This year has certainly been a series of unexpected events.

How did we get here? How did we not see this coming? Where do we go from here?

These are all relevant questions. I’m not just talking about our soon-to-be president, Donald Trump. I’m talking about the state of our people. 2016 was the year of a political, social, and economic uprising. The middle class is unsatisfied. But we already knew that. The media can’t be trusted. Our political system is extremely flawed. Trump miraculously won the election despite the fact that almost every major newspaper predicted Clinton’s triumph. Now, we are faced with the daunting presidency of a man whom many have compared to Hitler and we must deal with the ramifications of his actions.

However, I can confidently say that one good thing has come from this election. It has garnered great attention from young citizens, a demographic that usually disregards politics entirely. We are involved now more than ever. Young minds have finally recognized the importance and influence of having a voice.

As a young millennial, my interest in politics has skyrocketed these last couple of years. Naturally, with such polarizing and radical candidates like Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, it was not surprising to see the youth take such an interest in the affairs of our country. Young voters recognized the conflicting views and values of Americans and realized that without their input, change would be impossible. If there is one positive outcome of this election, it is that we’ve awakened a potentially powerful and forceful group of people.

While the year of 2017 certainly has cause for concern, it is not the time to weep and wallow over our current predicament. It is the time to acknowledge our situation and come to terms with the fact that the people have been deeply unsatisfied with their government for a long time. It is the time for people to take action and make an impact. It is the time to step out of one’s limited bubble of knowledge and to assess all sides of the situation. It is the time to hear others speak and the time to listen before taking a position. It is the time to be aware and accepting. Change comes through unity, and a country divided will only remain stagnant.

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