Capture Me

I don’t know what has been going on with me for the past 2-3 weeks but… I feel like I am backtracking with my social skills. I am so awkward and shy, not that this differs from how I have always been…

I know that I am a sky and reserved person. I have come to terms with that fact about myself. I used to think it was due to my low self esteem, but I have learned that it truly is who I am. I remember my mom always telling me that I used to be a really quiet baby. I never cried for attention or talked much. I always kept to myself.

Through my time in college, I have learned that not many people share this characteristic. In fact, it is super rare for people to be like this. Most people are social and know how to interact with people regularly. People are somewhat  talkative. It’s in our nature. We’re social animals.

But I may just be super slow to all of this.

Take, for instance, yesterday. I took part in this photoshoot for people of color at my school. I had learned about it 5 minutes before, and I happened to be in the same building, so I thought, “Sure, I’ll stop by.”

I’ve done photo campaigns before, and they were really chill, really relaxed. And it usually took about 10 minutes or so.

But this was the first time that I had actually done a photo shoot with people in the black community. I didn’t expect there to be a difference. Heck, I didn’t even realize the difference until today. But there was one, a very big one.

I came in, and I immediately felt judged for whatever reason. Everyone would see who came in, look them up and down, and continue with their activity. I found that a bit odd, but whatever.

So I had not really thought about a pose to do, but I thought it would just be super casual. I do some smiling shots and laughing shots and be done. Nope. First, I asked for the opinion of the photographer if the color looked okay (we were able to choose are background color, and I had chosen yellow. I went with yellow because I’m always a happy, smiley person). I didn’t want it to look like I was doing 5th grade school pictures or something. She looked at me and then looked at the color, and she said, “Uhh yea, it’s whatever you want.” Then another person came and asked if something was wrong, and she told them, “She wants to make sure the color matched with her outfit.”

Uhh what?

That’s not what I said.

I just wanted to make sure that the color looked okay, not necessarily if it went with my outfit…

Oh well. After she said that, I felt a bit self-conscious. Well great, now they think I’m self-absorbed.

So we are doing the shoot, and I am smiling casually, laughing casually, and I thought it was going well. But every time she snapped a photo, she would say, “Okay, think of something happy and cheerful.” And while I’m trying to think of something, she would snap the photo. She was going so fast, and I just wasn’t ready.

To be honest, I wasn’t ready to begin with. I was pushed to go next because the other girl was helping her friend out with something. So that left no time for me to even think.

Anyways, I am trying to, and while I am thinking about it, she’s snapping pictures. She’d look at them and say, “Okay, do you want me to put you into poses?” I was just thinking, “What?” I thought this was super casual.

So I am trying to stay happy and stay cheerful. I’m laughing into the camera, looking away, looking at her, talking with people off the camera… And then she says, “Okay, can someone make her laugh or something?” And now all eyes are on me, and I’m just standing there awkwardly.

I didn’t know what to say or how to react. I didn’t know what she wanted, and now I felt embarrassed. Now I just wanted to leave.

So people are coming and talking to me and trying to make me laugh, but I am just smiling and laughing, same as I was before, because that is just who I am naturally.  But apparently it just wasn’t good enough or something. She would look at me and say, “Uhm… just… do whatever you want to do. Be yourself.”

Well, isn’t that what I was doing?

Then, she proceeded to tell me certain poses to do. She told me to act like I was yawning or stretching, and I thought that felt super weird. She told me to take off my jean jacket, which I thought looked better on, especially since now I had pit stains from all the nervousness.

When I came in to do the photo shoot, I thought that the photo was to capture the real me. All of me. Awkward, laughing, shy, smiling me. That’s why I chose yellow. I wanted to portray that.

But I don’t think she was getting it. I don’t think she got it.

So time passed by, and she said, “How about we switch backgrounds, and switch photographers?” And she said this loud enough for everyone to hear, so I felt really bad after that, but I knew I had done nothing wrong.

So I switch to someone else, who was super chill. She was actually a good friend of mine, and I knew she was good with cameras. She made me feel at ease again. I felt like I could be myself with her, and it was nice. She let me do whatever – just smile, talk with people, laugh around… the same things as what I had been doing with the prior photographer. She said I was super photogenic and that she loved the pictures she took.

I was glad we had switched photographers. She caught that. She caught me.

It’s funny though, because when the first photographer was photographing another girl, the other girl was only doing one pose, and it was fine. She was saying, “nice, great!”, but all she did was stand still and look off into the distance. Why did she want more from me?

I felt so much better afterwards. Even though it was a rocky start, it ended well.

Figuras Tectas

Title is Latin for “hidden figures” 😉

I just came from watching a screening of the movie, Hidden Figures and… I feel so inspired by these women.

Okay first off, there was this lady sitting right in front of me who would not just sit stiff. AND she overreacted to everything that happened in the movie. She found every single thing funny, and when things were actually funny, she wouldn’t laugh. She danced to every single song and… it was just alot. I was so distracted by her. Even a girl behind me commented on the fact that not everything in the movie was funny…

But BESIDES that, the movie was absolute art.

