Election Year Anxiety

Confession time: It’s campaign season, and I am stressing. And guys, it’s not even the results I’m worried about (well, OK, not only the results).

My first election as a registered voter was in 2008, my freshman year of college. I caucused in my home state, Hawaii, and was totally excited to experience a big election on a college campus — until I met my roommate. As I hung my Obama/Biden posters, she declared her love for the GOP (and her boyfriend made racist jokes about my man Barack on the regular). As you might imagine, by Election Day the atmosphere in our tiny dorm room was tense.

Now, as the 2012 presidential race enters the home stretch, I’m feeling that anxiety all over again.

When I watched the first debate at PSU on Oct. 3rd, I saw a few familiar faces around the room, and I started to wonder: Who are they voting for? Should I ask? I’d like to think I could have a rational political discussion with any of my classmates, but that isn’t always what happens. I’m proud of my convictions, but defending them to someone with different beliefs often leads to heated confrontations or awkward social situations — and nobody likes that.

So what should I do? I can’t just stop talking to everyone who disagrees with me until Nov. 2nd.  How do you deal with election year awkwardness?