Even though it has been over a week since the Presidential Elections, I feel somewhat obligated to write about my experiences as a freshman college student on that day.
My day started off like any normal day; I went to classes, I had papers due, I ate lunch with some friends...
However, I one slightly unusual activity to do before I could go enjoy the yummy food provided for us on TACO TUESDAY (!!! My favorite day of the week!!!); I had to go vote.
So my friend Sarah and I met out on the concourse outside of the building where we were registered to vote and we headed inside... to join the long line of other first time voters who looked just as nervous and excited as I felt and older students who looked annoyed at the thought of having to wait in line. We waited for about 20 minutes (not that bad) outside the big room where the voting booths were, then, we gave our ID's and were asked to split into 2 lines (A-L and M-Z). Sarah and I waited for about 10 more minutes in our (A-L) line (there was only one voting machine per line), signed our names, and took our turns in the voting booth! It was very exciting!!!
After a very yummy TACO TUESDAY dinner, I headed back to my room to attempt to get some work done and clicked on CNN. My roommate and I sat around for a while not really doing anything until about 9pm, then we were all about the TV.
The excitement began as soon as CNN made the announcement that it was no longer possible for McCain to win the race; Chaos took over the campus here at New Paltz. People were running up and down the halls screaming and celebrating; I dragged my roommate, Stephanie, out of bed and into real clothes and we headed outside to follow the crowds and the noise.
We joined a huge group out in front of our dining hall and there was chanting and screaming and yelling. People were oozing with excitment and victory. There were sparklers and champaigne... among other things.
After we had been there for about 10 minutes, the entire crowd (maybe 100-200 people) began running towards the concourse in front of the Student Union Building. There, we joined another group even larger than ours, creating a crowd of probably over 500 people!
You could TOUCH the excitement in the air. Every single person was chanting "O-bam-a! O-bam-a!" or "Yes We Can! Yes We Can!" over and over again! In this crowd, people began crowd surfing, there were big balls being hit up into the air around the crowd. There were red, white, and blue balloons bouncing around.
Someone tied a red, white, and blue striped ribbon to a pole, then to another, and then another, weaving the ribbon over the heads of the college students. Anyone who was nearby grabbed on as tight as they could; At this, someone began singing the National Anthom. The next thing I knew, the ENTIRE crowd was singing the song that I had not song in 8 years... That night, I belted it as loud as my voice would let me!!
The final significan event that occured on that monumental night, was when some guy lit a torch-like piece of wood and made it just that- at torch! He lit the end of the wood and began passing it around. The amount of noise rose to a whole new level... It was so symbolic it was great! People were screaming "Pass the torch!" and "It's time to pass that torch, Bush!"! It was so exciting and electrifying! At one point, the fire went out, and you would needed ear plugs to be able to hear yourself think! The symbolism of it! It was like... the torch went out... Bush's reign is over... We relit the torch... We have the chance for a new begining now with Obama!
Stephanie and I headed back to our room around 12:30, 1am to go to sleep (I had an 8am class the next morning), but my adrenaline was so high I couldn't fall asleep for another hour after my head hit the pillow...
Needless to say, I was extremely exhausted the next morning in Medieval Europe, but I wouldn't trade that night for anything in the world.