The election has been one of many emotions. It has been one of excitement and then of heartbreak and hopelessness for many. There have already been a lot of articles about students’ reactions to the results and I am with them in their disappointment. So, to deal with that feeling of disappointment and anger, I decided to go to the Ignite Your Right: Humanity Against Trump rally on Friday afternoon. The rally was similar to ones all over the country as college student protest Donald Trump being our next president.
Fox News blasted college students for their reactions to the election. They showed pictures of college students crying, talking about how we have been babied because of our reactions to the election results. We as a group have been called entitled, whiny crybabies time and time again. Rudy Guiliani called us “spoiled crybabies.” I am told that I do not know what life is like in the real world, that I, as a college student, am not capable of understanding life outside of my campus and the “safe spaces” that it apparently has.
I experienced similar reactions from adults around this same time last year. I was volunteering for the Bernie Sanders campaign and was active in the UMass for Bernie Sanders group on campus. When I would tell people about my views, I was told that I thought I was entitled to “free stuff” and that once I got a real job, I would understand why Bernie was wrong for the United States. And frankly, I know that if I did have a real job at the time of the Democratic primary, I would have still voted for Senator Bernie Sanders.
I would have because I as a college student know how to formulate my own opinions and do my own research. I do not think I am entitled to free stuff; I believe that people in this country need healthcare. I do not think that Bernie would ruin the economy; I believe he would have helped the middle class.
But, that is beside the point. The point is we as college students are generalized as sheltered liberals who want everything done our way and that is why we protest. That is simply not true. I cannot speak for every person who has protested, but I will tell you why I have protested.
I protested because I am uncertain of the rights that my peers will have in the future. I am uncertain of the economic and social ramifications of a Trump presidency. I do not protest the results of the election, but I protest because of the results. I am not a whiny college student who just wants free stuff. I am not a whiny college student who does not understand the country and the world. I am not an uneducated person nor do I believe I am entitled to anything just because I am a college student.
I protest because I want my voice heard. My peers protest because they want their voices heard. We do not expect the results to change because of us. We know that.
But, maybe older generations should listen. We as college students and as part of the millennial generation, we are part of one of the largest generations. We do have a voice and we have an informed voice. The students that I have on my weekly podcast are far from entitled. They are well-researched, well-thought, and well-informed students who blow me away with their knowledge of the world and its issues.
We aren’t whining. We’re just telling you how we feel and you should listen because we’ll be running the world someday, and I can promise you it will be a successful one at that.
Emilia Beuger is a Collegian columnist and can be reached at [email protected]