For students, the newly divisive political climate has forced their friendships and other relationships into an “it’s complicated” status. This recent election has been much more controversial than previous elections and has had a major impact on the younger generation. Teenagers around the world have become more interested in politics because of this intriguing election, which can cause arguments and disagreements.
Students do not typically choose their friends based on common political views, or even associate the two. But with this election, more and more students had strong views and chose to express them, creating a volatile environment. When one friend disagrees with another’s political opinions, he or she may not understand their friend’s position.
Sophomore Meredith Halperin has been deeply involved with this year’s election. She attended the Women’s March on Washington and has expressed her views through social media. Halperin is open to other viewpoints, but thinks that the students who are closed-minded cause the issues. “It starts to become a problem when people are ignorant and think their way is the only way that can be right,” Halperin said.
The arguments that have formed based on this election have become too common to ignore. Not only do the student see their friends in a different way, but it has actually broken up friendships. “I think after this election, a lot of people looked at their friends differently, and it most definitely brought out the worst in people,” Halperin said.
A majority of the students have their opinions, but may not know what to do with them. Teens may be scared that people will judge them based on their beliefs. Junior Maddie Lee believes that the relationships throughout the students are all different and are associated with their views. “I think that politics should not affect people’s friendships, but since friends are made through sharing common interests and personalities, politics eventually play roles in friendships,” Lee said.
Being involved in such an important part of our country at such a young age is one of the most difficult things to understand. Even if one might think they know exactly what they believe in and how they think the world works, it is vital to seek adult guidance who knows what they are talking about. Adults have more knowledge of politics and can help minors who are interested in becoming a part of it. It is important that teenagers know all the facts before they start forming the on opinions on issues, and know how to deal with them.
NSL teacher Maima Barclay has seen how students with opposing views interact with each other throughout her career as a teacher. “I have seen and heard students argue about which candidate they thought connected with the public,” Barclay said.
It is important that even expressing their views can affect other student without even realizing it. “Sometimes they are not just disagreeing based on political views, but they are actually disagreeing about personal experiences that other students may not be aware of,” Barclay said.