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A Tale of Two Cities: The University Bubble

Despite the election of he-who-shall-not-be-named as President of the United States of America (USA) in 2016, I still anticipated my column to be a lighthearted discussion revolving around the differences between living in the UK and the USA. Alas, recent affairs have left me feeling the same way as I have often felt as a young, female, liberal ‘millennial’ back in London: surrounded by like-minded people but unheard.

The days following the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court feel somewhat reminiscent of the atmosphere amongst the majority of my classmates when Britain voted to leave the European Union. This sucks. In this case, they didn’t even get a say. Despite all of their rights enshrined in the constitution, they have been silenced. No right to vote. No right to verbalise that they do not see Kavanaugh fit for the role. No right to defend survivors. No right to stand with Dr Ford. We are all on the same page, and yet it feels like we are living in a different book, so disillusioned and confused by what is unfolding in front of us.

I know that I have felt this feeling before and cannot help but wonder whether it is my own doing for encompassing myself, not exclusively but predominantly, with individuals who share my views at university. I am well aware of confirmation bias and how we are naturally inclined to read things that we agree with, as well as following and liking the social media pages of those that hold similar viewpoints. But is university another one of those bubbles? Are we writing our own novel separate to that of the majority of people in our society?

For now, the words ‘Go and vote in the midterms’ will be ringing in my ears as every professor ensures that their students have registered. Or at least, I think that every professor is saying that. But is that the case only within my bubble of political science classes? Of course we care, but does everyone else?

Unable to vote (unless Theresa May has called another snap election between me writing this and publication), I am watching this one from the sidelines, desperately cheering my team on in the hope that change might be on the horizon. It’s out of my hands. It’s down to the players to get the win. I hope that this time we are heard.

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