Welcome to Duke, eager band of high schoolers and helicopter parents! I will be your tour guide this afternoon. We’re so glad you’re visiting in November when exactly 12% of the student population feels something resembling happiness. Take a look around. Underneath every Patagonia jacket you see is the shell of a human, whimpering, Vitamin-D deficient, and in need of Thanksgiving break. Until now, you have been blissfully unaware of this widespread anguish because our spiraling mental health is the one Countdown to Craziness Duke won’t make a hype video for. So follow me, and I’ll give you an honest tour of the Gothic Wonderland.
Behind me you’ll see the iconic Chapel. The juxtaposition of its holy grandeur and your looming midterms will remind you daily that there is a God, He just hates you. Just to the left, in the nondescript building hides our Counseling and Psychological Services, fondly known by its victims, er, patients as CAPS. There you can find helpful pamphlets titled “Just snap out of depression—the only D-word is Duke!” or “Got anxiety? Try simply calming down and 3 other hacks”. Though the helpfulness of this counseling is often contended, CAPS is more booked this time of year than Shooters on SFK’s birthday.
Over here is the Allen building which you are no doubt familiar with if you entered a Google search of Duke University during the month of April. Allen contains administrative offices where the general attitude is that suicidal students are greater liabilities to Duke than a leprous escaped inmate with cannibalistic tendencies loose in Perkins. Such troubled students are encouraged to leave campus immediately and disregard trivial issues like tuition reimbursement and any previous life-plan. To quote one Dean of Students, “You can die, just take that shit elsewhere”. Also contained in this building is a giant folder a la NSA on every student who had an honest conversation with an undercover mandatory reporter.
The next building over is Soc Sci or Soc Psych where the rest of my class meets as I lay stuck in bed, unable to find my will to face the day. Nothing feels better than recklessly violating the Duke Community Standard’s STINF policy first thing in the morning! About a day’s journey north of here is student health, where physicians are still learning how to differentiate between early rheumatoid arthritis and a broken leg. Such incompetence has its perks, however. While students at other universities bemoan the inequalities in treatment of physical and mental illnesses, Duke students have become accustomed to neglect across the board. Reading victim-blaming sentiments like “If you’re so smart, why are you so sick?” only prepares us for how society addresses sexual assault. On that note, I’ll hand out military-grade binoculars so everyone can see the Women’s Center now located in a crawl space on East Campus.
As fun as this has been, I’m afraid I need to end our tour of campus early. There is a short time window when my roommate isn’t in the room and I need to have my bi-weekly meltdown. Even though we only made it 100 yards along Abele quad, you’ve now seen a sliver of the Duke that gets cropped out of its Instagram photos. So if you’re a fan of basketball, research, or masochism, consider spending the best years of your life at Duke University! Be a blue devil and join us in hell.