My First Time Voting Experience

Turning 18-years-old, you think about all the new things you can accomplish. You are ‘officially’ an adult, you can buy lottery tickets, join the army, and vote for the President of the United States. I have never been very political. I paid attention to the news, I watched the inaugurations, I watched the debates without really paying attention to their content. But all that changed when I turned 18-years-old. It became my responsibility as an adult, to choose someone who I thought could best run our country for the next four years. 

It was exciting and scary to see the pool of candidates running for office that I could choose from. From the beginning, I was leaning towards Bernie or Hillary, but always knew in my gut that I was #withher. Watching the republican candidates drop like flies was terrifying. Seeing in this election, first hand, watching a man with no political experience succeed, was crazy. I knew from the beginning that this was an election that we would talk about for years to come, and that I would tell my children about someday. 

When Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic Party nomination, I was elated. Can you believe that in less than 100 years (94 to be exact!) women went from not having the right to vote, to electing their first woman as a major party nominee? HOW COOL IS THAT?! I was hopeful for a change and progression. I knew that there could be almost no way that we could elect a candidate whose campaign was based on bullying, compared to one that was honest, and fighting for what is right. Watching the debates, my friends and I tried to make light of entertaining the republican candidate with debate bingo. We played during all three of the debates, paying attention to what each of the candidates had to say, and how many spots left until we had bingo. I awaited SNL every week, to see a too-accurate representation of the debates the week before. 

I had cast my absentee ballot for Maryland weeks before the election. The pure joy I had voting for the first female president is indescribable. I cannot wait to talk about for years to come that as a young woman, I voted for a woman to lead our country. Something that was almost unthinkable just a couple of years ago. I had hope for our country that we would make the right choice, the only choice. That we would choose equality, experience, honesty, and most importantly, love. 

I sit here this morning, 8:05 AM on November 9, and see that the rest of the country did not vote with me, or with her. I sit here in shock, with just over five hours of sleep, waiting out hope that she could somehow pull through. But with my sadness, I have hope. I know that this is not what America stands for, and we are willing to fight to change. We are too strong to let all the progress we have created go down the drain. 

My first time voting in an election was exciting, scary, joyful and sad. I am so happy to say that I made a choice, that I actively participated in our government, and I can’t wait to do so for many years to come. My feminist flair will remain on my jean jacket, and I will continue to fight for what I believe in.