On January 20th, 2017, Donald John Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States of America. The inaugural event was met with mixed emotions — not only from the nation, but also from the world. While cheering Trump fans watched the inauguration with excitement, other citizens watched with disappointment. Among those watching from both sides of the aisle were college students from across the nation — members of the next generation of Americans who will feel the effects of Trump's presidency for years to come. Fresh U caught up with seven college students to hear their opinions and feelings about watching Donald Trump be inaugurated as the next President.
1. Alec Hilton – Freshman – Washington University
"I watched Trump’s inauguration not because I agree with his ideas or policies, but because I believe it is important to be aware and informed of crucial moments that will have an influence on all of our lives. The peaceful passing of power between two individuals with very different visions for this country is an important aspect of the inauguration that needs to be kept in mind. Regardless of what happens, we need keep in mind for the future that peace and compromise is still possible despite disagreements. I pray that Trump can keep peace and be able to compromise in a country that seems to be harshly divided on issues."
2. Benjamin Aitoumeziane – Freshman – Temple University
"It was a great moment for our democratic process but a sad moment for every individual he slandered and smeared on his way to the top. While listening to the speech I looked around our diverse university and was deeply saddened by the great difference between his visions for America and the realities that my peers face."
3. Gia Tims – Freshman – Hofstra University
"I felt disappointed and scared. I never supported Donald Trump and I fear what might happen during his presidency. It was mainly just upsetting for me personally as a feminist because I was so hopeful that I was going to be watching the first woman take her place in office and make strides for women everywhere. Instead I watched a disrespectful, rude and under-qualified man be sworn in."
4. Joseph Zapinski – Sophomore – University of Nebraska, Lincoln
"It felt surreal watching a reality TV star actually being inaugurated as the president. And it's not like being a reality TV star should really reflect badly on someone's ability to be president, to me it's the fact that it's Donald Trump specifically."
5. Joshua Sirois – Freshman – Georgetown University
"The oath was something that took my breath away. After repeating those final words, Donald Trump was no longer the President-elect and Barack Obama was no longer the President. In that moment, as the power truly transitioned, the crowd around me swelled with both roars of pride and hope and screams of agony and defeat. In that moment, I thought not of the piece of history I had just witnessed but instead of the hurt and confusion that separates our nation. There is so much work to be done."
6. Layne Canfori – Freshman
"Watching the inauguration of Donald Trump caused a mix of emotions for me. At the beginning of his campaign I was intrigued by what he said but I was not a full supporter of his. As his campaign went on he lost what little support I did have for him. I am a female and chronically ill with slight disabilities, so I have two labels that don't seem to fit into Trump's idea of who deserves respect which makes me very anxious about my future in his America. On the other hand I am a patriot who believes my country does need positive change and wants to see if Trump can bring that without stomping on the rights of others, so I am hopeful as well. Regardless of my opinion of Donald Trump I knew it was important to watch the inauguration because it is now part of our country's history and the beginning of the path our country is now on."
7. Rachel Murphy – Freshman – Temple University
"Seeing Trump inaugurated as the 45th president was almost unreal to me. I still haven't quite come to terms with this new reality, and quite frankly I'm not too excited about it. I wish the best for him and this country, but as an 18 year old female it's really upsetting knowing that there has yet to be a woman president in the history of our country."
While students might disagree with Donald Trump on policy, they do agree that the peaceful transition of power is the biggest hallmark of the inaugural process. Watching the Presidential Inauguration on January 20th brought mixed emotions for those who voted for the first time this past year, and hopefully America's next generation can channel their feelings towards President Trump into positive activism — whether that's for or against his causes.
Lead Image Credit: CBS News
Editor's Note: Some quotes have been modified for clarity and cohesiveness.