The Sanders rally and all of its hype

by Julianna McDowell, Contributor

When I got the email from Bernie Sanders’ campaign, I nearly fell out of my chair. I was hyped. I was more than hyped. Dare I say, I was hella hyped (admittedly, I had to look that phrase up on Urban Dictionary to make sure it was real).

I RSVP’d to the event for my friends and myself moments after I received the email. Though no physical tickets were issued, RSVPs were “strongly encouraged.”

Several hours later, upon checking the same link, I was led to a message from the campaign saying the event was sold out, and to try again at a different location. I was relieved I had already RSVP’d, but anxious because I had a midterm an hour before the event was set to begin.

Luckily, my women’s studies professor decided that after the midterm, we should all go to the Bernie Sanders rally.

“You’re making history, go change the world,” she said. 

After arriving, we began to trek down the sidewalk to the back of the line literal miles away.

A girl pulled us into line with her toward the front, telling us we had good vibes and to have a good night.

No questions asked and again, hella hyped by the stroke of luck, we proceeded.

Fast forward to standing at the front of the stage (close enough to see Sanders that I didn’t even have to stand on my toes), being pushed and shoved by various patrons, and hit by multicolored and often hilariously clever signs and posters, to the part where Rosario Dawson, actress from “Rent and Daredevils”, opened for Sanders.

“You’re here because you’re talking to each other,” Dawson said. “We need you now more than ever. Youth has been on the right side of history on every issue.”

After a roar of applause and chants of “Bernie!” echoing throughout the more than 12,000 person-packed convention center, Sanders, accompanied by his wife, Jane, appeared.

The 74-year-old senator stood on stage for about an hour, carefully presenting his policies with a passion I’ve never seen in a human before.

I knew I was witnessing something special. I knew, as Dawson had claimed earlier, I was on the right side of history.

Being a part of the San Diego Sanders rally was life-changing.

Coming so close to a man with such fervor and drive to make real, quality change in a country that is desperate for bold leadership and radical ideas was electrifying, and the collective enthusiasm and energy for both this candidate and this cause I felt in the room was overwhelming.

It didn’t seem that anyone minded being pressed together tightly — sweaty and aching from standing all day long.

Once Sanders began speaking, the crowd did not waver to participate fully in his presence.

The Sanders rally, and my experience at it, was something bigger than myself, bigger than even the rally itself.

The movement is something that, given a chance, can encompass this nation and drive it toward positive change.

As Bernie says, this was, and is, something “yuge.”