From Joe Biden to Tom Carper to Chris Christie, the University of Delaware is known as the nurturing ground for successful individuals. It is this drive toward success that brings us together to receive an education filled with diversity of thought, interest, culture, and opportunity. In a campus so densely packed with new things it is easy to forget what brought all these people together: you. Your academics, goals, drive, and interests brought you here to pursue your passions and your experience is UD’s most valuable resource. It is your passion that spreads and intertwines with others to create new, unique knowledge. While this blend of passions is UD’s defining characteristic, you must remember that it isn’t yours.

Our forefathers fought to create a country of individuals, not generic citizens. In realizing the unique qualities of every person, they created a country where every individual could embrace themselves and prosper. We cannot forget their sentiment, especially now. As college students we are awash in new ideas and openly embrace many of them, often becoming a product of our environment. We must not forget our defining factors in this flood of contemporary thought. It is our individual actions that brought us here, no one else’s. Now, when we are inundated with the liberating feeling that comes with a major life change, we must keep our heads above water. While each of us contributes to UD’s environment, we are all masters of ourselves and must act accordingly. It would be a shame if you spent four years “finding yourself” to be left more confused than when you started. We are all in a period of rapid change and we must guide that change or risk straying further and further from our goals.

In addition to managing our own lives, we must work around others that attempt the same. UD cherishes our sense of community, but this begs the question, where does an individual fall within a community? Our nation has grappled with this question from the day of its conception. Some claim the individual must be active within the community and others say the community exists on a different plane. Regardless of your answer, we all exist nestled between shining seas. We all share the privileges and burdens that come with a lifestyle tailored differently to every American. In the fine print of our citizenship, is outlined our most important and most overlooked privilege: our right to the ballot box.

We are nearly a month away from midterm elections that may plot our nation’s course for years to come – an election deep within one of the most politically polarizing periods in our history. If we ever want to rise out of the rift that divides us, we have to pull ourselves out. It’s fitting that the fate of a nation of individuals depends on the actions of every individual. It is our duty as Americans, UD students, and individuals to cast a vote on November 6th. University of Delaware’s noteworthy individuals understand their privileges and responsibilities, we must do the same.