I find primaries and elections emotionally difficult. I find a lot of things emotional, okay?
But here’s why: I’ve been 18 and up for three years now but I can’t vote. Voting is another of those reminders of what privileges I don’t have because I’m still an immigrant.
I hate conversations in election years because when people ask me, “so, who are you voting for?” I feel naked: I don’t vote, and I hate saying those words. It’s like saying, I’m irrelevant. I don’t have a say in this country. I don’t have a say in a country that I’ve lived for 14 years now. 14 years.
This infuriates me because there are some people who can vote, but don’t register. Every vote matters because an un-cast vote is a silenced voice.
Today, when Hillary Clinton came to speak at my school, I was proud. Women in America have held the right to vote for almost a century, and they started running for presidency since 1872. I like that Ms. Clinton hasn’t given up in her campaign for presidency. That’s the mark of a strong leader. Don’t get me wrong, Senator Sanders’ got a fighting spirit too. The race is often tied between the two in the Democratic party, and that’s why every vote matters. People make a difference.
My next goal in life is to become documented. Rather than be a temporary protected citizen, I want to be a permanent resident. I’m not going big. I take what life gives me, but I will always want more.
I don’t hold financial aid in college, and I’m not going to downplay my need. There have been days when my mother could barely meet the rent, when a grocery trip was hell, and when I just plain wanted to quit. Coming into George Mason was tough. I knew I wasn’t going to be a full-time student. I knew I was going to have divide my time between work and school. I knew there would be days, and maybe weeks, where I didn’t want a college degree.
I just didn’t know how hard those days would be.
I’ve worked hard for the few scholarships I managed to find, and I’m so close to graduating with a Bachelor’s. I’ll go mad if I go into graduate school without the privilege of economic help that I deserve in every way.
Voting season gets me infuriated, and sometimes, that what a person who’s accepted her situation needs. Anger makes you crave a solution. I will find one.