My favorite class at the moment requires great amounts of personal reflection — sometimes more than I am comfortable with, in fact. Our essay prompts ask us to think of big “why” questions and reflect on what matters to us, something that is really exciting to me (but also sometimes scary). For the final draft of my most recent essay, I had to dig into my teenage experience on the harsh acne medication, Accutane, and I found it was hard to truly uncover those memories in a normal setting.
So, I created a “torture chamber” for myself: lights shut off, noise-cancelling headphones on with a selection of music I liked in high school. Instantly, I was able to transport myself into the body of my younger self, who was deeply insecure about her acne. I’ve grown a lot since that point, of course, but sometimes art requires us to enter these negative headspaces to draw out meaning, and I’ve always found that to be oddly fun. What is my joy without the past Katelyn’s suffering, you know? On that note, I hope all of you UMich students (myself included) have a lovely fall break free of suffering! Thanks for reading.