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A Note From One Person Lying Awake To Another

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Northeastern chapter.

I’m wide awake at 1:22 a.m. as my partner slumbers next to me. This isn’t a rare occurrence, but what’s keeping me up tonight, you might ask? Well, it could be the three hour nap I took after work or the coffee I had at 10:30 p.m. Your guess is as good as mine. 

Or maybe it’s the startling reality of having no roommate plans for the fall. Or maybe it’s the weight of living in a country dominated by corporate greed. Or maybe it’s the many shootings that my home city of New Orleans has faced in 2023 alone. 

Or maybe I’m just uncomfortable as a biracial queer woman who lives in a white man’s world. Or maybe the number of Black men who end up dead at the hands of police is eating me alive again. 

Honestly, it’s probably all of the above. While I didn’t exactly set myself up for the best night’s sleep, I would argue that neither did the world around me. 

I’ve long felt the unavoidable pressure of systemic failures and the injustice of our nation’s priorities. All the personal devastations in my life came as the added icing on the proverbial American cake. As a young writer, I used to believe in illuminating the sorrow of our humanity, our country, our communities and then wrapping everything up with words of hope and wisdom. 

I’d place a pretty bow on top of a messy narrative and walk away feeling like I did my job, but there isn’t always a bow to be had. Sometimes, there’s just you and I tossing in bed at night wondering when things will feel better. Maybe they will in the morning. Maybe they won’t. 

Maybe you’ll feel better until you see a tweet highlighting yet another shooting in your beautiful city. Or maybe you’ll be sitting at your desk at work, and “River and Roads” by Head and the Heart will blare in your ears and re-open every feeling of abandonment you’ve ever felt. Who’s to say?

As your eyes, like mine, stare into the black void of the darkness around you, I won’t leave you with a list of all the good in this country and this world right now. I’ve done that enough. It’s time to try something new. 

I won’t give you a neat bow this time, but I will leave you with this. The next time you’re tossing and turning at night and your soul aches with the weight of it all, know that I’m probably doing the same thing many miles away. And you know what? That’s okay. We’ll try again tomorrow.

Riley Price

Northeastern '25

Riley Price is HCNU's Campus Correspondent and Executive & Editorial Coordinator. She is a third year student at Northeastern University from New Orleans, Louisiana. Outside of Her Campus, she is pursuing a degree in English and possesses a deep love for writing personal memoirs and critical essays. She consistently tackles social justice issues in her work to promote a kinder future. Riley is driven by the importance of ethical storytelling in a world riddled with misinformation and hopes to be a voice that stands out amongst the modern day cacophony.