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

Most of us are familiar with the U.S. presidential elections that are held every four years, but midterm elections, those that occur at the halfway point of a presidential term, can have just as big of an impact on the direction of our country. 

Most of the attention that plays into midterm elections is aimed at the two chambers of congress: the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives. Members of the House are elected for two-year terms, so all 435 seats are decided during the midterm elections. Senators are elected to staggered six-year terms. A third of the 100 seats are up for grabs in any midterm election.

The outcome of these elections is so important because the majority party determines who leads important congressional committees, and if a president’s party is not in control of both houses of congress, it hinders their ability to accomplish the agenda they set out to tackle. 

While we may not all be happy with the outcome of this year’s midterm elections, there are certainly some things and people that made history this year that can leave us (especially Gen- Z) moving forward in a positive direction:

Gen-Z Elected to Congress 

Twenty-five-year-old Maxwell Frost is the first member of Gen-Z to be elected to Congress. With much life to give, he is setting the stage for a new wave of leaders to step up with their own perspective to Congress, whose average age is 58.4. 

New York: First Woman Governor

Democrat Kathy Hochul will be the first elected female governor of New York, winning a full four-year term to the office she took last year after Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned. 

LGBTQ+ Representation 

Democrats Tina Kotek from Oregon, and Maura Healey from Massachusetts, are both the U.S.’s first outed Lesbian members of congress after they were both elected to office. 

From Illinois, Eric Sorensen’s win makes him the first gay Congress member of his state. 

Kayleigh Donachie is a junior Commuications Major with a focus in Journalism.