A Time For Firsts

By Jill Applegate

While for others this may be their second or third time going to Washington D.C., this is really an experience of a lifetime for me. Not only have I never been to our nation’s capital, but I have also never flown on an airplane or seen the coast.  I have never been to a city so rich in the history of our country. And I crave it!

I am most looking forward to finally seeing and feeling like a part of the history of our nation. I am excited to see the monuments, the artifacts, and the places that were integral to the development of our country. I also chose this January term class because it would allow me to be immersed in something bigger than myself, feeling connected to millions of other Americans as we watch our future unfold with the inauguration. No matter your politics, I believe we must all have faith in our leaders to do what is best for our country. From the 57th inauguration, I hope that our nation of individuals can come together as a united people, if even for a moment.

When it came to acting on my civic duty this year and voting in the elections, I found myself sadly uninformed. I am not majoring in politics and haven’t studied government since high school, and while I knew which topics were the most debated and talked about on the news, I have never set much time aside to really research into the important issues surrounding our society. I felt uncomfortable voting because I was uninformed on the issues, and this is a problem. And it is not just a problem for me, but for many people who do not take the time to comprehensively educate themselves on all sides of the important subjects. I hope that this experience, after seeing first-hand the inner workings of the government, will ignite a passion within me to care about those important issues, and to reach out and help others care about them as well.

I am so eager to begin this journey and all that it will entail. I know that Drake University has provided me with an opportunity that will have a lasting impact on my future.

-Jill

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