Columns / Discourse / November 9, 2016

Working toward the next four years


How can we fight back?                   How can we become the nation that we have always hoped we could become? How do we keep our dignity and our safety close to us during these next four years? I don’t have the answers. All I know is that we, as college students, must stand up together. We can’t wither away Ñ we have the opportunity that not all young adults in our nation have. We have our education.

An educated nation is what Trump fears the most. To generalize things immensely, he fed off the less educated in order to get to where he is now: in office. He has gone back and forth in almost all of the topics that were the backbone of his candidacy, so what should we expect from him?

Things that Trump has stayed stagnant on are his hateful opinions on the LGBTQ+ community, the black community, Muslim community, Latinx communities and the entire female population. I fall into two categories and am struggling to wrap my mind around what my life will look like for the next four years. Then again, I also identify as a white, cis-gendered, upper middle-class person Ñ my privilege rings out. I can’t know the worst of what the next presidential term holds.

I know that I have my education. I know that I am fortunate enough to be enrolled in an institution that is made up of brilliant minds of our generation, and those minds have rallied together for the safety and well-being of everyone. We are all grieving. We are all healing. We happen to be doing so while pursuing our education.

Self-care is important. Don’t dismiss it Ñ we all have our own ways of dealing with what has happened to our country. But, as we start to pick ourselves back up, don’t dismiss our educational opportunities here, either. I’ve heard snippets of conversation throughout campus along the lines of, “I want to drop out of school. It doesn’t matter,” “I don’t want my college experience to be under Trump’s presidency,” and “I just can’t go to class today.” Continuing on with our education is our strongest weapon. A well-educated, young generation is what Trump fears the most. We are his biggest group of prosecutors.

Our education has the ability to bridge the gap between opposing sides on our campus. As we come together to work toward something greater than ourselves, we have the power to learn from each other. Learn from our country’s mistakes. Help mend them together.

Lillie Chamberlin
Lillie is a senior at Knox, majoring in creative writing and minoring in gender and women's studies. At The Knox Student, she has worked as the discourse editor, co-editor-in-chief, and is now a co-mosaic editor. She is also a co-nonfiction editor at Catch. Her work has been published in the Galesburg Register-Mail.

Tags:  column discourse education presidential election 2016 Trump

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