To Fellow Students

My thoughts on last week’s siege of the U.S. Capitol.

By Madeleine Lee January 11, 2021

In light of the events that took place at the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021, there has been a lot on my mind this past week. With each passing day, more emotions and questions arise. When I first read about the violence that transpired at the Captiol, I was curious about how it would be addressed in our homes, in our virtual classrooms, and in our communities. 

I found myself looking for words of acknowledgement or reassurance from my family, peers, mentors, community members, and role models. I also wondered if others were doing the same. Specifically, I wondered how other students were processing what happened. While I’m still struggling to fully grasp the current situation, I do understand several things.

We each see the world through a different lens.

As we have witnessed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, any event – local, national, or global – impacts people in different ways. We each have a multifaceted view of the world based on our own lived and observed experiences.

I can start the conversation. 

Instead of waiting for someone else to address the elephant in the room, I can be the one to create space for conversation. Even though I may just be a student in a large, tumultuous world, I recognize that I have the power to reach out and offer support. While it’s important to step up, it’s equally important to listen and acknowledge that we are all processing reality differently.

It’s okay to not be okay.

This year continues to prove the utter importance of caring for ourselves and others. I have found it incredibly valuable to pause, step back, and reflect on what is going on around me. In doing so, I have experienced frustration, confusion, and fear, which I have come to realize are not feelings to be ashamed of but ones to fully acknowledge and dissect in order to grow and move forward.

I’m grateful to be a part of a civic-minded generation.

My generation continues to inspire and challenge me to advocate for change, exercise my voice, and act with a higher vision in mind. This is an especially challenging time to be a student and young person, but I’m grateful to be surrounded by peers who are unafraid to question and confront the status quo. As we continue to make waves of change, I hope that we, as students, stay our course in fighting for a more just and equitable world.

James Baldwin quote

Madeleine Lee
Madeleine Lee

Madeleine Lee is a sophomore in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and plans to study at the intersection of health and social justice. Outside of the classroom, she conducts research at the Kellogg Eye Center and is a member of the Vice President for Student Life Advisory Board. She is an Ann Arbor native and in her free time, you can find her running, reading, or snapping photos.