Great Expectations

By Sarah Schroeder

Although I’ve never been to Washington D.C., I have always imagined myself calling the city home in the future. While in D.C. I hope to understand the city in a new way, as well as see the exceptional monuments and historical sights. I hope to feel comfortable navigating throughout the city and hear what it is truly like to live and work here. For years I have been eagerly anticipating visiting the Supreme Court, especially because Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a role model and inspiration of mine for a life of dedication to advocacy and service. In addition, I want to better understand the significance of our nation’s capital and the importance of the transition of power.

I’ve long dreamed of attending the Presidential inauguration and being present for the event that is so distinctly American. I started paying close attention to the Presidential election in early 2015 and now will be seeing the culmination of campaigning, debating, and voting at the inauguration. Despite my hesitation and disagreements with our President-elect, this will be an incredible opportunity that I will cherish for years to come. I hope to hear President-elect Trump possess the qualifications needed to assume the office in his inauguration speech, such as professionalism, respect for the office, and a desire to work for every American, not just the ones that voted for him. I am particularly passionate about education and women’s rights, and would like to understand how I can protect these issues in an administration that does not value them. I also hope to hear Trump express a genuine desire to unite Americans and have a greater awareness of the issues that he did not focus on during the campaign.

It is clear that this election fostered a great deal of distrust and fear, so I look forward to hearing from experts while we are in D.C about how to navigate politics with a president so many disagree with. This election season created tensions and divides that would be difficult for any president to overcome. The challenges Trump’s faces are great and unique, so I hope to learn how his administration can create a united government that American’s will trust and believe in. Because the election cycle in 2016 was particularly long and tumultuous, many are turned off from politics and hope to forget about it for the until they have to vote again. While in D.C., I hope to have a greater understanding of how to gain the public’s interest and trust in politics, so more Americans are educated and knowledgeable about government and politics.

Professionally, I am eager to experience careers that combine communications and politics, as well as other opportunities that I have not yet considered. I have special interests in the federal government and non-profits, and would like to see the connection through the work of lobbyists and interest groups. I would also like to practice networking and building connections with professionals in my field.

This trip will fulfill many long-held dreams of mine and I am excited to witness history. Although this election did bring the result I desired, I am confident in America’s future. This election has brought a greater urgency and motivation to stand up for what I believe in and create real change.

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