Life as a Legislative Page Pt. 5


I got to hold the Speaker of the House’s gavel! I felt like I was doing something illegal.

Olivia Moody, Newspaper Editor

Like most endings, I can only describe this one as happy-sad. 

My time as a legislative page ended on Thursday, May 4. I have never walked down a flight of stairs slower than when walking down the grand staircase for the last time. 

It is strange knowing that I will be able to visit The Capitol whenever I want, but I will be just that – a visitor. 

I went into this internship thinking that I would come out of it a changed person. Instead, I learned that there is really no such thing as completely changing yourself from an experience, you just add on to what you already have. 

I would say that I have grown a more mature outlook on politics and how it impacts relationships. 

This sounds a little sad, but I do not look at politics with the wide curious eyes that I once had. I now look at it in a more practical way. Politics determines almost everything. Every politician believes they are changing the world for the better. Politics are often messy and secretive – but even sneaky democracy is better than the alternative. 

I have also learned to stop looking at politics as an end all be all for my relationships. Like Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justice Antonin Scalia, you do not need to have the exact same beliefs to enjoy someone’s company. Before this opportunity I used politics as a way to weed out people that I did not want to spend time with, I have lately realized that this is an immature way of viewing relationships and politics. While there are some political beliefs that I am morally opposed to, I learned that politics can not be viewed in a black-and-white way – that is actually a dangerous box to be put in. 

Some of the closest friends I had and politicians that I respected the most do not align with me on the political spectrum in most ways, but we clicked in ways that mattered more. We had shared experiences, the same taste in food, music and books. We were able to connect in a very real way. 

In the past, I had let politics completely control every aspect of my life, because I believed that was the correct way to do things. I think if more people stopped viewing people as simply red or blue, as I have, a lot more change could be made. 

I do not think I ever want to be a politician, at least not a career politician, but this job has made me immensely more aware of the process of politics but also just the world around me. 

I may not have had a life-changing experience, but I have The Capitol to thank for the greyscale that I now use when viewing politics and relationships. 

I thank my fellow pages, doorkeepers, sergeant at arms and representatives for granting me the space to figure out the political process in a welcoming environment and helping me evolve as a person. I will not soon forget you.