As the summer has wound down, and I settle back in to Mother so Dear, I have thought a lot about the amazing opportunities that I have had while at Wake Forest. Not surprisingly, many of those stand-out opportunities came from Wake the Vote. If it hadn’t been for this program, I would not have chosen to spend the majority of my summer working on my local congressional campaign.
Campaigning is an experience that I likely would not have taken without the Wake the Vote summer campaign requirement, as I would have more likely chosen a desk job with air conditioning, business attire, and all around the standard 9-to-5 internship that is boring but practical. Having the ability to interact directly with voters, particularly during such an interesting election cycle for the GOP was a rewarding experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world.
Working at a grass-roots level on a campaign is hard work. My days can be summed up by 7 hour shifts in the sun, 200 doors/day, and a fair amount of said doors being slammed in my face. It was certainly physically exhausting, and I could see why campaigns are so life-consuming for a candidate and his or her team during an election year. However, despite the blisters, sun burns, and overall struggling that I sometimes (frequently) faced while on the Trail, I wouldn’t have wanted to do anything else.
This experience confirmed for me my interest in working in the field of politics. Although I am not sure if campaigning is what I want to do, knowing that I loved and learned so much from this experience truly solidified my passion for politics.
I look forward to continue to #WakeTheVote, both in VA-10 and in North Carolina in the upcoming months. The biggest thing that I have gained from my summer experiences is the importance of getting people to be interested in politics so that they are actively participating in the electoral process. A disheartening amount of people would not know who their current Congresswoman is when I was door knocking, and I hope that politically engaged people like myself will continue to strive to reach out to the uninvolved to ensure the health and longevity of the American democratic process.
Despite the fact that school is starting, Waking the Vote isn’t winding down.
The work has just begun.