By Haley Barbour
For me this trip is going to be difficult. I took last semester off to work full-time for Hillary Clinton’s campaign. The word devastated does not come close to describing the way that I have been feeling for the last two months. When I consider my learning goals for this seminar they are in the context of mourning and a deeply pessimistic view of the incoming administration’s reign. However, I have spent a great deal of time reflecting and considering what I will do next. I am approaching this trip hoping that I will make some professional contacts since I am graduating in the fall. Most importantly I am hoping to meet like-minded people who are struggling like I am. I imagine this will not be difficult. I am hoping that I will be able to brainstorm with other students, as well as any progressive professionals in D.C. about how we are going to keep our agenda alive under a Trump administration.
As far as my professional goals, I am looking forward to the opportunity to network with other students and professionals in D.C. I want to improve my networking skills and create relationships that I can maintain through next semester to hopefully find a full-time position after I graduate. I believe that the Drake alumni reception will be an excellent opportunity to practice networking and make contacts. In addition, I want to take advantage of being at The Washington Center and hopefully make other student contacts and hear about other’s plans after graduation.
The most important part of this trip for me will be meeting with other people that thought that this election would turn out differently. I have felt defeated and hopeless, which I know must be felt by others. I want to brainstorm with these individuals about how we are going to keep our agenda alive and how we are going to resist the president-elect and our new Congress’s attempt to undermine or abolish programs and laws that we support. In particular, I am concerned about women’s healthcare and a nuclear arms race given recent news. I want to come up with a set of concrete next steps that I will take in my last semester so that I can remain engaged in the political process while continuing to fight for the programs and ideas I believe in. In addition, I am looking forward to the opportunity to speak with lawmakers and media representatives about how they intend to hold the new administration accountable.
I know that this is not going to be an easy two weeks for me, but I plan to begin with an open mind. I never imagined the outcome of the election, but two months is long enough to mourn. I am eager to continue to fight for what I believe in.