We are all trying to stay afloat

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Brooke Freundschuh, Arts & Entertainment Editor

I think we can all admit that this is an all-around difficult time for everyone. As much as we try, nothing feels normal about the world right now. Everyone feels like they are just trying to keep their head above water, when they should be swimming.

It may be easy for me to say as someone at that age, but one of my biggest fears is for my generation, for the kids who are trying to learn how to be adults. The transitions that are made in the early adult years are stumbled through by most, but the last eight months have felt like a crawl. My heart goes out to those who are out on their own for the first time after high school and are trying to learn how to operate in the world of illness, violence, divisive politics and lost jobs.

School is harder than ever for most university students. Digital learning does not seem to be getting any easier. Most students feel as if they are just turning in assignments instead of learning. We are missing out on most of the experiences that define the college years as we lose touch with old friends and struggle to make new ones from a distance.

The struggle to adjust to a mutated college experience is doubled if the student is a minority. The poor feel at risk. Black people are vulnerable when leaving their homes. Members of the LGTBQ+ community fear a retraction of their freedom. Women are being misrepresented in Washington.

My heart hurts even more for children who are attending their first years of elementary school thinking that the way schools are operating is normal. One day they will understand that this was all for their safety, but I bet they are scared right now. At least my generation remembers what it felt like before COVID-19 affected everything.

I cannot help but fear what the future holds and what a post-COVID world will look like. I am even more scared of how long it will take to find out.

However, there is something those of us over the age of 18 can do to evoke change:vote. I know that if you use social media, you have probably been hounded with posts encouraging you to register to vote. You are probably just as sick of election drama as I am, but the truth is that the country’s leadership is a big determining factor in what the future will look like for everyone.

I myself have very strong views about the upcoming election, but I am not writing this to share them. I came to the conclusion of who I am going to vote for based on research, and that is what I encourage all of you to do.

I do not care which way you vote. You do not have to vote like me or believe like me. What I dream is that the young adults of America will realize how much power they possess. No matter who you are, your vote counts just as much as anyone else’s. You may feel like it is not worth it when you are confident that the election will go a certain way, but it is. Women, immigrants, people of color, lower class, gays, transgenders: you are Americans and your voice deserves to be heard too. America may be flawed right now, but the beauty in democracy is that no citizen’s vote counts more than the other.

At this time, everyone is trying, yet we feel like we are met with constant failures. For this election, as Yoda would say, “do or do not. There is no try.”

The normalcy of the future is in your hands. It is up to you how the scared children will live at your age. Choose wisely.