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 Sandra Luo
Noun: A state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.
Middlebury is aware that loan assistance is an integral source of college financing for many students. . .”
“Can you come home? We need you.”
. . .
“Everything at home is fine! Don’t worry about us! Just focus on your studies, okay??”
“Why don’t you take time off?”
“Sure you can! Just take some time to travel.”
Because taking a semester or two or three off won’t change anything. Not Middlebury. Not its environment. Not home. Not my responsibilities.
“You might feel better.”
But maybe not.
Doing too much, doing too little, but still never enough.
Being too much, being too little, but still never enough.
“You’re always running from place to place. Do you even have any free time?”
I purposely keep myself busy throughout the day so that I’m exhausted by the time I get ready for bed. Maybe I won’t be able to think about anything else if I’m bogged down by school work and commitments.
Sometimes I don’t. Most of the time I still do.
“Have you talked to your parents lately?”
“But they can help”
Because they’re too busy and then too tired.
Because I’m stuck in my Middlebury bubble: A call, even one text message, brings me back to reality. Things are not okay. Stop lying to yourself. I lose focus. I have yet another breakdown. Multiple times. I don’t call. I distance myself. Repeat.
Am I selfish? Maybe.
“You shouldn’t feel guilty about getting an education. It’ll be worth it in the long term.”
But I do.
What good is an education when your parents are overworked and exhausted? When they want to see a doctor but can’t afford to? What good will this doctor do in 10 years’ time? Maybe if I worked full-time instead, maybe then they can rest.
Tell me one more time why my parents deserve this because they aren’t “educated.” Their experiences are more than I will ever know; their beings more than I could ever be.
“It’ll all be worth it.”
I turn down yet another invite to go out. I blame it on how much work I have to do, but really, my anxieties won’t give me a damn break.
“Maybe you should drop a class or something.”
I smile and laugh it off.
No amount of school work could ever equate to the non-academic pressures in my life.
Person of Color.
Woman of Color.
This institution was never meant for someone like me.
This institution was never meant for me.
Fight or flight?
I’ve been fighting for a while now… and I’m really tired.