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After four years of an inflammatory Donald Trump presidency, it seems that the end is finally in sight with the inauguration of Joe Biden as president Wednesday. After the raid and rally on the U.S. Capitol building in early January, Americans desperately cling onto what seems like is their last bit of hope in the days leading up to the anxiety-inducing transition of power. 

The Trump administration was particularly interesting for me to watch unfold because it’s really the first time I became fully involved in politics and the current state of America as a country. During the times of other presidents, I was too young and disconnected to truly care about my political interests, but I found that when Donald Trump took control of the White House, I had to care about the everyday happenings in the news, because my rights were under fire constantly. As much as I disagree with their beliefs and views, I have to thank the Trump administration for forcing me to finally become politically educated, and for the passion that now drives my cycle of the constant learning and sharing of my experiences. Reflecting over the last four years, the one thing I take from Trump’s presidency is that I had to speak up before my voice was lost in all of the noise. I also learned to use my voice for others, especially in the face of discrimination and injustice. Although it seems I’ve gained these skills at the expense of the reputation of the United States, I plan on carrying these tools with me for the time being. 

Looking towards the inauguration, and of the presidency of Joe Biden, I am still not completely optimistic. Ejecting Donald Trump from office does not remove the sense of hate and bigotry that allowed him there in the first place. As easy as it is to hate and blame Donald Trump for his heinous actions as president, I also have to remember that his target audience, his supporters, will not disappear after Biden is sworn in. My hopes for the inauguration are that it not only serves as a new wave of inspiration and hope for a battered and beaten America, but also that it fosters an environment for the healing and growth we need to regain our sense as a country. I hope that the presence of a moderate president in office will allow the hyperpolarization in American politics to no longer exist. Mostly, though, I hope not to return to the past, but to look forward to a new future, one that is more tolerable, kinder, and more loving.

In order to fully recover, I think that a lot of learning and teaching needs to be done. I believe in the strength of our country and of the people that are in it, and I hope that with enough perseverance, love, and hard work, we can all create a future that serves everyone and their unique needs.

Hi! My name is Lauren Howard, I'm 21, and I'm from Palos Verdes, CA. I'm currently Junior the University of Oregon, and I'm majoring in Advertising. In my free time, I enjoy watching Netflix, thrifting, or vibing to one of my many Spotify playlists. A passionate storyteller and opinionated to a T, I'm excited to delve into some of my favorite topics, and learn from everyone here!
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