11-8-16 Election Night

A table hosts a small selection of election day items on Nov. 8, 2016 during the election night viewing party in the Live Oak Lounge of the LSU Student Union.

Nov. 3, 2020.

Enough has happened this year that most of us hear this date and immediately want to turn from the thought of it — if you're somehow fortunate enough to not know its significance, God bless you. I only wish I could tune out the noise like that. 

Throughout this year, we have all thought about the outcome of the presidential election and played out scenarios in our heads about what the future of this country will look like depending on which candidate wins. 

Depending on the way you see this election playing out, you might be scared, anxious, excited or angry. All of these emotions and more are beyond reasonable. I have gone through each of these several times during this election cycle. 

Last weekend I was sitting in mass and having trouble focusing. I had a lot on my mind, and I was ready for mass to be over so I could get to work. (Horrible, I know.)

When it came time for the priest to give his homily, he gave the congregation a warning that this homily would be a little longer than usual, and that it would be about the upcoming election. You can imagine how excited I was to hear that.

Kidding aside, I decided that this was going to be important and deserved my undivided attention. One sentence into the homily, I knew I'd made the right decision.

The priest started off by saying we all have different beliefs and are passionate about the candidates and policies we support. He went on to remind us that although feeling loyalty to a certain candidate or idea is not a bad thing, our loyalty to God should come first. 

The priest's message truly stuck with me. "We are citizens of God first," he said. This got me thinking about my own experience with this election. Over the past year I have put a lot of time and thought into this race. I care deeply about it, as I am sure many of you do. As Nov. 3 approached, I began focusing solely on the election. 

I have enjoyed every minute I spent fighting for my presidential pick, as well as other candidates and policies. But, in doing this, I decimated the time I had for other things in life. I kept telling myself that once the election was over I could go back to my usual schedule and pick back up with my hobbies. 

I believe this is true for a lot of us. We're letting this election consume our lives. I have seen posts on social media where people describe not being able to focus on their schoolwork or other activities because of their anxiety about the election. 

I believe it is important to be educated and passionate about our current state of affairs. In fact, I encourage it. However, we shouldn't allow this election — or any, for that matter — to control the way we live our lives. 

As worried as you may be for the future of our country, remember that elections and presidents come and go; but our families, friends and hobbies are here to stay forever. Fight for what you believe in, but do not allow your convictions to overcome your day-to-day stability. 

Elizabeth Crochet is a 19-year-old political communication sophomore from New Orleans. 

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