Millennials cast their vote for change

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Staff Photo by Chase Cofield

Students who vote for the first time enjoy displaying their civic duty.

On November 8, 2016, millions of Americans lined up to cast their vote in order to make their voices heard. Many millennials cast their vote for the first time, raising their voices for the candidate who they wanted to lead the way of their future and of the country’s future and to vote for the candidate who best represents America’s beliefs. Some seniors at Wakefield took to the polls for the first time in order to evoke the change they wanted to see in the next four years.       

Senior Palace Jones described her feelings of importance as she cast her vote for the first time.  

It felt as though I was not just saying [something], but making a change.” Jones said, “My vote helped to create history. It was very surreal, and it was worth the wait of eighteen years.”

The election sparked controversy both nationwide and worldwide, so the importance of the outcome weighed heavily on the shoulders of the voters.  Senior Zach Holt and Senior Gabrielle Schuvart stressed the importance of the vote in order to voice your opinion.  

“ [Voting in this election was important] because [if you don’t vote then] you don’t have a say in the leader that you want,” Holt said. “But if the results don’t turn out the way you want, you can’t complain.”

Other millennials supported the right to vote since they believe that our country has become divided.

“[It was important to vote] because our country is divided,” Schuvart said.  “I thought it was important to participate.”

Some students were influenced by family traditions, but others stuck firmly to newly formed opinions. Senior Sam Groce and Palace Jones reflected these paths when they took to the booths.

“ My family is Republican and I voted Republican,” Groce said. “But I don’t agree with everything Trump stood for.”

Some millennials broke away from traditional family values and embraced their new beliefs.

“I stood with my candidate to attempt to withhold the presidency [from someone who I don’t agree with],” Jones said. “To protect the future of my classmates and the younger generations.”

Other millennials strayed from the two party system to embrace a new candidate and stay away from the controversy that occurred between the Democratic and Republican parties.  Senior Bailey Parrish took a different route than much of her generation.   

“I didn’t vote Republican nor Democratic because I did not want to be injected into a really controversial election,” Parrish said.

“I feel like this was a terrible election to vote in. I voted for Gary Johnson, and a lot of people don’t agree with that. They think that I wasted my vote, but I didn’t want to just vote for the lesser of two evils.””

— Parrish

Whether or not Americans agree with the outcome of the election, all have hopes for what they want to see in the next presidential term.

I hope that our president does a good job,” Schuvart said. “And that he does better than everyone thinks he will.”

The public’s opinion on what qualities a president should obtain differs from generation to generation, but millennials continue to hope for an honest and realistic president.

“[A president] needs to be honest with the public and they should be more realistic with their policies,” Parrish said. “They need to not create this idealistic world that is impossible to achieve.”