Perspective Reporter's Notebook

Casting my first ballot

Terryville, Connecticut, U.S.A. — There are certain milestones in life that they say everyone goes through, such as getting your first kiss, your driver’s license and making your first vote.

I got my first kiss, I got my license and, Tuesday, I voted.

As I pulled up the driveway an elderly man was sitting in a lawn chair wearing a big furry hat, smiling and waving to me as I drove by.

It felt good, almost welcoming, like I was doing the right thing and everyone, even strangers, were proud of me.

As I walked along the sidewalk of Main Street School, which I had attended so many years ago, I felt like everyone was watching me and smiling.

I walked through the doors and was guided to the table where I showed identification and they crossed my name off of a long list of registered voters.

As I waited in line, I felt a hand caress my arm and I looked to see an elderly woman who said, “It’s so good to see the young people voting; there are too many old fogies around here.”

We had a good laugh and talked about those who complain about politics yet refuse to put their voices in to change it.

Then came the time to actually vote, press the levers and put my “money where my mouth was.”

As I left the booth I received a sticker that said, “I voted today.”

I put it on my jacket and left feeling a little more adult, not older, but more independent.

I guess that I feel a little more like a citizen of this country.

I feel like I was listened to for once and maybe I contributed to a change that can effect everyone.

Tyler Wentland is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International.

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