I loved that it was based on a true story, the idea that these women are finally being recognized  for all the work they did for NASA (Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson). It’s crazy just how much we go through history knowing some of the big-shot names, the huge supervisors of it all, yet the people working behind the magic are not recognized. For example, Rosalind Franklin is hardly ever mentioned in biology textbooks (though, I believe people are working to change that) because she was a woman just working in a lab. But her x-ray picture of DNA helped to ultimately find its true structure. But is she the one credited for it? Nope. Watson and Crick, the people who stole the x-ray picture off of her desk, were the ones who ended up getting the Nobel Prizes for the discovery. In that time, women were not allowed to receive Nobel Peace Prizes. Unfortunately, Franklin was not recognized until after she had died.

I did not even know about her until 9th grade of high school. All that time, I was told “Watson and Crick”, “Watson and Crick discovered DNA!” “Watson and Crick found the helical structure!”

Since the beginning of time, women have been over-worked and under-appreciated for the work they do. This movie just brought up so many more feelings within me about the idea of science and women in science, especially colored women.

These women did some incredible things for NASA. Without Katherine Johnson’s phenomenal mathematical skills, NASA would not have been able to put the first American man into space. Without Dorothy Vaughan, women probably would not fight for the right to demand a higher job title and higher status. Without Mary Jackson, colored women would probably not think it possible to become an aeronautical engineer, or an engineer at that. These women changed America’s (and the world’s) idea of the STEM field. America used to look through a black-and-white lens, but these women put color into it.

Over the past few weeks, I really thought about the idea of being a physics major. After taking physics last semester and being in my second semester, I realized just how much I love the science. It’s the only class that I actually have opened the textbook and actually enjoyed reading it. That has NEVER happened for me in a STEM class. I remember how back in high school, I was actually really good at physics. I was one of the few people in my class (only 3 of us) who passed the AP Physics exam.

Last week, I was walking down the physics hallway, and they showed a picture of their graduates. Their classes are TINY. Their graduating class is about 25 students (compared to my bio graduating class of over , and, to no surprise, they were all white males.

I was a little surprised at how small the department was, because the professors all seem like geniuses in the field, and they are all super enthusiastic about it. I would think that there would be more. NOPE.

I have also always been fascinated by the idea of an engineer, the idea of space, the idea of being able to take someone and send them out of the earth. I thought (and still think) aeronautical engineers are the coolest people on the planet. I remember going to the Aerospace museum in DC over Thanksgiving break 2015 and I was like a fat kid in a candy store.

The place was amazing!

They had airplanes hanging from the sky, biographies of the world’s most renown flights, they even had an entire exhibit dedicated to Amelia Earhart.

Now, no one really knows this, but Amelia Earhart is one of my favorite people in world history. I don’t know what it was, but her disappearance was the most fascinating thing to me. How did she just disappear and no one know where she was? When I was young, I used to come up with alternative ideas as to what may have happened to her. I thought that maybe she decided to reside at a nearby island.

I have always thought, “What if I became a physics major?”

First off, I would be highly under-estimated, like the women in the movie. None of the men thought that these women were worth much. They al prejudged their intelligence only to realize just how important and needed they are in the field.

Anyways, it’s still an idea.

Dr. Hadiyah-Nicole Green, a black female physicist who is breaking boundaries all over the place in STEM research, is my role model right now (besides Chimamanda Ngozi-Adichie, of course), and she has me thinking, “Why don’t I just change my major?” she was the 76th black female in the US to get a PhD in Physics. I thought that was crazy. Where are the women? Why are the numbers so small?

On My Way to the Kingdom

Soo I got good news y’all!

I will probably be studying abroad this upcoming fall semester! I will be going to my dream place, the place that I’ve told everyone that I would go to: the UK!

I am so excited. The dean had emailed me today about the results of my petition, and she said that it went through and that I should be able to. I am so excited right now!

I was worried because my GPA did not really hit their minimum. I was super sad because studying abroad has been a longtime dream for me. Heck, it was the first information session I went as a freshman. I was super pumped, but I had gotten discouraged when the woman said that if you were premed, you would be in the worst situation.

Well guess what? I’ll be done with all premed requirements this year, so next year will be freed up to do whatever I wanted.

And I want to study abroad!

I have really thought about what I would be giving up if I studied abroad:

  1. I was applying for a higher job title in my job and there was a pretty big chance that I would get it.
  2. I do not have any plans for housing next year because I knew that I would possibly be studying abroad, so if this does not work out, then I will be homeless
  3. I am giving up my Inequality Studies minor, which I was so pumped to get. I am taking a Soc class right now that goes towards the minor, but there is a required class that is only offered in the fall.
  4. I would be missing out on whatever has been reserved for seniors fall semester. This will be the last time I will be seeing alot of people, so that is kind of sad that the time is cut short.
  5. Studying abroad will probably take some more money that I need to get. and I am already paying a good amount to go to this school (time to start applying for a bunch of scholarships)

But I am just so excited for it that none of this really matters for me currently. I just want to go and travel! I love to travel, so yes, I want to go!

Now all I have to do is finish the college application. Hopefully they let me in. I am so motivated. I hardly got any sleep last week (which is probably why I woke up so late for classes today. I should not have gotten out Saturday night.. though it was a great time! Okay, I digress). I was working on everything studying abroad, which is why I am so happy that everything went through! I would have actually cried if everything did not go as planned.

Ridiculously Late.

Today, I wake up to sunlight shining in my room. I had a dream about… something. I’ve forgotten. But I wake up form that dream, and it was as if I knew something had happened.

I immediately look at my alarm clock and it reads… 11:15am.

WOAH what???

