I’m officially sapped of all strength and energy. Walking around campus The Day After, it was grim and bleak, students somber and mournful. I feel a deep unrest in my bones that I don’t know will ever go away, no matter how imperceptible it gets. I grieve today, and tomorrow, I will stand tall in dauntless defiance of an America that doesn’t want my kind.
Kelechi Alfred-Igbokwe ’19
Wellesley, I love you. I love each and everyone one of you. I am going to fight for you. I am going to ask you to fight for us against this horrible man and all the people who believe in him and all that he stands for. But most importantly, I am going to ask you to continue being Wellesley. My mother, more wiser than I, told me this in light of the election result: “there are days when your world spins out of control and you have to ask yourself—what does it require of me? Work hard. Find optimism. Do what it takes to make your world your own. This, Sam, is what is required of us both today. Be strong. Have courage. And live your life.” Wellesley, keep on living as the Wellesley I know you to be. You all are incredible, powerful, intelligent, beautiful people that I feel blessed everyday to see in the hallways of Cazenove and Tower and Freeman, to eat lunch with in Lulu and El Table, to learn from in classrooms no matter the subject. Your spirit and imagination for what this world can be inspires me everyday. These are dark, dark days—darker than I have ever seen—but because of you all, I know this is not nearly the end. This is a horrible moment—but Wellesley, it is our moment to show the world who we are: afraid but fearless, underestimated but so, so strong. Have compassion. Prove them wrong. Be yourselves.
Samantha English ’19
On Wednesday November 9th, my morning professor asked us, “Is everyone okay?” He quickly retracted his question, realizing how futile it was. He already knew the answer. No. I am not okay. I’m sad, not only for myself, but for my friends, for my younger brother, and for Hillary, who deserved this win more than anything. I’m scared, because I know that the country’s vote sends a very particular message to marginalized groups of people. I’m feeling so many things, and it’s important to feel all of them. Right now may be hard, but each day will become a little bit easier. I’m finding joy in the small things, like a good song or a good book. I’m holding on to hope, because I believe in a future shaped by the millions of people who voted for Hillary Clinton. Our day will come.
We are not okay. Yet we still stand tall, because we have each other. We muster up a smile to those who walk past. We give hugs (never underestimate the power of a good hug). We get angry when our safety and home is threatened, because we value every person on this campus and we believe in standing up for what’s right. We are guided by a strong conviction of how important it is “not to be ministered unto, but to minister.” We tell each other, “You are loved.” We ask each other, “How are you doing?” I don’t really know the exact answer to that question anymore, but I do know one thing. I am living. Right now this act alone is an act of defiance: I choose to live. No one can take that away from me, and do not let anyone take that away from you.
Olivia Funderburg ’18
On Tuesday night I cried. At 11 p.m. I left the alumnae party to scrub all the ickiness off in the shower and I collapsed in there, sobbing. I’ve cried a few times since then, but sadness has not been my predominant emotion. The morning after, I woke up and read the New York Times announcement, and suddenly it was very clear to me: I cannot back down. I cannot sit here and do nothing and let it happen, because then… then he really wins. I have to be strong, just like she is. I have to be strong and fight for my rights.
What saddens me most about all this is that we were so close. We as women were about to have our existence validated once and for all, to watch as the most qualified candidate in living memory won the presidency. But she didn’t. And by God, if anyone deserved to win, it was her. She has spent her entire life working towards this. She was born for it. This was her destiny, I really do believe that, and it was taken from her.
I am still grieving, but I am gradually getting back to normal; the feeling of numbness is slipping away. I am afraid, yes—afraid for our planet, afraid for my brothers and sisters of color, afraid for my vagina and what Mike Pence might decide to do with it. But I will not be governed by fear. Yesterday I went to a love rally and heard stories from people across the nation. I sang and smiled with hundreds of others who had so much love and hope and fight in their hearts… and I feared no more. We will only lose our rights if we let them be taken. We will only be beaten down if we surrender.
Francesca Gazzolo ’20
Wellesley, I miss you so much right now. I’ve missed you for a while; study abroad was the right thing for me to do, I’m sure of it, but there are those moments where a Beebe RA posts about her Bubble Tea & Bananagrams floor program, and you just have a mini-breakdown during lunch. Post-election, however, the homesickness I have felt on-and-off for Wellesley has turned into an almost constant ache.
As a member of the queer community, as a bisexual woman, I am deeply scared of Trump’s policies, and even more so of Mike Pence’s history with the LGBTQ+ community. And not being at Wellesley, not to mention being in a country where homosexuality is illegal, I have almost no one with whom to communicate those fears. No one who understands them on a personal level. And that’s been so hard after two years surrounded by a beautiful, vibrant, diverse community of siblings.
But now I’m sitting on my bed, scrolling through the outpouring of love and support on Facebook, Twitter, and in my email. I’m listening to my 5 year old host brother Nouwih sing nonsense words in Darija (Moroccan Colloquial Arabic) while drawing at my desk, and I know he loves me even though our skin color is different and our faith is different and I still struggle to speak his language. And I have hope.
I’m eternally grateful that I have the Wellesley community to return to this spring, which while far from perfect, is a community of strength and love. A community that is already providing the resources necessary for self-care, for organization, for action. A community looking out for all of its siblings, of all backgrounds and identities and faiths.
Because of you all, I know that I am not alone, and that we will keep fighting for what is right and what is good.
Molly Hoyer ’18
I have been trying to think of the right thing to say for days now. I've written and discarded at least four Facebook posts, and I barely even use Facebook to begin with. I'm used to feeling like my writing is meaningful—I am a creative writing major, after all. Somehow, when I sit down to write something about this, I never seem to be able to get it quite right. Bear with me, Wellesley. I wish I could say something that would make this better. Right now I'm just scared—for myself, as a queer woman, and more so for my friends and loved ones who are people of color, immigrants or from immigrant families, queer, trans, disabled, Muslim. I'm searching for a silver lining; I think we all are. If anything positive can be said of the past few days, it is this: you are not alone. We are not alone. Our communities, our chosen families, mean so very much right now. If there's anything that gives me hope, it's the way we have been carrying one another in our weakest moments. I know that we will continue to do so, because we must. Thank you so much, Wellesley. Keep fighting.
Allyson Larcom ’17
Walking around campus on November 9th felt like trespassing through a stranger’s funeral. As I am international, Trump won’t be my president, and I am lucky to witness only the tip of the iceberg of its deep consequences. The only things I can offer are time, space, and a shoulder, and I hope to be better at offering these in the days to come.
At the same time, people around me are hurting. Some sort of change has to happen here, now, and I felt absurdly equipped in the wrong things. But perhaps the answer lies within the question. For those of us who feel that your dreams have been deemed frivolous by this election, our work is important, in fact more important than ever. Change is needed everywhere—take a deep breath, and continue.
Charlotte Yu ’17