As someone who has transferred from a college in the rural area of western Illinois, to a city school in the heart of Chicago, I have engaged myself in a variety of political conversations ranging from one side to the polar opposite. Some of these conversations have been with strangers while some of them have been with good friends. It is amazing to see what your best friends have to say about politics and especially in regards to the most recent election.
It is no secret that the students at the university in western Illinois were typically more on the conservative side but also held very liberal view points on specific issues. Many of the students were clearly opposed to gun laws while also holding pro-choice views. I found this to be interesting however incredibly common. It was also interesting to see how the students involved in the Student Government Association debated the issues in politics today. As college students, we have a significantly important voice as the election is going to affect our lives and futures quite a bit. The students who were a part of the Student Government Association were significantly more passionate about politics in general than the average student. This could be because of personal interest however I believe it was deeper than that. I think these students understood the importance of the election and were more inclined to explain to their fellow students why their votes mattered.
The city school I attend now has an entirely different atmosphere. Almost every student I encounter at this new school have expressed some sort of interest in the election and politics as a whole. I believe this is because these students feel, in a sense, more threatened by the candidates they had to choose from. Whether it is true or not, these students expressed a far greater concern for the outcome of the election before they knew who was going to be elected. As a journalism student, I was required to do multiple man on the street interviews with students. In these interviews, the general consensus from students was that they felt helpless with either candidate. On one hand, they enjoyed the democratic representative’s views on most issues. On the other hand, they did not feel she was trustworthy. The republican representative did not receive as much hate as I expected from this majority liberally populated school. Most of the students interviewed felt they did not agree with his campaign in general, however, they did appreciate the republican nominee’s approach as far as wanting America to change for the better.
In terms of politics, I find myself stuck in some sort of middle ground. I know that is an incredibly generic approach to this however, it is simply impossible for me to be strictly republican or an exclusive democrat. This election in itself, in my opinion, ignited a flame in my generation which created a massive interest in politics. Our generation, it seems, has become more willing to show an interest in politics. Whether it be through researching, voting, campaigning for their choice of candidate, or debating with peers, the overall interest and participation in politics has greatly increased in the current generation. College age adults have shown that they are willing to go to great lengths, even as far as protesting, to participate in politics. I am not saying that rioting is an effective or positive form of participation, but it is participation nonetheless. I hope that this generation is able to teach future generations that being involved in politics does not have to be a negative thing.