The sun has ceased shining brightly overhead, leaving behind only a grayish sky that greets you in the morning, ushers you asleep at night and keeps you tucked away indoors during the few hours in between. Its cold, its gray, and its rainy, and when paired with the stressful life of a college student, is a recipe for disaster.
Sitting in the corner of his parents' nail salon in Medford, Oregon, eight year-old Victor Tu heard the subtle squeak of the front door open. He looked up through the opening of the door, and across the shopping center parking lot, to a bright red sign that read, “ABK Karate.” He got up, walked across the parking lot, and began a love for strength training that would captivate him for years to come.
When Daniela Perez Vargas was 17 years old, she watched her father get deported for the third time. When he attempted to reconnect with his family, he was given three years of prison time for re-entry under Trump's presidency. “It's terrible, I hate it,” Perez Vargas said. “Because my whole life is over here, but a piece of my heart is over there.”
As students sat in classes on the first day of school, there was a collective sense of both excitement and anxiousness — in no particular order. After spending almost two years cooped up in your home, only talking to your close friends and family, and (hopefully) attending limited social events, the rates of people experiencing new or intensifying social anxiety are increasing across the nation.
For the first time in nearly two years, the once empty and quiet campus is alive with freshmen and sophomores experiencing college life in person for the first time.
It was 2012. Rob Messel had just competed in the citywide air guitar competition in Boston. After months of preparation, choreography, costuming, and character development, “The Marquis” was born. Seven years later, Messel would be declared the best air guitarist in the world.
Last summer, sitting on her porch soaking in the sun just after finishing up her remote work for the day, Sydney Livingtson’s phone rang. She sat in shock as the voice on the other end of the phone mumbled on, until she heard the words, “Stage 2 Nodular Sclerosis Hodgkin's Lymphoma.” She hung up the phone and allowed the tears to fall, for the first and last time in months.
Over the past 5 years I have watched The Office countless times. I have laughed, I have cried, and I have learned so much in the process (mostly that it’s okay to feel impulsively inclined to rewatch shows on repeat that bring you joy).