I spent the night of the U.S. election in my apartment with the English exchange students who lived next door to me. My Australian friend from Bond University had travelled from our campus (The State University of New York: Stony Brook) to Times Square (a 2-hour train ride away), and continuously updated us with videos of what was happening in NYC. Clinton initially led the polls but Trump eventually gained the numbers and overtook her.  In the weeks prior to the election, we had watched the debates in the common room of our dormitory and had joked that Trump would win, but none of us had expected it. Everyone’s face was fixated on the computer screen as Hamish (the Australian exchange student) posted live videos of what was going on. The crowd was so big and his walk from the Rockerfeller Centre to 42nd street took a very long time. On his way, he interviewed a few Americans about their thoughts regarding the election and the person they had voted for. There were mixed reactions with both Clinton supporters and people cheering for Trump. Most of the people in New York had voted for Clinton. At about 1am it became clear that Trump was going to win, as he had already conquered Florida and a few other major states. We decided to call it a night and went to bed because we had class the next day (we later heard that the winner had not been determined until 3am)!

Note: All photos displayed have been taken by my friend Hamish on the night of the election at Times Square

The Day After the Election:

Everywhere  I went, there were people shocked by the election results. In the classrooms, on the bus and in the dining halls, the election was the main topic of discussion. Most of the students I talked to were Clinton supporters. The Russian exchange students, however, seemed pleased that Trump won and Hamish also preferred this because he couldn’t stand Clinton. On the New York subways, peoples’ reactions were posted on sticky notes on the station walls. Some of my classmates didn’t attend lessons because they were so tired and alarmed by the news. One of my teachers gave us donuts to cheer us up. Anyway, it seemed a lot more people wanted to come with me to Australia. I guess it will become clear in the upcoming months how the Trump presidency will span out.

The day after the election my friends and I talked to a few people about their thoughts with respect to the outcome. Below is the response of just a few of the students we encountered.

Q: How do you feel about the election yesterday?

Person 1: “I feel strange because I didn’t expect it. The news told us that Clinton was the favoured candidate so I was sure she would win. Yeah…that’s pretty much all I can say right now. Shocked!”

Person 2: *sighs* “It was one of the most intense nights ever man. So hard to believe actually. To be honest I didn’t like either candidate very much but I think I wanted Hilary to win just a little more.”

Person 3: “Not too bad actually. I know a lot of people here wanted Clinton to win but to be honest I preferred Trump. I mean you either love him or hate him and the same goes for Clinton. The only issue is that the Republicans won both the House and the Senate, which basically gives them full power to push forth any policies they want.”

Person 4: “Uhhhhh I just know that trump is going to destroy all the progress we have made as a nation. He is a misogynist, a racist! I don’t know how I’m gonna stand the next four f******* years with him as the president.”