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An Open Letter To Those Mourning The Loss Of The Country

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at PSU chapter.

At 5 a.m. on the morning that Donald Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States I laid wide-awake in my small dorm room, simultaneously feeling deeply emotional and numb. It was a feeling that I could only compare to getting my wisdom teeth removed a few months back. Once I woke up from surgery my face was literally drooping from the anesthesia but my subsequent actions, thoughts and the trance like state I was in felt like a strange dream. Trump winning the election was like that, but horribly, horribly more painful. After sending out a string of tweets condemning the electoral system, Trump supporters and the future POTUS himself I had only one thought in my mind: getting the hell out of the country.


I woke up hours later feeling sick to my stomach. What would become of Roe vs. Wade? Of the affordable care act? What about homosexual marriage? Or immigration? And even foreign policy? The numbness that I felt before falling asleep ceased and all I could feel was agonizing pain and fear. Fear for people of color, for Muslims, for the LGBTQ community, for immigrants and for myself as a woman.


I skipped my one and only class that day. Instead I sat in my dorm room watching CNN while searching to find the best international schools that I could transfer to. I had never before felt more hopeless and lost in my life than I did at that moment. I skimmed over applications and programs for schools in Canada, the UK and even all the way in Australia. I wanted and needed a pathway out of the country as the worst possible outcome had occurred.


Around 2:30 p.m. I left my room to get to an academic advisor meeting that I had scheduled weeks in advance. As I walked from my dorm to her office, I was able to finally wrap my head around how detrimental my thoughts of leaving the country had been.


Donald J. Trump will be our next president. I am still in a state of disbelief that this is reality and not some kind of sick nightmare, but I have been able to come to terms with it. And running away from the country as I had intended to do at 5 a.m. this morning soon faded into a daydream that I can’t let myself go through with.


As an American, as a woman, and as an ally to those who are more oppressed than myself I will stay and fight because that’s what the strongest people before me have done. Susan B. Anthony didn’t give up. Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t give up. They fought for the rights of those oppressed, marginalized and eventually overcame those who initially tried to silence them. They went through hell to get this country to the progressive state it’s in now and I cannot let the next four years incinerate the progress we’ve already made.


The battle for the White House may have been lost this time around, but the fight for progress and change will never be given up. It is a movement for equality, justice and prosperity that we have been fighting for since the abolition of slavery, since women’s suffrage and the civil rights movement. Progress will continue to win, but we must not lose faith.

So yes, mourn this deep cut in the throat of democracy tonight, but our wounds will heal and we will overcome this only if we are prepared to fight as our predecessors did. So weep for the nation now, but wake up on Jan. 20th ready to protest, demonstrate and fight for our god given rights. If not for yourself then do it for the African Americans, for the women, for the LGBTQ community, for immigrants and for Muslims.


We are on the right side of history, and together we can stand tall against bigotry, misogyny and racism. This isn’t the end of the world. No matter how black the skies may seem now, remember that it’s always darkest before the dawn and we will not go quietly into the night.


For now, we are safe. Donald Trump is not yet the president. The Obama family has yet to leave the white house. The holiday season is just around the corner and I won’t let myself feel at all upset until there’s something else to be upset about. There is still beauty and love in the world that we cannot let ourselves forget especially at this time in history.


As I walked down the main street in my tiny college town this evening taking in the velocity of the day I noticed that twinkle lights had been hung across trees and buildings for the holidays, brightening the gloomy night with some kind of magic that does still exist in the world. I grabbed a cup of hot cocoa from Starbucks and for a moment was able to appreciate the true, vivid beauty that life always will offer no matter who’s in office. As Harry Potter’s Albus Dumbledore once said, “Happiness can be found in the darkest of times if only one remembers to turn on a light.” Never in my life had I ever realized how accurate that quote truly was until today.


Photo Credit: 1

Kaylee is the former President and Editor in Chief for Her Campus at the University of Delaware. She held this title from 2017-2020 and wrote for Penn State's chapter as a contributor prior to this. Now a proud UD class of 2020 alum (B.A. in Public Policy and Writing), Kaylee is completing her Masters in Public Health. Aside from writing, Kaylee was involved in many activities as an undergrad. She wrote for three college publications, was a Blue Hen Ambassador tour guide, worked as a Starbucks barista, and was the Director of Operations for the Model United Nations at UD.
Meghan Maffey graduated from the Pennslyvania State University in the Spring of 2017. She graduated with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in English.