Current Election Feels from Abroad

Anna Bradley
November 9, 2016

Well y'all, it happened. We have elected our 45th president, and the winner is not at all who I thought it would be. When I decided to go abroad in the fall of 2016, I thought about how odd it would be to be out of the country during the election, but it didn't dawn on me until last night how truly strange, and slightly unnerving of an experience it would be. 

First of all, I'm from Arlington, Virginia, right outside of the nation's capital, so I'm used to being right in the center of all the political action. I live minutes from the White House and Capital Hill, and have grown up with CNN and ABC News almost always being on in the background. So, being thousands of miles away has been really weird. Every night my host family watches the news during dinner, and there usually is a brief coverage of American highlights. More often that not, these quick blurbs included facts about the election. But it's hardly the same as it is at home. Instead of hearing the candidates preach promises and personal beliefs, Italian voice-overs comment on the state of America's government, and how it seems like the United States is going to be run by criminals, and therefore is a madhouse. Ouch. 

Being away during this period has actually made me homesick, a personal emotion that I didn't think either Trump or Clinton could instigate in me. I miss seeing presidential signs in people's yards, obnoxious bumperstickers that I don't agree with, and just the general sense of being home while history is being made. So much of the election process is the lead up to the night of November 8, and I feel like I missed a lot being away from home. 

But in reality, regardless of the confusing homesickness, I am very thankful to be in Italy during this traumatizing period in American history. Have I considered losing my Visa and attempting to move to Italy permanently? Yes. Have I considered begging my host family to adopt me as a permanent member of the family so I can pretend to be Italian? Yes. Have I considered marrying an Italian man to claim marital rights to legally stay? Eww, no. Italian men are gross. Some lines just can’t be crossed, regardless of political crisis. Regardless, I know that in 43 days I will be on a plane returning to DC, and that I won't be returning to the same country that I left in August. I can only hope that I will be returning to a nation determined to make the best of the current situation, and that focuses on love and equality, as opposed to fear and hate. Until then, I will continue to pretend that I am Italian, and have zero affiliation with the United States.

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Anna Bradley

<p>I am a current junior majoring in Psychology and minoring in Italian at Sewanee: The University of the South. I am a proud member of Kappa Delta sorority, and am &nbsp;a coxswain for Sewanee&#39;s crew team. In my free time, I enjoy kayaking, reading, going for runs, and playing with my dogs.</p>

2016 Fall
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