In light of recent political and environmental events, students at Duke have ceased reading the news in order to minimize stress and focus on how terrible their own lives are rather than worry about the general terribleness of everything else.

When the nonstop current of natural disasters seemed to pause for a few hours at one point last week, wildfires picked up in California just a few days ago and reminded us just how s**t everything is. Today, students have finally given up hoping that s**t will ever stop.

“When Harvey and Irma happened a few weeks ago I was pretty overwhelmed,” one student from South Florida said. “But then they kept reporting more tragedies, and then Mexico and Puerto Rico also got hit by natural disasters, and I just couldn’t keep up anymore.”

One student from Los Angeles admitted, “When I first saw clips of the wildfires, I thought the apocalypse had finally begun. I’d been expecting it for a few weeks, to be honest. But it was just another random, depressingly bad natural disaster; it wasn’t titanic enough to end the world but just s**t enough to ruin my week.”

The political climate, both domestically and internationally, has competed to deliver unbelievably frustrating and upsetting headlines.

“Yeah, I’ve been trying to figure out what the hell has been going on in Spain for like the last two days. Still don’t really get it. But from the looks of it, it just looks really s****y,” one history professor noted to his class before beginning his lecture on the Middle Ages, what was once a happy time for Europe.

As far as the Trump administration goes, both liberals and conservatives alike have begun to worry that things are getting out of hand. One junior expressed that though he felt hopeful that perhaps President Trump would be a big game-changer in American politics, he now wants to crawl in a hole every time he watches CNN.

“When the throwing-paper-towel-into-a-crowd thing happened while Trump was in Puerto Rico, I thought at first that maybe I had accidentally opened up a satirical news article,” he explained. “But it was painfully true, and truly some s**t if I’ve ever seen it.”

Journalism professors have been particularly frustrated with this growing trend, as keeping up with the news is generally a standard held for many of their classes. Nonetheless, one professor said that no matter how much he’s tried, he has not been able to convince his students to read the news.

“They just won’t do it anymore,” he complained. “They tell me they’d rather fail my class than have to spend all their time angry at Trump or depressed about the weather.”

As a result, very few students on campus seem to know about anything happening outside of Duke, and many have picked up other habits to replace what would have been the time they spent reading the news.

“The Fix My Campus Facebook page has become one of my favorite places to go read about stuff. Since I’m definitely not going to listen to any s**t about real politics or current events, the tense policy arguments on Fix My Campus give me the perfect rush of rage,” one sophomore said.

Many first-years, who generally tend to be much more hopeful about the future and genuinely believe they’re going to be able to one day affect change for the better, have been baffled by how unknowledgeable other students are about the status quo.

One freshman girl said that last week in her U.S. Foreign Policy class, “A senior asked our professor what Venezuela was. And the week before that, I tried to bring up all of that s**t going on in Myanmar in our discussion, and everyone just gave me blank stares. Myanmar is a real place, right? That s**t is definitely happening. Does anyone know?”

It seems that, for the most part, no one actually knows.

Some seniors have come forth with admitting that since the beginning of the semester, they’ve entirely stopped reading anything longer than a tweet’s worth. One group of fraternity boys even tried to plan a last-minute trip to Puerto Rico over fall break, before realizing that the island is in shambles.

“Yeah, we were pretty bummed when we googled ‘Fun things to do in Puerto Rico’ and realized that the country is actually undergoing a severe humanitarian crisis after the hurricane,” one of the frat boys explained. “But at least we ended up being able to go to Las Vegas last minute, so that was some good s**t. No recent disaster or catastrophe there whatsoever, thank God.”

Though some worried that the students’ lack of knowledge about the world may enable them to act selfishly and insensitively, others argued that if too much attention was paid to current affairs outside of Duke, no one would have time to worry about issues pertaining to the university, or to deal with the stress of their own lives.

“Look, I get that there’s more to life than just Duke, but my next round of midterms is coming up soon and I can’t afford the risk of opening up another super depressing BBC notification,” a student argued. “Last time I did, we were about to go to nuclear war with North Korea or some s**t. So no, thank you.” 

Daniela Flamini is a Trinity junior. Her column runs on alternate Mondays.