Being a Political Science Major During Election Season
I’ve always thought myself incredibly in tune with politics, even from a very young age. I come from a family that is neither completely Democratic or Republican, so political debate is no stranger to my household. I am an avid CNN viewer and Iam always subject to weird looks when other people my age see what I’m watching. I’ve helped with Rock the Vote efforts and campaigned for various politicians. Even with all this political knowledge, I learned most recently in my Dominican University American Government class that I essentially knew nothing, absolutely nothing. That realization was wonderful.
Becoming a political science major was not a hard choice for me. I’ve always loved politics and the inner workings of the government, so it seemed an obvious choice. When I entered my Introduction to Political Science class at the beginning of the semester, I had a smug, arrogant way of thinking that I knew more than I could be taught. I’d spent my life learning politics from the news and the people around me, what more was there to learn? In the first five minutes of class, I was proved more wrong than I have ever been in my entire life. I was confronted with technicalities that I never knew existed, historical situations that I had never unearthed, reasoning that CNN never provided me. You would think that I was angered and let down by my self-imposed lack of knowledge on the thing that I love most, however it was quite the opposite. Gaining the knowledge that I never knew I lacked was enthralling, exhilarating, and completely and utterly exciting. In fact, knowing that there’s more to learn about the things you love should not give you anything but joy, and joy is surely what I felt.
As the election approaches, I see everything with a new pair of eyes. I see things that I never knew existed because now I know how the Electoral College works, know I know the importance of voting for your local representatives, and most importantly, I know that I don’t know everything. Dominican University, above all else, has taught me this semester that even among the things that I love, I still have tons to learn. In the light of this election, and seeing it as a Dominican University political science major instead of a political enthusiast, it’s a whole new election. For me, it has become less about who will be President and much more about what I can learn about our government and the way it works.