The Next Four Years 

Whenever I look back at myself in 2016, I almost find it funny; I really didn’t know what was coming. I remember watching the poll casting live in the school cafeteria. When Hilary lost Florida, everyone started freaking out. I didn’t really care, mainly because the overwhelming number of statistics and media reports ensured me that Trump stood no chance. Therefore, when Trump won his 270th elector, struggled to process the overwhelming reality—just like many other people who hadn’t expected such result 

For the past four years, everything that I feared has come to reality. From the attempts to abolish the Affordable Care Act to the rescission of DACA, Trump’s presence in the White House has resulted in the gradual erasing of all efforts that had been put to ensure people’s basic rightsThe list just goes on and on.  

I have issues with Donald Trump for a myriad of reasons, but what concerns me the most is his lack of diplomacy. His poor way of communication simply pours gas on fire, intensifying the great divide of opinions in the country, which I would say already exists at its peak. Trump has discriminated against immigrants, made offensive remarks about women, blamed COVID-19 on China, encouraged violence towards his protesters, and let’s also not forget that awkward moment he said he would date his own daughter. In numerous occasions, he has made false, disrespectful, and just fundamentally inappropriate statementsSadly, the Presidential debate this year was not an exception 

I don’t know if staying up until 3AM (for three nights) was worth it after all. Watching the stupid exchange that lasted for hours was just plain painful. The amount of confidence and determination in Trump’s words as he stated “COVID-19 will be over in a few weeks” was staggering. Yes, I was angry, and anger was the most easily communicated emotion across the news, our writings, and social media posts. But for every angry sentence spoken was an ocean of emotions much harder to put into words: we were again, afraid of the next four years. 

To someone who plans to spend at least the next four years of her life in the United States, the current political tension in America, in addition to the possibility that Donald Trump may get re-elected, poses a real visible threat. American politics was not some comedy show to me anymore. It is real life. 

90,000 people caught COVID-19 on the election day. Stores in the Times Squares have been boarded up to protect their properties in case of riots. People shout at poll casters “stop the count” of votes. The President actively shares false news on his Twitter account, encouraging his supporters to discredit the democratic voting procedure. (Seriously, like half of his tweets have false news warnings.) 

Despite all these ridiculous things happeningwhy do I still want to study in America? 

Going to an American international school in the Philippines, I felt as if going to a college in the US was the obvious next step of my education. You know, the land of opportunities. Seeing all my friends have fantastic times in the US after high school, I firmly believed that I would thrive there as well. My rationale for studying in the US certainly stemmed from the idealistic, fantasized belief.  

Don’t get me wrong; this was more of a motive behind my decision rather than a contributing reason. There are certainly some academic and social offerings that are unique to the colleges I’m applying to in the US, and I am very excited about them. However, between Twitter propagating #SharpieGate and the President who advocates “alternative facts,” I don’t feel too secure about my future in the United StatesLiterally, all it takes is one law (like the ICE bans) to repeal all my plans. I’m starting to think I perhaps put too much hope and fantasy in this country.