Around this time about a year ago, I thought we, as a country, had reached our lowest possible point. I mean—Donald Trump as president? Really?
The day he got elected, I stayed in bed all day. I didn’t go to work, didn’t go to class and thought nothing could be worse than this. I just didn’t understand—where did we go wrong? How on Earth did this happen? This was the first election I could actively participate in, and felt like our electoral system had been rendered a complete joke.
I didn’t know what to do. The livelihoods of my friends were threatened, and I felt helpless—completely and utterly powerless.
In the year since the Twitterer-in-Chief was inaugurated, I have seen more changes in myself than I had ever thought possible. I had never had a strong affinity for the government, but a year later I’m more passionate about it than I had ever thought possible. Here are five ways I have changed in the year since Trump’s inauguration:
1. I try my best to stay educated about things I had no knowledge about.
During Obama’s terms, I tried my best to stay up-to-date on new policies and bills he was proposing—but sometimes, I just didn’t educate myself like I should have. Trump taking office has made me hyper-aware that staying educated is the best thing to do in times like this—about any and everything he’s doing.
2. I’m learning how to use my privilege.
As a straight, white woman, I know I have been awarded with privilege that some of my friends do not have. In the year following Trump’s inauguration, I have been educating myself on what this inherent privilege I was born with means, and how I can use it.
3. I’m mad.
At first, I was upset and bewildered at how this could have happened. I wasn’t mad, I was terrified and unsure of what the future held. Though I still don’t know what the future of this administration looks like, I’ve learned that being passive or scared solves nothing and helps no one—which is why I’ve found that being mad is more productive.
4. I’m more involved.
After I shook off being scared the day after the election, I joined a couple friends in a march, protesting what was happening. I didn’t stop there—I’ve petitioned, marched some more, written to and called my representatives and started to realize what an important era we’re in. I want to be as involved as I possibly can, to create and help shape a better future than the present we are in now.
5. I’m working harder.
I want the world to be a better place, simple as that. I know that this won’t happen overnight, so I need to work a little harder and focus a little more to ensure that something like this won’t happen again. I’m working hard for my future, for the future of my children and the so the future of the United States government looks a little less bleak.