There was a peaceful protest at Bates College Tuesday, following a long tradition of such expressions on college campuses in the history of this country.

These students weren’t dwelling. They were demonstrating.

That’s worth noting because hours after Donald J. Trump was declared president-elect of the United States, dozens of students at Cornell University gathered on a campus path for a “cry-in.”

According to The Wall Street Journal, the students mourned the results of the election as school staff provided tissues and hot chocolate.

This Ivy League college graduates some of the top minds in this country. These young people will become our financial advisers, doctors, lawyers, scientists, entrepreneurs, politicians and philanthropists.

The WSJ also reported students at Tufts University — where the top majors are in medicine and engineering — grieved through arts and crafts projects.

And, at the University of Michigan, students were permitted to skip classes to spend the day with Play-Doh and coloring books “as they sought comfort and distraction” from grief and loss.

Some professors at Yale University — another powerhouse educating future leaders — postponed midterms and delayed classes until the start of this week to allow students to recover.

Is this what comes from a generation where everyone is a winner and there are no disappointments?

Let’s hope not.

There will be many, many more serious disappointments for present-day college students than the results of a national election.

When a young lawyer loses a criminal case, there is no Play-Doh.

Therapy dogs will not be on standby for a young physician after he has to deliver bad news to someone’s husband or wife.

Brokers can’t stand down for days after a letdown in the market.

In the real world, people work through defeats — large and small — every day. And, some of the most serious disappointments are personal, not professional.

Marriages fail, friends die, children falter, money gets tight. And no amount of coloring books can fix life’s hardships, despite what some college students may have learned on campus last week.

We understand that students — particularly those who worked on Hillary Clinton’s campaign — were energized and excited by the possibility of a win.

But, politics is an ugly contest and only one winner moves into the White House. And, the rhetoric that peppered this election was enough to root fear and hate across the political spectrum, but the response to skip classes and halt routines in mourning is the stuff of pre-K, not young adulthood.

Hofstra University on New York’s Long Island — which hosted the first presidential debate — got it right.

There, according to the WSJ, the school’s dean of students and Assistant Vice President Sofia Pertuz facilitated a student discussion on the election, largely attended by students who were upset by the results. But, the school made a point to acknowledge and include students who were elated with the outcome.

This was a reasoned and helpful response to disappointment, leaving room for others to celebrate. A campus where classes went on as usual. A campus where there is room for all expressions, and one that teaches the kind of discussion and action that shape the often difficult reality of adulthood.

There is room in that reality for peaceful protests, such as the one at Bates.

There is room for disappointment, and for reaching out for support from others. There is also room for compassion and understanding over loss, but let’s be real.

Real is Coastal Carolina Community College in North Carolina where a former student posted this to Facebook:

“My friend is a business professor who voted for Hillary, but even he said that he is throwing a pop quiz tomorrow and anyone absent fails the quiz, its going to be worth a full letter grade by the end of the course.”

That’s the reality of post-college real life. Work through it.

And there’s plenty of work to be done.

Trump said awful things during the campaign, as did his opponent. Fear was used very effectively by both sides to motivate, and voters did their part — under the system we devised — to select a president.

Hours afterward, a newly humble Trump pledged to help “bind the wounds of division . . . for us to come together as one united people.”

And, a conciliatory Clinton made her disappointment clear while also rooting for Trump’s success.

Welcome to the real world.

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