This Election Day, I had the opportunity to wait in a four-hour line with my family. I stood alongside my mom, dad and 18-year-old brother to vote for the next president of the United States.
Nearly 25 years ago, my parents lived in a country where their basic rights were suppressed by an authoritative government. My grandfather, who passed away three weeks ago, served as a political prisoner in Cuba for refusing to comply with a communist regime.
I do believe he would’ve been proud to see our entire family cast their ballots.
My grandparents came to the United States to seek a better life, where their freedoms would neither be suppressed nor questioned.
Had my grandparents not decided to make the big move, I would have been stuck in a country where pieces like this could only be born in thought, and not executed by action. Today, as a first-generation college student, I could vote for whomever I want without fear of being silenced or persecuted.
And, in a country where freedom and democracy guide our policies, I think any figure elected will work to continue to uphold the principles our nation was founded on.
It doesn’t matter who was elected president, because he will certainly swear to uphold the same Constitution that was drafted 200 years ago.
On Tuesday night, I sat in a room of nearly 200 students and members of the UM community to observe the status of the elections. Several professors spoke about the process and the respect needed for people who had a divided opinion on the issues and candidates. I was proud to be a UM student, studying political science, learning about the process.
Election Day was full of surprises, and I was proud to be an American on such a historical and patriotic day.
Stephanie Parra is a junior majoring in journalism and political science.