After taking a hiatus of sorts from blogging/writing/using my brain in general since the semester ended, I’m finally taking time to reflect on my junior year of college, right before which I created this blog.
Overall, I think my junior year of undergrad was quite possibly my most rewarding of my years in college thus far. I had numerous incredibly interesting classes such as Minority Groups, Sexuality and Society, Constructing Health, Classical Social Theory, and Communication Studies Research Methods. Not only was my time in the classroom interesting and worth-while, but so was my time outside of the classroom. As I’ve discussed on my other forms of social media, I had the privilege of interning at Rowan’s Healthy Campus Initiatives, an organization on campus that focuses on mental health, body image, drug/alcohol education, sexual violence prevention, sexual health education, and stress management. In the fall, I focuses primarily on sexual health education, and though I did co-facilitate some events regarding healthy relationships in the spring, a lot of my time as a HCI intern was dedicated to sexual violence prevention.
In April, HCI hosted Take Back the Night, an open-mic and solidarity event for survivors of sexual assault and sexual violence. The event itself was truly incredible, mostly because many individuals chose to speak about their own experiences regarding the topic. I think the fact that so many Rowan students came to the event to show their support was awe-inspiring.
Prior to Take Back the Night, I organized what we named “Supporting Survivors,” or “Survivor Love Letters,” in which I asked students around campus to write positive messages/inspirational quotes on notecards for sexual violence survivors. These notecards were hung on the windows of the Wellness Center (HCI’s home) for the entire university and passersby to see. Seeing my work cover huge spans of windows and seeing individuals stop to read the notes truly was so rewarding.
My junior year was not only filled with incredible internship experiences, but also consisted of instances in which I began figuring out what I want to do with my future after graduating in May 2018. Though I don’t know exactly where I want to go or what I want to study, I know that I want to continue my education and go to graduate school. Hopefully I will, one day, be able to be a professor at a university, or work on-campus in outreach programs, and do similar work to what I’ve done over the last year.
Though it is only June, I am excited to see what my senior year will bring.
(Yes, I’m actually thinking about school. I am a huge nerd and I accept it.)
Today (January 19, 2017, Inauguration Day Eve), I was leaving Rowan’s campus around 11 AM, ready to move on with my day after a long first week of classes. As I was putting my backpack in the passenger seat of my car, someone pushed passed me, muttering “Proud Democrat? Yeah right, what a fucking joke.” This person was referencing one of the few bumper stickers on my car.
To quickly clarify: Yes, I have a bumper sticker on my car that says “Proud Democrat” because I am one. Yes, I have a bumper sticker that says “Stop Bigotry” because that’s what I’d like to see in the world. Yes, I have a Hillary Clinton bumper sticker because I supported her throughout the election and still continue to support her and other members of the Democratic Party. I keep these stickers on my car because I like them there.
The stranger continued with “Go Trump!” I was taken aback, mostly because I did not know this person whatsoever, but also because this (presumably fellow student) was a young adult woman. She continued walking, but still looked back at me. All I said back was “That was unnecessary,” because, well, it really was unnecessary. She said, “No, it’s not, I’m expressing my opinion.” She continued to make her way out of the parking garage.
First, I want to state that there is a vast difference between expressing one’s opinion and verbally harassing a stranger. This type of situation was and would be unnecessary (and overall kind of rude) regardless of when it occurred, where it occurred, and the types of political views and opinions of the people involved. Second of all, what would have this person done if I just didn’t so happen to be arriving at my car as she was departing hers? Would she have rolled her eyes, cursed under her breath and moved on? Did verbally harassing me (a STRANGER) benefit her in any way?
(Side note: No, I was not “asking for it” by having these bumper stickers on my car. An individual typically isn’t ever “asking for it” when it comes to any type of harassment.)
What I truly do not understand about those who support the man who (unfortunately) is becoming our next president is that they continue to relentlessly defend him, typically in unprompted situations – when, in reality, he hasn’t benefitted them specifically or for the country in general. Because of these bumper stickers, I’ve gotten flipped off, given a thumbs-down, tailgated, laughed at, and now harassed. Because of bumper stickers. BUMPER STICKERS.
I’m not sure where to go from here or what the future after tomorrow will bring. I do know, at least, that I am gratified to be able to identify the absurdity of ignorant occurrences such as this one.