I jump out of my bed and am yelling to the skies while I try and put on clothes while doing my hair. I was in such a panic. I have never… EVER woken up so late for classes before. Not even when I was in high school. Not even middle school. Heck, not even elementary school!

I’ve always heard of people oversleeping their classes, but that was never me. I always woke up either a few minutes later than when I was suppose to or maybe I would wake up at the time that the class started.

But today, I have classes from 9:05am-12:05pm, and I woke up at freaking 11:15am!

I had missed my physics class (which is the most important one for the day) and my sociology class (and that was my third class in a row that I am missing). I also missed half of Latin, the class that I had stayed up all night studying and preparing for. So of course I was not going to miss that one.

I threw on clothes, tried to look decent, and I ran out of the door. I had texted my friend that I had just woke up, and she said, “Lol.” No, no “lol.” This wasn’t funny for me. I had missed most of my classes. My mom is not paying for me to go to this school just to miss my classes.

I started thinking to myself how I could have woken up so late.

I mean yea I had stayed up super late last night (and I should not have. I should have went to bed by 2am, but I guess peer pressure). I didn’t really go to sleep until about 5am. But I’ve done that before in the past, and I still managed to wake up for classes.

And then I thought… This is the first time that I didn’t have a roommate.

So long story short, my roommate moved out over February break. We had gotten into a huge fight, and she decided to leave. Thank God! I was actually looking for housing when she came in, argued, then left. It was just great!

So now I have this whole room to myself, which is super nice. I turned her bed into something like a long lounge chair where I can sit and work, and it has served me very well. I covered it with my gray blanked and put my red armchair there as well. It’s perfect.

One this about the room is that… it gets kind of lonely.

I have had about 5 roommates up to now (counting the summers), and I am so used to having someone in the room that it feels weird when I don’t. And many of my friends are doing their own thing now, with their own friend groups. So I literally am just in my room studying or wasting time. It gets lonely, but sometimes I really do need the time to myself.

But one thing I hadn’t realized is that in the past, I would wake up to my roommates waking up. As a result, I would never sleep in so late. Even when I was late, I wasn’t extremely late.

Today, I realized that I did not have anyone to come and check on if I was awake or not. Friends in physics didn’t even text asking me where I was. And I didn’t have anyone in sociology checking on me, even if I shared that class with people.

I don’t know, I just thought that someone would have texted me asking me if I would be in class or not. It was as if nothing changed if I was there or not.

I’ve been struggling with this, feeling like I am not really a part of anyone’s life or significant. I know I shouldn’t define myself based on others, but it can be hard because that’s how the world works.

Because what if I were to just leave? Would anyone notice? Would anyone check where I went? What if I got kidnapped? Would life just go on?

I may be thinking too much into it, but I’ve just been kind of lonely recently.

And it seems like all the friends I did make are kind of keeping their distance now, and it makes me sad. I’m sure it was because of the past relationship I was in. It didn’t end well and, well, it somewhat divided the friend group. And many of them went to the other side.

But anyways, I should not have been that late today. I really have no excuse for it.

I ran to Latin, and thank God it was a calm day. I was kind of upset that he didn’t even go over the passages that I had stayed up translating last night, but whatever. Atleast I had made it to ONE of my classes today.

Now I have 2 prelims tomorrow (Biochem and Physics) and I really need to study.

Getting Better

It is almost like I dread going to my Latin class every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. And it’s not that the topics are particularly boring, but it’s the fact that he picks people at random to scan and translate.

In school, this has always been my greatest fear: getting picked on by the teacher.

The last time I was in Latin class, I did not do so well. As I said in my last long blog post, I was picked on by the substitute teacher and couldn’t say a single thing. So this time around, in fear of the substitute teacher giving my name to the teacher, I made sure to scan and translate all the lines.

All the poems are actually very interesting. It’s just that if you mix this homework with Physics, Genetics, and Biochemistry, it is very easy for Latin to become a second thought.

So today, I just had the feeling that he would pick on me at some point. I actually thought I would be the first one picked because I thought that the substitute had talked about me. He didn’t mention anything about last class, so I guess not.

So we are scanning and translating lines, and everytime that we go to the next poem, he turns and looks at his paper of attendance. I am always praying in my seat hoping that he will not pick me.

So there came about 5 minutes before the end of class. He wanted to finish one more poem. I looked at it and felt like I knew most of what it was saying, but I had forgotten words (the sleep deprivation is actually real. My short-term memory is getting worse). He looks at the page, and… call it a gut feeling or God Himself, but I had the strong feeling that he was about to choose me.

And he did.

When he first said my name, I almost didn’t believe it, since he hadn’t called my name in about two weeks.

So I began.

I was trying to hit every elision in the poem because it always bothered me when I heard other people miss it. It came to the last line of the poem and there were 3 elisions one after the other. I promise you, I read over that line atleast 3 times because it was so hard. Once I was finally done, the class kind of chuckled, but I chuckled along with them and so did the professor. It was more on the laughter at how hard I had tried with that last elision. Atleast I got it in the end. The professor was smiling, so that was always good.

So I started to translate, and that’s kind of where I stumbled. I had translated the poem earlier, but I had forgotten some key words. So there were pauses and times where I had to ask him for help. I would say about two times to be exact. I am going to say that nerves probably got to me. Not only am I sleep-deprived and my short term memory is taking a toll, but nervousness definitely does not help. I was trying with all my might to remember what was being said in the poem, but it wasn’t working.

But I got the first and last lines of the poem correct (thank God), so I began and ended on a good note. I guess that’s all that matters?

