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How many times have you heard Americans say, “That’s it! I’m moving to Canada”? Well, I actually did.
Last year, I left California for college in Vancouver, Canada. Before leaving, I’d always identified with my home. I was a Californian, an American. And with those identities came a sense of civic duty. So when I left for school I was pretty certain I’d be back in four years.
Now, I’m not so sure.
Since I left, American identity has become even more tied to political antagonism. And while it was painful to read about Parkland and U.S. immigration raids from afar, the distance also allowed me a break from the doom and gloom that’s part of the American experience today.
There’s a part of me that feels guilty about wanting to leave my country. I get that the problems at home don’t go away when I do. And I’m struggling to find a middle ground between working to resolve issues in America while maintaining some distance.
Regardless of where I land after graduation, though, my U.S. ballot will always be turned in on time, even if it’s absentee.