By Kaydee Donohoo
On Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning, I was harrowed by the election results as I watched on with some of the lovely friends I’ve made on our newspaper staff. It was a moment this nation will never forget, and I’m glad I had strong and caring people in my life surrounding me for the president-elect announcement.
I will never forget those first steps I took outside in an odd hour of the night once the paper was ready to print. I was walking in disbelief with that group until we had to split into our separate dorm buildings. I knew everything was going to be different and difficult, and I just wanted to hold on to the remaining hours of darkness, to stop time.
I will also never forget walking onto campus on Wednesday and experiencing the surreal, collective energy. We were all mourning,and paralyzed in time. Some have said that 11/9 was the new 9/11. While every class might not have discussed the election results at length, each professor I’ve had at least acknowledged that this was huge, and would pause for the potential of discussion until the classroom was okay with continuing with its usual way.
Every day that’s passed, the election results are acknowledged less and less and the expectation to continue on pushes us even if we don’t feel ready. Once Simmons was on the same page, and now there’s the sense that we’re all fighting this alone now.
Simmons might not be perfect, but I’ve realized how much I needed to appreciate this community in the wake of this tragedy. This is something I’ve definitely realized as soon as I started talking to others from co-ed schools.
Not once did I step foot on campus, and worry about dealing with someone who would be outwardly excited about the new president-elect. I knew that if I were still in my Colorado high school I would have dealt with the loud cheers from those who formed clubs around the Republican candidate, and who vandalized the school in his name.
Not only was I in a liberal college with amazing and understanding professors, I was also at a woman’s-centered college. I don’t have to deal with cis/het men trying to play the devil’s advocate or mansplaining politics in our class discussions. I haven’t dealt with anyone in person who is happy about the election results, or even with anyone who is trying to convince everyone that “it’s not going to be that bad.”
We may be slowly drifting apart, but overall we are all in the same distraught fame of mind.
Sure, Simmons having a “bubble” isn’t always a good thing, because it can hinder a full understanding of the outside world and other perspectives. However this is one of those times we are incredibly lucky to get to stay in this protective, safe, and understanding environment. I’m imploring you, students of Simmons to look around you and appreciate that you will not always have this.
I’m encouraging Simmons students to look around them, reach out and speak to each other about all this. We don’t have to do this silently, and we don’t have to do this alone. Having to deal with “real life” again has pushed us back into our own worlds. Yet we are all still struggling with similar worries. Let’s all keep working to support each other and find the unity that we started to find last week. I want the barriers between us all to be as smashed as they were in the classrooms that temporarily pushed aside their agendas last week.
There are so many unknowns ahead of us, and we are going to be needing each other more than ever before. Don’t assume no one is dealing with all the things we are no longer talking about. I’m 95 percent sure that if you go up to any stranger on campus and say in a sincere and distraught tone, “Okay, but what are we going to do?” you can have a good cry together. Let’s all take advantage of our Simmons bubble before we really do have to confront the outside world.