Campus Insider: Confessions of a First-Time Voter, Part 1

In Part 1 of this series, debuting the weekend before Election Day, Mi Familia Vota invites you to join us on a journey with a first-time voter.

Have you felt overwhelmed by this election? You’re not the only one. We asked a Andrea Curtade, a college student living in California, to keep a journal as she explored what it takes to become “an informed voter.”

This is what she had to say.

As I make my coffee anxiously preparing to watch the first presidential debate, I can’t help but feel overwhelmed about what will unfold before my very eyes. As a first-time voter and college student, there are many issues that I find to be important to me such as: equal pay, debt-free college, gun control, racism and so on. However, I feel my knowledge of the entire presidency lacking as many fellow colleagues discuss their feelings regarding both candidates and their proposals for our future. I have heard my fair share of remarks from both sides and as I patiently await the debate to begin, I remember that tonight will define and clarify many questions still lurking around, ultimately helping me make sense of my stance in this presidential election.

Yet, it didn’t matter how prepared I thought I was — I wasn’t. The racism section peaked my interest the most. As a person of color, I need to know what our future president would do to bridge the systemic racism communities of color have been battling for centuries. Donald Trump’s position was that, “We need Law and Order.” Hillary Clinton talked about setting up better communication between law enforcement and the community. As a member of the Latinx community, I am looking for a candidate that will work with our diverse communities to understand and create more humane solutions for the social problems beckoning to be acknowledged. I want a candidate who will work towards policies that will benefit the Latinx community.

Watching the debate definitely took a toll on me and I felt submerged under piles of promises, negative and positive diction, threats and hope.

And yet I was also filled with motivation to keep up with the election for the next weeks resulting in giving my vote for the next president. There is a lot at stake during this election and watching the debate made it clear that my civic duty is to go out and vote in order to have beneficial outcomes. This not only imperative for my future but for the future of our nation. As a first-time voter, it almost seems like too much information, but it was easier for me to follow by starting off with the issues that are extremely important to me and my community. It is time to pay more attention to what these candidates intend to change or progress for our nation and then we can make our vote count in helping those ideas become a reality. I will be tuning in for the next debate scheduled October 9th to continue informing myself about our future president.”

Stay tuned for Part 2. Are Presidential debates truly useful in becoming “an informed voter”? Find out.