Next week is the test, and I am a little nervous. I will probably  need to translate and scan all the poems that we have done over this weekend. No partying for me :/

I was planning on going to this Caribbean night thing tonight, but I have too much on my mind right now.

I have to finish applying to this job position that I am hoping to get next year, I am thinking about studying abroad, so I need to do that, I need to finish application for a summer program, Ih ave to finish financial aid documents, I have to help my sister out with hers, I have to to more counselor training practice rounds (3 more to be exact, but probably more), I have to study for my physics test which is in a week and a half (and Biochem is on the same day… yay), I have to study for this Latin test on Wednesday…

I know that I should probably go to my Latin teacher’s office hours next week just to ask him how many hours a day does he believe we should study for Latin. He has already said the best way to get better at Latin, but it kind of sounded like he wanted us to be experts. I’m going to have to ask him to about a more realistic approach because… I ain’t a Classics major.

Hardcore Science major premed over here, and my stress meter is on high all the time.

Gut Feelings

Something in my gut told me to miss my Latin class today. I don’t know what it was. Maybe it was the fact that it was 2am on the last day of break and I had not even touched my Latin stuff. I found out that I had to translate about 7 poems, but I had no idea how that was going to happen. I took little 90 minute-naps (because I read somewhere that it takes 90 minutes to finish a REM cycle), and somehow that kind of worked. I would wake up not feeling groggy and I felt like I could work. But then I would just go back to sleep after a little bit.

By 6:30am, I decided to wake up and finish the poems. It was around this time that I felt the need to just email my professor saying that I would be sick and miss class. I should’ve done it, I really should have.

But then I thought, “What if this was the one day that he choose a me and I would lose participation points?” Also, what if I needed to use that sick excuse for another day when I was really dying? So being the good student I am, I decided to go to class.

Well this will be very ironic coming from a student, but this was one of the few times in my college career that I absolutely regretted going to class.

So after Sociology, I walk over to my Latin class, which is technically in the same building. I sit and go over my notes once I reach the class room. I am a little nervous because there were so many poems to go over, but I knew that I had atleast looked over them.

So the rest of the class comes in, and we are all waiting for our teacher when suddenly some one tall old man comes in. He asked with an English accent, “Is this the Latin Catullus class?” We all nod, and he just comes in and sits down. He says that he is taking over the class for today. I thought to myself, “Wow, I really could have missed this class today.”

So he comes in, and he seems nice and everything. But he also seems very straight-forward. No wasting time and no beating around the bush.

So I was a little antsy, and I was hoping that he wouldn’t be like my professor and just choose people.

Of course he did.

And guess who he chose first…

Ugh.

So before he even chose me, he was already staring me down for whatever reason. Most likely it was because I was the only “melaninated” person in the room, which always received attention.

He was talking about the current poem that we were about to discuss, which we had talked about maybe a week ago. Unfortunately, I had not really focused on that poem because I thought we would move on, but instead that was the focus for half of the class.

My luck is just amazing.

While he was talking about it, he was talking about how controversial and sexual it was, and he used the word “Racy”. Right when he said that word, he stared at me. I stared right back at him with disbelief. Did that actually happen? I even smirked a little bit.

I’m sure the class took the word just the way it was intended to be taken: sexual, lively, entertaining…

As for me, I took it differently.

Just the way he said it and the way he looked at me when he said it, I knew what he was getting at. I believe he meant to say that word in a way to pertain to race, and I was not having it.

I already felt like me and this guy probably would not get along.

And maybe he felt that too, because he quickly pointed to me (like actually pointed to me), and said “You, what is this poem talking about”. I was taken aback, but at the same time, I felt like I was expecting it, since he never once moved his eyes away from me except to look down at the poem for a second.

I looked at the poem and my mind went blank. I knew what the poem was about. I knew it was about this guy having a sexual desire for a girl, but everything in the middle was a little confusing for me. In the poem, I didn’t really catch on to the fact that he was forcing her to stay home for him.

Anyways, the point is, once he pointed to me and asked me to answer, my mind drew a huge question mark and I didn’t say anything. All I said was that I knew the main character and that was it. I didn’t want to feel dumb by saying it was sexual, even though it really was. Maybe I really didn’t know this poem as well as I had hoped.

Anyways, there was a silence for maybe 10 seconds, and then he chose someone else to answer. The person answered perfectly.

I kind of felt bad at the time, but I didn’t want to show it because I knew that almost every eye in that room was on me. There was always this girl in there who constantly stared at me every day in class, so I knew her eyes were on me.

What I really hated was the fact that it was as though I had solidified his idea of me. He probably just wanted to test how smart I really was. He wanted to see how much I knew. Once I didn’t say anything, it probably justified his assumptions, which really pissed me off.

I wanted to blame it on the lack of sleep, I wanted to blame it on the fact that I was giving him an attitude for the “racy” incident, I wanted to blame it on the fact that my break was not as relaxed as I had wanted it to be (due to a mentally-unstable roommate, who by the way moved out this break as well :D), I wanted to blame it on the fact that I was caught off guard. But honestly, I couldn’t really blame it on anyone or anything except myself.

I should have said something.

And the worst part of it was that I felt that my failure allowed others to feel more comfortable when talking. They probably thought that they weren’t as bad as me. He called on people to translate, and he called out a couple people on how bad their readings were, but even that was better than my response (or the lack of one) …

Also, I know that he will probably say something to my professor because he will definitely remember me. I mean come on, he can just say, “The ‘black girl’ in your class did not say anything when she was called upon” and my professor would know exactly who he was talking about. If it were anyone else, he wouldn’t have a name and the professor wouldn’t be able to pinpoint who it was. Ughhhh.

I can just tell that my professor will call on me next class. Hell, he might even make me translate everything for that day. Now, I really have to be on my A-game on Friday.

I hate how I feel like these problems come down to race. If I weren’t the only black girl in the room, I highly doubt that this old man would have called on me.

The crazy thing is that, all problems aside, I really liked this guy. I liked how he taught the material. It was actually what I had expected to get out of my Latin class when I enrolled. I like how he broke everything down and made me see the poetry in a whole different way. We talked about this other poem about inviting this guy to dinner, but it was so cool how he made us see the invitation inside the poem. I also liked how he stressed that the poem at first glance is different from the hidden message. He MADE us see that hidden message and it was fun discovering it. I also enjoyed how he was open to most interpretations (I say most because there were some people who he said were just completely wrong), though he definitely showed that he had favorites.

There is this girl in my Latin class who just does the most all the time. She always has this super intricate evaluation of the situation int he poem that ends up being correct, but no one would have probably guessed unless they studied Catullus for atleast 10 years. She just seemed like such an expert. It was as if she lived and breathed this stuff.

And this probably has nothing to do with it, but I found it interesting that she was probably the least melaninated person in the room. As in, if there was a spectrum for the amount of melanin each person has in the room, I would be at on e extreme and she would be at the other. Her skin was so pale and her hair was so blonde. It was as if she had never been under the sun before.

But I am pretty sure it was the fact that she knew a crap-ton about Catullus.

So she always had something to say in class, and when she said something today, the guy just really liked it and said that she was spot-on. So he asked for her name, which he never did to anyone else in the class. And after asking for her name, he said that he probably should not have asked for names, and for whatever reason, he looked at me again when he said this. What was that suppose to mean? That was the second time during the entire class that he made a remark and looked at me while saying it. Even earlier in the class, after I had not answered him, he did not make eye contact with me during the rest of class (even though I was making very strong eye contact with him. I probably was making his nervous, because he definitely stumbled through his words at the beginning of class. Maybe he was just nervous in general), up until he made this remark.

I was so surprised, yet not surprised about this guy. This may not have been the first time that I had been in a class where I was the only black person in there, but I felt very out of place in this class specifically. I didn’t talk to anyone in there even on a regular day, even though I shared a class with a few of them the semester before (maybe it will dent their appearance and their “status” to all other people in the class), so I get to class, I don’t say anything, and I am one of the first to leave. I’m only there to pass the class and get my credit for graduation. I just want to become a doctor ;(

I really do enjoy Latin, but I don’t like the atmosphere in this class.

I really enjoyed the class today, but I am truly sorry to say that I feel like I would have enjoyed it better if I didn’t have melanin in my skin.

Shell shocked

*I apologize in advance for all of the spelling errors and the sharp transitions between different scenarios*

I don’t think I have ever witnessed as dark a day in America since 9/11 as yesterday (11/9)

It was rainy and gloomy. It was said that even Washington D.C. was mourning.

I saw my friends who always showed hope and optimism in their eyes walk around yesterday in darkness and vacancy, as if their breath had just been taken away from them.

I walked down the path to my class (already running 10 minutes late, but I didn’t care because I had a restless night) and while walking, I didn’t hear anything for the first time.

Silence.

I felt and heard a bubble of silence around me. It was like everytime that someone passed me down this path, no one said anything. Maybe because it was out of pity, maybe it was out of guilt, maybe it was out of sympathy, empathy? Whatever it was, I felt it. People turned their eyes to the ground. Others looked at me with sad eyes. Some people gave a sad smile as if they had heard that I had lost someone, like I had lost something.

Freedom.

I wasn’t a big fan of the silence. It made me feel uncomfortable in my own skin. It was as if looking at my skin color was an automatic indication that I was not with Trump. On the contrary, there were definitely a handful of people my color who sided with him (only God knows why, but they did). Of course, I could not bring myself to support the guy because he conflicted with too many of the values that I held true and dear to me.

I meant to write a blogpost about the election yesterday, but I couldn’t motivate or energize myself enough to do it. I didn’t think I would be so physically and emotionally affected by this whole election, but it has actually taken a toll on my mental state.

I could hardly even wake up yesterday. I had a hard time falling asleep because I couldn’t come to terms with the result.

What just happened?

The night before, my dorm held a viewing party to watch the election. The entire main lounge was full of people. I was coming in and out of the room because I had homework, but it seemed like I couldn’t even focus on it. I didn’t get any studying done, because I was so distracted by it. Every time that I heard yelling or shouting come from the lounge, I would run to see what had happened. I also saw that people were also doing the same thing as me. I just kept popping in and out. I was suppose to be studying for a Biochem quiz for the next morning, but I couldn’t. It didn’t work. And meanwhile, my roommate was asleep during the ENTIRE thing.

As in, she went to bed at 6pm and slept throughout the night. She got up at around 11:30 just to see results, and then she went straight back to bed. It was as if it didn’t really matter to her. She seemed unbothered by it. I don’t believe she even voted because she never got the absentee ballot in the mail.

I really didn’t like her, but anyways…

I saw the main room. They were worried. They looked stressed. I remember when I first came into the room and saw that the votes were 120-97. I was utterly confused. I was wondering who were these people who were voting for him? How could so many people agree with his policies? With his ideas, his plots? I was scared, because I really couldn’t imagine a future with him as president.

So I kept faith. I kept on holding on to the fact that more states would make the right decision.

I was actually suppose to have a dance rehearsal until 11pm that night, but I convinced them to cancel so that people could watch the elections. Thank God that it was cancelled, because we would have missed the majority of it.

When I saw the news… it was an unexplainable feeling.

It was about 2 am.

I had finished talking to my mom who had gone to bed because she had work in the morning. She didn’t really watch the election all the way, so she didn’t know until the morning about the results.

I, on the other hand, went to the main lounge only to see that the entire room had cleared out. Everyone went home. It was at that moment that I was scared. No one was rejoicing, no one was even watching the elections anymore. Something had gone wrong.

There were about 7 people in the room just staring at the screen. They all looked tired and worried.

I looked at the screen and to my dismay, I saw 266-215.

What. Was. Happening?

This couldn’t be. There was no way. The polls leading up to this day told me otherwise. All news stations were pretty confident that Hillary would have an easy win. There was no way that this man who was the laughing stock of the US, not to mention the world, was about to be president.

I sat down  on the blue couch on the side with my Biochem study guide in hand. Anderson Cooper and some other guy with a beard and glasses were talking about the election and they were giving us updates. 5 minutes later, I hear a woman on the screen say that there has been some breaking news…

Hillary had conceded.

It was at that moment that the whole room went silent for a second. Even the news anchors kind of went silent for a slight second. It was shock. It was finality. It was unbelievable.

The news anchors asked the lady if she was sure about 2 more times, and she said yes, it was confirmed.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, what I was watching. My eyes stared in horror. Some people in the room started crying, shaking their heads. Someone yelled at the screen, “Bullsh*t!” Other people stormed out of the room. I was still sitting there motionless, my mouth wide open in shock.

It wasn’t until I saw Trump walk to that podium with his family and supporters behind him, and I heard cheering, I saw all the bright red caps reading, “Make America Great Again” in white bold letters…

It was a horrifying sight.

He came up to the podium and confirmed what everyone now knew was a fact, “Hillary called me and conceded… It’s over”.

I lost it.

My eyes welled up with tears and I quickly walked out of the room, went to my room, sat at my desk, and cried.

I cried for all those people who looked to America for hope. I cried for religious freedom. I cried for same-sex marriage. I cried for peace. I cried for safety. I cried for the undocumented. I cried for the children. I cried for families, even my own. I cried for my parents’ efforts for a better future. I cried for my mom who received her first taste of freedom when voting for the first time. I cried for the future generations. Hell, I cried until I forgot what I was crying about.

I felt like I had just lost all hope for humanity in that one instance. I couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t feel anything. I felt numb for a second. I felt vulnerable. I felt like I had let my entire family down. I felt lonely, hopeless, drained, stressed, tired, sick, angry…

I even stayed awake until 4am just watching the news some more, still not processing what had just happened. I was waiting for the news to say that it was a joke, that they were wrong, they weren’t done bringing in votes, the girl didn’t know what she was talking about.

Everyone had gone to bed. It was just me in the lounge. I stared at the 6 people discussing the elections on CNN, including Anderson Cooper.

I don’t know what it was, but I couldn’t stop looking at him specifically.

I’ve already expressed how much I loved Anderson. He’s my favorite news anchor because I feel like he’s the only one to be very real with people, to not act like the omniscient, indifferent onlooker that most anchors like to emanate.

That’s why after the results came out, I wanted to see his reaction. I wanted to feel justified in my feelings towards these results. I wanted to know that I wasn’t the only one who felt something. Anything.

And I saw it.

I believe it was how he kind of stumbled through his words while talking to the other anchors (who seemed perfectly okay with it, I might add). Though he was wearing glasses, he just seemed kind of shocked. His eyes were kind of squinted, as if searching for words or trying to wrap his head around what had just happened. He wasn’t standing still like he usually did. He was swaying, he was talking alot with his hands.

And it was at the moment that I felt a little better. Just a little bit.

But when CNN decided to take a commercial break, I saw Trump’s face shown on the Empire State Building with red, white, and blue lights on it, and it just looked scary, so I turned off the TV.

I went back to my room kind of in a daze.

I feel much better today now that I have had the chance to talk about it yesterday and hear from others about their emotions. It was comforting to know that I was not alone in my feelings.

The day after the election was a gloomy one. No sun, no light. Just darkness, moisture, cold, cloudy.

It was comforting though to see how my university dealt with the matter. When I say that this thing affected my entire school… I wasn’t kidding.

My inbox was full of people emailing, checking in on people, saying that they were okay to not feel okay, telling them about all the mental help programs on campus, offering condolences, giving time and their space to people who wanted to talk, saying that they understand that this election did not result the way that they had hoped…

The response was somewhat overwhelming. It was as if we had all lost something in this election and professors were completely understanding. So many people received extensions on papers, postponing of assignments, no deductions on participation if they were absent, it was very heart-warming. And some professors called in sick and said that class was cancelled. It was almost like there was no class that day because my classes were pretty empty as well. In my Biochem class, the entire first row was empty. I had a quiz that morning, but I missed it because I could hardly wake up on time. I was outside of the room along with many others who decided not to take the quiz, and there was a guy talking to his friend, saying how badly the results were. He was cursing and yelling, getting emotional, and it just seemed okay with everyone around him because we all felt that way. We all understood him.

