a student-run publication that seeks to provide space for voices that are not being heard on our campus. we are grounded by politics that are radical, anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-classist, anti-homophobic, anti-ableist, and anti-transphobic (against all forms of oppression) and that reject the structural neo-liberal paradigm that characterizes middlebury college and its official publications
by Maya DA
I am wondering how to stay well here. It is easy for me, for many of us here I think, to become overwhelmed with all the work—and by work, I do not just mean academics—and not even realize it until it’s 2:00AM on a Tuesday, and we find that as we try to finish up readings for that night, our bodies are itchy with anxiety, and we cannot get past page three.
I always pause when this happens, and try to parse through my mind for the source of my anxiety, but it is usually impossible to just find one thing. Because I am thinking about everything: the essay due next week that I haven’t yet started to plan, the scary appointment in Burlington two Tuesdays from now, the white girl who grabbed my hair at a party and called me by someone else’s name, or else, I am thinking of my friends who I know are also awake somewhere, afraid or unable to sleep for their own reasons.
I am wondering how to stay happy here. The semester is almost over, my GPA is solid, and although nothing is secured yet, I am pretty sure I will find a summer internship somewhere. So I am good, I am fine, I am busy, but you know, making it. Except I am exhausted all the time, and I can’t think straight, and I constantly have a giant knot in my chest that I try to get out through some contemplative practice shit I learned in class once, but it never works.
I think maybe the problem is that I am too busy here, and I have to be more selective with my extracurriculars, but damn, how do I decide not to be black, woman, economically unstable, and interested in justice? When do I decide, when do we all decide, that this campus is safe enough for our work to be done? I don’t mean to make activism seem like a chore, because it’s not—it’s often empowering, connective, and hopeful.
But sometimes you can get really tired. Sometimes, it’s 2AM on a Tuesday, and you can’t finish your homework, and you also can’t sleep. Sometimes, all you can do is just take a deep breath and hope that the knot in your chest will untangle