So as you guys know a few days ago was the end of the U.S. election. Words cannot explain how I feel, I didn’t even feel comfortable enough writing anything about it on any social media. I was so shocked about the results. Though, I recognize that most of the things that Donald Trump said were hateful rhetoric to get votes and may not actually happen, I am still uncomfortable. However, I am not afraid of the huge promises he made like mass deportation. If anything, I am really afraid for the smaller things, since they are more possible to achieve.
The day of the election I was watching the live updates with some friends. Due to the time change the results were coming in past 2 am so I was feeling tired. Not to mention the next day I had work early in the morning. I finally decided to go to bed and Trump was in the lead. When I closed my eyes I was thinking, tomorrow when I wake up this nightmare will all be over.
However, when I opened my eyes the next morning I saw my flatmate on his bed wide awake. We looked at each other with no words exchanged. I quickly went online to check the results and my greatest fear had become a reality. I wasn’t sure how to feel and I knew that I needed a distraction, so I went to work. I was not looking forward to my coworkers asking about the results. What would I even say?
During the day I was able to stay distracted working, but on my lunch break I was left alone and soon I started to really think about what this meant for me.. It meant my family was in danger. It meant that all I worked so hard for may not even mean anything. It meant that the the immigration policy that allows me to work, legally, and protects me from deportation (and allowed me to study abroad) may no longer be. It meant that if this policy is removed then the degree I worked so hard to acquire may just be a worthless piece of paper. I broke down and cried, it was just too much to take.
For the next few days I attempted to cope as best as I could. Unfortunately, none of my friends understood why I was so shaken up by this. Many of them were insensitive due to not being informed, and I couldn’t blame them. But at the same time I just needed someone to understand and be there for me. It almost seemed as if the locals were the ones that understood what I was feeling the most. One of my local friends said:
“Do what feels right for you, whether it’s crying, laughing or sad-shopping because only you will get you through this. If you think other people will help then ask for it and tell them how, but don’t for one second feel that your reaction isn’t natural.”
These words resonated so much for me and I realized that only I would get myself through this. Overall, a big part of me felt relieved that I was not in the United States at the time, as most people of the United Kingdom were very supportive. Which just comes to show how much studying abroad has impacted my life. Then I thought about what got me to where I am, even when all the odds were against me: Resilience.
I needed to figure out what I was going to do about my concerns and for the first time, a desire to help my community sprung up and I knew that I would make sure we do not go down without a fight. Even though I am scared to return to the United States of America, when I arrive I will fight harder than ever to make sure I don’t lose all I have worked for.
Some advice for everyone, don’t lose hope. Be kind to everyone and stand with everyone in solidarity. We still have love.
#safetypin : A way to stand in solidarity with those who are being targeted, inspired by United Kingdoms Brexit.