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

I know I already have a judgment cast upon me because of the first part of my article’s title. You’ve defined me, categorized me and think you know what I stand for. And while I’m not going to sit here and tell you how inaccurate those assumptions are, I will tell you one thing that’s true about me. I’m sad.

I’m sad because I went to sleep with the same loving heart I’ve always had, and woke up to a world telling me it’s dark. Nothing changed about who I am as a person simply because I filled in a black dot on a ballot. I’m not sure at what point America decided that a vote meant you represent every word that comes out of a candidate’s mouth – but it doesn’t, and this generalization needs to end.

I’m sad because I see my friends in the LGBT community saying I don’t care about them because of my vote. And because of that, I’m too afraid to admit who I chose as a candidate, in fear that I’ll lose them from my life. I voted based off my views on the future of our economy, yet I’m defined as a homophobe and a bigot.

I’m sad I have to explain all the non-values driven reasons why I voted the way I did, because if I don’t, I’m automatically racist and a terrible person. This election focused on the personal lives and flawed characteristics of the candidates. While a large portion of our nation fed into the media’s agenda, I did research and thoughtfully reviewed the plans each candidate had for our nation and its economy. I didn’t choose a president for his/her personality, I chose a president for his/her platform. Call me crazy, but I believe our founding fathers would respect and appreciate that I exercised my right using that criteria.

I’m sad to see so many upstanding citizens saying they’ll refuse to stand for the National Anthem and now hate America because of this outcome. If one person can waiver your love for this country, then maybe you should sit back and consider why you loved it in the first place. We have come together as a country through many horrific tragedies, and yet so many are letting one man destroy our nation’s bond. And yes, let me repeat that, you are LETTING him. We were fine before him and we will be fine after him. We are a nation under God, not one man.

I will always be proud to be an American, and would have been even if my candidate lost. I’ve had the same values and beliefs instilled in me for years now, and those did not change overnight. I respect all of you who are sad over this election’s outcome and fear for the future of our nation. But I ask that you remember who your family, friends and coworkers were yesterday, and treat them as if they were still that same person – because they are that same person. They didn’t change because of a vote. You simply changed how you choose to see them.


Caitlin is a senior at UCF pursuing a degree in advertising/public relations. She's a lover of Chipotle and witty conversations - ideally together. Fun Fact: She owns two sugar gliders. Basic Fact: She binge watches Vampire Diaries, Greys Anatomy and Scandal on Netflix. Random Fact: She recently discovered she is capable of, and enjoys, playing volleyball. Her articles will always include elements of sass, honesty and humor. You're welcome.
Gabby is a senior advertising and public relations major who loves Taylor Swift, iced coffee, anything that sparkles, and writing. Her favorite fictional character is Jenna Rink from 13 Going on 30, because she plans to be a "big time magazine editor" one day. Gabby is the the president and editor-in-chief of Her Campus at UCF and a contributing blogger for the Huffington Post. When she isn't writing (which isn't very often), you'll always find Gabby sitting front row of every UCF football game, at Starbucks, or watching re-runs of "Friends." She's got a fascination with New York City, and aspires to work in digital journalism. Follow Gabby on social media if you're interested in the commentary of an average 20-something, food, and the more-than-occassional selfie. Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest