Students at UK universities react to president-elect Donald Trump - and it isn't a happy picture

Students up and down the UK were binging on black coffee and Pro Plus as they packed into their university bars to watch a US election they knew would be long, tense and eventful.

And at least those expectations were met, which is more than can be said for the results.

What started out as fun nerdy events filled with people in high spirits (quite literally) quickly turned into places of great upset, anger and utter bewilderment as under-qualified Republican Donald Trump was declared the next president over more than qualified Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump on stage after his win (Paco Anselmi/PA)
(Paco Anselmi/PA)

Alex Milsom, a journalism student at Brunel University in London, found himself struggling to come to terms with something he never expected to get so emotional about - a feeling that seems to have been echoed at events across the UK as students booed and cheered along with the results into the early hours of the morning.

He said: "I am absolutely dumbfounded that a developed nation, in this day-and-age, can (elect someone) to a position of power based on a manifesto of division, hatred and poison.

"I have cried, as did those at my uni who I watched the final result with. I just can't believe, and am shocked to the core, that Donald Trump could even reach such levels of popularity."

When that's the effect felt by a student from the UK, you can just imagine the impact the vote has had on an American studying over here.

Wendy Toscano, who moved from Texas to Scotland and currently studies marketing at the University of Edinburgh, said she feels betrayed.

She said: "I feel as an immigrant living in the United States that I had my own opinions and I respected other people's opinions and I understood where they were coming from, but, at the end of the day, Donald Trump and what he stands for is hatred and racism and division and it doesn't make sense. I'm shocked.

"It makes me feel like my peers and the people that I love in America and my friends who have had four generations of grandparents in the US don't see me as their equal. It feels really weird and that I don't belong. Going back home will be weird and a bit of an adaptation as here everyone just seems to get it."

Robin Wilde, a recent graduate of the University of Sheffield who sits somewhere in the middle as a dual US-UK national, tried to emotionally prepare himself for a Trump win but is still trying to process the result.

"This was never supposed to happen and I didn't see a way it could happen - and yet here we are," he said.

He reckons when he returns to America next year he'll see the great divides in equality and hardship much clearer: "The USA has always had those problems, but it's also been a great source of learning, art and ideas on liberty which I fear are now going to be stripped away.

"Far from being made great again, I feel as though I'll visit a country whose greatest days are now behind it."

Back in the UK, as we're all aware, our decision to leave the European Union is still a very sensitive issue.

The US election had been compared to Brexit for a while - even though they're completely different elections in completely different countries over a completely different things - but now the US has actually gone down a similar route and backed the controversial candidate for change, the similarities between the two ring truer than ever before.

Milsom said: "I had, because of the EU referendum, a deep-set fear of the world being quietly racist but I hoped that those of the 'land of the free' would restore my faith in humanity. I was wrong.

"I feel terrible generalising an entire country in one brush stroke but it's like Brexit, what else can I do?

"Because of Brexit I have a rational hatred towards opinions polls - the election results just strengthened that."

Students are now left speculating less-than-positively about the future of the US, the UK, and the world - with a focus on which of the issues Trump has disregarded in the past will be hit the hardest now he's the man in charge.

Daniel Green, a University of Sussex journalism student, said: "The implications of this will be huge and I feel social progress on LGBT equality and women's rights are under threat now which I didn't think I'd see. That's not to mention his views on climate change."

Wilde said: "Whether you're talking short, medium or long term, this will set the USA back a long way. The country's first black president will be replaced by a man with the endorsement of the Ku Klux Klan."

Milson said: "I think Donald Trump doesn't have the temperament to actually deal with the issues that are going to affect the US population and, indirectly, the rest of the world. I dread to think of the future, I really do."

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