When I entered, even my professor was a little shocked to not see me sitting in the front row as I usually do. I had never missed a quiz in his class. He seemed a little sad, and I felt his eyes on me for a second. And then the class started. Obviously it was really quiet.

I was the only one sitting in the front row, and I don’t know what happened, but I was sitting there and I think that’s when I really started to think about what would be happening to my next 4 years.

A single tear rolled down my cheek while sitting there. In the middle of lecture. And then another. I had to quickly get myself together because, I mean hellooo, I was sitting in the front row!

And I was the only one in the front row! I didn’t want anyone commenting on me getting emotional. I didn’t want the pity or anyone looking at me with those sad eyes.

I managed to get through that lecture, not retaining a word of what he said, and I went to my physics class. In there, it was also quiet. Many people hadn’t shown up for class. During that class, I knew that Clinton would be talking, so I sat in the back and opened my laptop to watch her speech. Normally, the professor would’ve told me to put the laptop away, but I guess today he just knew that no one was in the mood, so he didn’t say anything.

I watched the speech, and it was a sad one. Hillary was wearing purple along with her husband. She had walked out, and it was not very evident, but her eyes were somewhat red. But she still looked great. She was smiling and bowing her head at all the claps and cheers given to her. She kept clearing her throat to hold back tears. I really congratulated her on how strong she was. I wouldn’t have been able to do what she did and still does.

I skipped my physics lab because I just couldn’t handle it right now. I wasn’t mentally there. My mind kept going back to the election with every situation. So I sat in the biology office and did my physics homework due that day. It should’ve only taken me an hour, but it instead took 4 hours. Part of it was that I was with a friend who definitely wanted to talk about the election, so we kept talking about it while working. People would come in and we would talk to them about it. So yea, it just became more of conversation than actual work.

There was someone who I had not spoken to since last year. We were not on good terms. She came into the office and I easily went back to physics while she was talking to my friend.

We used to be good friends, but due to many circumstances that had happened during the summer, we were not friends anymore.

So she came in, and I was surprised that she was even talking to someone next to me given that she never wanted to even be in the same vicinity as me. When she left, she said “Bye you guys.” I couldn’t tell if she was talking to me because we hadn’t talked in months and there were other people in the room. So I didn’t say anything, but maybe I should have. She came in again later, but I still couldn’t make eye contact with her. I couldn’t even talk to her. I couldn’t tell if she wanted to.

Maybe due to this situation, it made it okay for us to talk, but I just couldn’t bring myself to talk to her. Plus, I was scared that things would just go back to the way they were after all of this kind of calmed down. So I said nothing. I worked on physics, and acted like she wasn’t really there.

I kind of wished I had said something.

That night, I had a Nicaragua trip meeting, and even the coordinator said that she had skipped her workday today because she couldn’t handle it. She made us go around the room and kind of say how we were feeling. It felt comforting to know that not one person in the room felt okay, and it was okay.

Right after the meeting, there was a debriefing facilitated by a group on campus. Soo many people showed up that they had an overflow room. It was just a time to talk about how we were feeling and initiate dialogue in groups. My group talked about how we weren’t comfortable with the idea of so many people agreeing with many of the things that Trump said. We wondered what went wrong, gave possible explanations, talked about how this affected us directly and why we were bothered by the idea of his as president. We talked about how college campuses tended to be more Democratic and why that was. A guy talked about how most of his family was Trump supporters, and how he felt distant from his family. I talked about how a friend had told me that on the night of the election, when Trump has won, he had heard cheering down his hall. When he went to see what was going on, they yelled at him “Border control! Border control! Go back to your home!” Everyone was shocked that this blatant racism was already starting. We also addressed how we felt a little weary about friends who voted for Trump because it felt like they did not respect them as a person.

After the talks (which were super comforting I might add), my vice president talked to us. It was at that moment that I realized that even the people in high power such as him were not okay with this. He knew that there was a problem. If he knew there was a problem, then there were many others who were not okay with this.

After that debriefing, there was another debriefing in my dorm lounge. People talked about how they felt, and how they were dealing. Even religion came into it. Many people believed that these were the final days, but they also felt like some religious people were giving up. While some felt like God had deserted them, others felt like God was teaching America a lesson.

One thing I really took away was that though the times looked bleak, we needed to stay optimistic and stay encouraged. It is definitely hard right now, but somehow it will get better. This is just the beginning.

My roommate was there. And this may have been the first time that I noticed that people kind of felt how I was feeling.

Alot of what she was saying was… just not what people wanted to hear at this time.

She talked about how the way she dealt with troubles was by assuming the worst. She said that she knew that things get bad and she knew that Trump would win, though not by as big of a margin as he did. But she accepted the fact that life is bad, the world is evil, and that’s just the way it was.

Well, that didn’t sit well with people to say the least.

One girl blatantly said that she did not agree with her and that it was not the way we should look at life. Of course, my roommate tried to justify herself many many times, but it wasn’t working, it only made matters worse. It came to a point where someone else had to interject and say that people deal with things differently and that we needed to recognize it.

Shortly after, my roommate quickly left the room.

