that came to their mind. Log off your social media and think about what you could do to educate those that are actually interested in learning.
3. Be Respectful
The battle is over and the dust has settled. It’s time to pick up the pieces and get back to work. The only way to bridge the political gap, specifically amongst college students, is to treat each other with respect.
The aim of undergraduates should be to better understand what causes divisions and to work against those forces. The minute respect dissipates, America’s ideals are endangered. A house divided cannot stand.
The country needs to stand together now more than ever, and constructive dialogue may be the best way to achieve this goal. You may not agree with the position of your peers, but they are still people, and they still live in the same country and have the same rights as you. S
o don’t get too upset with the guy holding the “Build the wall” sign in the quad, or the girl who chooses to speak up about her rights as a lesbian minority. Freedom of speech is the most effective right that America has; use it as much as you can.
4. Get Involved
The eyes of every watch party across college campuses in America were fixated on the presidential election. Does anyone know who won Senate? House of Representatives? No? That’s what I thought. There are appointed representatives in every state, city and county that are elected to be the voice of the people.
Since the results of the election, college students have rallied together and protested in the streets, all the way to their state reps’ building. You are the people. An advocate speaking on your behalf is the best chance you have of getting your position considered. Utilize your resources and find out who stands for you in the government.
5. Keep Hope Alive
Even though the American people are divided between conservatives and liberals, millennials and elders, the oppressed and the privileged, men and women, that does not mean that the world has come to an end. For those who believe that our new POTUS can reshape America and “Make it Great Again,” continue to support that ideal. Same goes for those who believe that change still needs to be made.
Catch your breath, disconnect from the ignorance, show respect and get involved. Use this election as your platform to speak up and really make America great again.