Students in my history class at Stevenson University were asked to finish this sentence: "When I heard that Donald Trump was elected president..." Here's what they said:
"America will live on."
"I was relieved that Clinton lost. I don't like Trump and I didn't vote for him, but I believe he is more fit to run and will make a better president than Clinton."
"I was horrified and confused. I was shocked to see so many people actually voting for a man who has no background to handle being president of the United States."
"I was excited that our country was finally going to experience real change."
"I cried, and then I thought it was best to just get over it and try to have some hope for my country's future."
"I thought to myself 'these next four years are going to be interesting.'"
"I was a little hesitant; but I still have hope that no matter who is president, things will work out positively for our country."
"Happy my party/candidate won. Optimistic of what would happen in the future."
"I packed my bags to move to Canada, but the Canadian website crashed."
"I first panicked. Then I realized that regardless of who was elected, I was still going to wake up and do the same thing, so there was not much point to complaining and sulking over it."
"I cried and started to mourn democracy."
"I laughed. I thought about how I never thought Americans would actually be stupid enough to vote for him. They proved me wrong."
"I was so shocked and in denial that it almost felt like I was grieving the death of a family member."
"I had a panic attack and became scared for the future of the world."
"I worried about the impact of having an impulsive leader as a role model not only for children, but also adults that see the president as someone whose behaviors they should also exhibit."
"I woke up at 2:50 a.m. rubbing my eyes in disbelief that the candidate that I voted for won. I cried tears of joy at the thought of a Republican president, bringing change to the White House, Congress and Supreme Court. I'm just as excited for Donald Trump today as I was a week and a half ago, despite all of the problems."
"I was satisfied."
"I danced around the room full of happiness."
"I knew that the country would be divided by controversy."
"I was distraught, disappointed and upset. It shows how racism is still upon us. Yet I was not surprised, just a shocking reminder."
"I was surprised because in Australia we joked about him all the time, so I was really shocked to see that it actually happened. My friends back home messaged me a lot saying 'what the hell?' My Mom messaged me saying she really wants me to come home because she is worried about America."
"I was disappointed in humanity because I thought as a nation, we knew better."
"I was disappointed. I wanted Hillary to win."
"I cried in the shower for 40 minutes."
"I thought America still has a chance to be great again."
"I immediately began to worry about my future and the other lives that will be negatively impacted as a result of his election. America's future is in grave peril with this man."
"I was in shock. I'd been watching the New York Times live map the whole night, so I knew logically that it was coming. But honestly, nothing could have prepared me for it actually happening."
"Was concerned about how everyone would react. Honestly, I expected a more severe series of protests than we have experienced."
"I was surprised, every poll had him down on Hillary Clinton, but the American people made their voices heard, and I am pretty optimistic and interested in the future of this great nation."
"I took a breath."
"I was excited that career politics and corruption had been beat by an outsider (Donald Trump). It's now time for us to come together as Americans to make our country better than it is already."
"I thought it said more about Clinton than Trump. People disliked her so much that they were all right with Trump possibly being president [because] they stayed home, did not vote, etc."
"I was disgusted, angry and scared, but not surprised at all."
"I wondered what changes would occur and how people would respond. I didn't like either candidate, so either way things would be interesting."
"I knew our country was a joke."
"I was in complete shock. I began to feel angered that the American people voted for a racist, sexist idiot. I also felt scared for my future as a female and feminist who has a very diverse group of friends. I felt sad for the kids who look up to our president, and felt concerned to think they would look up to him. I felt unsafe in America and debated moving to Canada."
"I thought to myself 'does he realize the position that he has just obtained and does he understand how much time and responsibility it takes to run the United States?' Also I felt as though he signed his own death certificate because a lot of people will try to ruin/take his life."
"I was scared."
Alexander O. Boulton is a professor of history at Stevenson University; his email is firstname.lastname@example.org.