Bryan is thoughtful, intelligent, kind and patient. He is curious, clever, realistic and a startling reminder that yes, life is difficult, but hey, that’s just how it goes. He’s read half the world’s history books because he literally has a backpack on wheels, and he often ends up sitting alone in the handicapped section, doing his reading. While other kids were playing sports in their spare time, Bryan taught himself bits of Arabic and Icelandic. He hates depending on others for help and is reluctant to ask for assistance, but he responds to my texts within milliseconds whenever I need something from him.
We are taught to criticize, analyze and deconstruct systems of power in the classroom. But applying the same logic to evaluate the balance of power between Duke and Durham reveals that our academic ideals might diverge from our lived decisions.
We distance ourselves far from the language of addiction, incarceration and crime. Inside Duke’s walls, we are Duke students: ambitious, invincible, blameless.
A recent national survey from the American College Health Association found that Duke undergraduate women were twice as likely than students at other colleges to report being “diagnosed or treated by a professional” for anorexia. The number at Duke was more than four percent of women surveyed, compared to less than two percent nationwide.
Life in the ‘Gothic Wonderland’ has never been easy for Duke students—between challenging academic courses, pressure to have a thriving social life and the overarching goal of effortless perfection, it’s no surprise that many undergraduates face problems with their mental health.
Complicating the issue? The fact that Duke’s resources for assisting students in maintaining their mental health—including Counseling and Psychological Services and DukeReach—are often lacking, according to students interviewed by The Chronicle.
Feb 15, 2018
/ Senior News Reporter 10:37pm
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