Humans of Duke: Mikayla Lyons

Name: Mikayla Lyons

Year: 2021

Major: Linguistics

Hometown: Sarasota, FL

1. Who is your biggest role model?

My mother. She is my support, she is the rock I can turn to when I feel like the world is crashing down.

2. What’s your favorite 90’s jam?

What is Love by Haddaway

3. What’s your favorite song right now?

Love the version of “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi w/ Daddy Yankee, but “Vienna” by Billy Joel has always been my go-to song when I need some music.

4. What were you like in high school?  

I was a mess. Even now, I try not to think about high school, especially senior year, because I think a good summary would be, “bad days mixed with a few good days.” Don’t get me wrong, a lot of my foundation now was developed in high school: I knew I wanted to learn, I didn’t want to waste my time, and I felt comfortable speaking in front of people. But senior year is also when my anxiety really manifested itself, and I had no idea what it was. All I knew was that I couldn’t wake up for school, a repeating mantra of “I hate myself” played in my head during the day, and I’d want to collapse onto my bed and sleep for five years everytime I got home. I certainly would never want to go back to high school.

5. Favorite beverage?

Anything with a lot of sugar. Coffee? Better have sugar in it. Tea? You mean sweet tea. I’m sure this addiction will come back to haunt me.

6. Guilty pleasure?

I am such an impulse shopper.

7. What is your favorite self care treatment?

Listening to music. Sometimes, when I know I’m getting anxious, and it’s hard to focus on my homework, I’ll spend a few minutes listening to music, or creating playlists. I actually have a lot of playlists, because it’s very unsatisfying when I need to keep skipping songs until I find a song I like. My favorite playlist is “Incredibly Calm Songs”, which is where I go to when my thinking starts spiraling. I have “calm/study Songs” that don’t excite me so much, and then “Upbeat Songs” when I feel lethargic (mostly from listening to my study playlist), and tons of other playlists.

8. What has been the best thing about your Duke experience so far? Worst?

I managed to meet a lot of great people, who’ve decided to stick with me on my good and bad days. I’m sure I would be feel and think a lot differently if I didn’t have my friends. My worst experience? Having to battle with priorities. Do I focus on my grades, or my health? Am I lazy if I choose to get an extra hour of sleep instead of finishing an assignment? Do I not deserve to be at Duke if I don’t get As in all my classes?

9.If you could remind other Duke students one thing that you think they often forget, what would it be?

College is the transition between teenagers and adults. This is where you learn what kind of adult you’re going to be. You’re learning how you have fun, how you prioritize your health, how you think. After you graduate, grades will suddenly not matter, and how you handle stress and different opinions will. Just, please take care of yourselves.