After leaving the room, many people were talking about her, and for a good reason I guess. They were going off saying that this girl needed to nkow when she was wrong, and that it was not okay to feel the way she did. Some didn’t know that I was her roommate, so when I said that, they looked at me with shocked eyes and they said , “I’m sooo sorry.” I was just like… yea I know. Even my RA was in there and said, “Now y’all see what I have to deal with” and she even looked at me and was like, “She knows what I’m talking about.” I laughed, but I knew that she was right, and it felt good knowing that people didn’t think I was just crazy when I talked about just how much I had to go through in the room.

Well, this morning (11/10), she called someone and started loudly saying how she felt like her opinions were not taken into account, and that she didn’t understand why people didn’t see it the way she saw things. She said how she thought the open space was not really an open space and that the girls were close-minded, and that she didn’t like it here and so on and so forth…

And mind you, she was yelling and cursing and going down the halls on the phone, so you could tell that she wanted to be heard by everyone. She even left our room door open. And this was 9:30am, when some were still asleep.

Well, she came back to the room and… needless to say, someone was not happy about this. On the other side, I could hear a girl yelling in the bathroom to someone in the bathroom with her, saying that “This girl needs to realize when she is wrong and that she needs to calm down. She should know that everything that she was saying was wrong.” I went to go and fill my water bottle to hear a little bit of the convo. The last thing she said was, “You need to tell that girl to check herself.” That’s when I realized that she was talking to my RA who also lived in the same suite as us. I walked into the room, and well it was a little awkward. I mean we already don’t talk, but still…

She called back the person she was talking to and said, “I don’t know why this keeps happening. I know that I’m going to be transferring, but I feel like anywhere I go I will have the same problem.”

I just grabbed my coat and bookbag and left…

On the night of the election, I was confident.

I was confident in the fact that America was smart, that they were accepting, respectful of other cultures, of other people. I was confident that atleast more than half of the population was in favor of peace, of unity. I was confident that Americans would make the right decision and vote not only for themselves, but for this country’s future. I was confident that people would not vote to condone more violence, murder, racism, dehumanization, rape, injustice,

I was confident that she would win.

As for the emails… no politician is perfect. In fact, a majority of the tactics used in politics involve pulling strings here and there, calling up the people that you know to help you get to high places, and this idea of justifying acts using utilitarianism where things  that may be unlawful and unjust are done for the greater benefit and the common good. Every politician has done it, but since she’s in the limelight, of course the media will exploit this to no end.

I do understand that what she did was wrong, but her evils couldn’t possibly be placed on a similar scale to Trump’s. The only thing that I know that man does well is business.

It hurts to feel like my vote did not matter. This was my first time voting (yes, that may give you a small indication as to where I fall in age), and I was excited. No, I was ecstatic. I couldn’t believe that I would be able to do such a thing as an American citizen. This is something that my ancestors could not even imagine me doing. My mom also voted for the first time. She was so happy. She texted me saying that she went to the voting booth and casted her vote in. That same day, I decided that I needed to cast my vote in quickly.

Especially during times like these when it may seem like the voices of the smaller number are not being heard as much, it’s comforting to know that there is a right that we know cannot be infringed upon.

Unfortunately during this election, this right was abused.

11,000 votes for Harambe?? That’s equivalent to a medium-sized college all wasting their vote away! I was horrified, and am still in shock at the fact that people could waste votes on that while there are people in America who still do not even have that right.

I also am surprised at the huge discrepancy between poll results and the results given throughout this election by newpapers and articles. Being in such a position to swindle the decisions of voters should not be taken lightly. Thoughout this election, people thought that Hillary would win. Hell, I became soo confident in my thoughts that I almost didn’t vote thinking that my vote wouldn’t matter

America tends to hold this strong egocentric idea. When I say ‘egocentric’, I mean the thought of America and only America, the idea of only taking care of their own and no one else. If you ask many Trump supporters why they voted for Trump, they will possibly tell you statements along the lines of, “I want my America back, the way I remember it,” “My life won’t change significantly, but I want the government to be about the people instead of themselves,” “I don’t want another Clinton in the White House. It will give our government a bad rep,” “I don’t want to lose my job to immigrants,” “I want to feel safe,” “I don’t want the US to be in such a huge deficit anymore, ” “I don’t like Obamacare. I don’t have to use it, but it was a failure,” “He knows how to make deals that will make America great again,” “I completely hate Trump, but I want conservative laws,” “I want the American dream, and that’s what I’m getting with Trump”…

I… I… America… I… I.. I… America… America…. I… I.. I… I… America…

Let’s think about this…

America is a world superpower. Why is that? Only God knows, but it just is.

We have wayy too much power in our hands just to only think about ourselves. The rest of the world is depending on us for almost every aspect of life. We are suppose to be the most-advanced people in the world, yet we are failing at even choosing the right leader.

In fact, we put the least-qualified man in the position to take over the world. No political experience, never been in a war (besides business conflicts), didn’t study law, hasn’t the slightest clue as to the structure of this government…

I bet some politicians are pissed at the fact that a man who didn’t even need to study law could become the president of the United States while those who have been working in politics all their lives could barely even get on the ballot. How messed up is that?

I have two friends studying abroad in France, and when they heard about the elections, they were as shocked as everyone else. The next day, French journalists stopped them and came up to them, asking them about the election: what were their thoughts? How did they feel about it?

The fact that the rest of the world also saw that this situation was not right, it wasn’t good… And the fact that controversial leaders such as Putin are congratulating him… does anyone else smell something fishy there?