After months of campaigning, debating, and awaiting the election, Tuesday, Nov. 6 was finally here.
I had lived through four previous presidential elections, none of which had a direct impact on me.
As I walked to town hall I had the irrational fear that I would become so flustered and accidentally elect an unintended candidate.
When I arrived, I was instantly welcomed by officials and representatives, such as the Mayor of Bloomsburg, Dan Knorr. All of which were trying to sway voters on their way into the building.
Eventually, I made my way to the voting room and I noticed the underwhelming representation of young individuals there. Every person in front of, and behind, me had either gray hair or a walker. This only made me feel younger and more inexperienced, but I felt honored to be there.
The woman behind the desk said that there had been 100 voters in the first hour. Even as a newcomer, I could tell that this was not a bad turnout. When the woman found my name on the list I was thrilled; it was almost my turn to vote.
Next, I was led to my voting station. I was just a few clicks away from making my voice heard for the very first time.
In my youngest years, I had gone with my mother to the polls and was delighted at the idea of pressing the buttons as she instructed. I had this flashback as I stood by myself at the booth, not just pressing the buttons by myself for the first time, but finally understanding what they meant.
By 11:20 a.m. that day, I’d made my vote for the next President of the United States, and I thought about how lucky I was to have such a wonderful opportunity.
“Voting for the first time was exciting, because it made me feel like I was important and that I had a say in our country,” said Julie Rose Booth, a sophomore at Bloomsburg University.
The adrenaline rush did not end upon leaving town hall. There were signs all over campus urging students to vote. Some signs even said skip class to vote while others referred to a Juicy J and Lil Wayne rap song that read, “Bands a make ‘em vote.”
Students all over campus were excited, “It was really liberating!” said Ashley Rhodes, a sophomore at Bloomsburg University, “Even though it was only one vote I felt like I was making a difference, as if my opinion matters. It was exciting to vote for the first time.”
The twitter world was far from quiet. My peers were constantly updating their social circles about having voted for the first time.
“It was very exciting to vote for the first time. I feel like I was a part of something big, and my opinion was important,” said Ashley Gargano, a sophomore at Bloomsburg University.
It was an empowering experience that I know I won’t ever forget. This will forever be my first vote in a presidential election, but it would certainly not be my last.