The relief at last night’s results comes to me in waves. I thought that I would be so happy and emotional when the results were announced, but it seemed slightly unreal, like a dream.

The newscasters keep stressing the historicity of this election, which really goes without saying. My reason for feeling like this is a turning point comes down to the fact that the candidate who appealed to the highest instincts in people has won. His campaign was clean, he was honest about the state of the country without using scare tactics, and he made people excited about living in America. He made the entire world excited.

Americans had a choice between reason and emotion, between the orator and the soldier. We could have chosen tradition, experience, “safety,” but we said no thanks. We collectively recognized the value in trying another path, the road less traveled.

Having an intellectual and former university professor in the highest office speaks to a very specific set of values – promoting criticality, examination, and thought over visceral reaction, privileging diplomacy over violence, hope and acceptance over fear. I am so proud that the people in this country want these qualities in a leader, that they want this man to represent us.

It’s like a small rebellion. But one that had to happen, like America has stood up to its parents for the first time and made known that it can make its own decisions. And in a way, that is exactly what has happened. Record numbers of new voters, young people, and minority voters finally had someone to rally behind, someone with whom to stand up to the status quo and say “No. We are not okay with this. Do something else. Now.”