Crippling depression, anxiety, peer pressure, and unhealthy coping mechanisms have combined to push an entire generation over the brink. The result? A self-destructive youth, too numb to feel yet too in the spotlight, forced to change the havoc wreaked upon the world by their ancestors.
If you walk around in an institution, you’ll see plenty of diversity; students from all corners of the state united towards the cause of education. The scientists, artists, philanthropists, all underneath one institution. How about a deeper insight?
The pharmacy major walks to the lab, close to collapsing under the weight of all the books he carries. His white coat is too itchy and he’s sweating under the heat of the sun; he’s sweating for more than just one reason. The Art Junction is holding an exhibition and displaying the works of all those previously unknown. He craves nothing more than the blank canvas, the feeling of cool paint on his fingers but he has an organic chemistry test to pass. Ali remembers the harsh leather belt when it struck his back and knows he’ll do anything to avoid feeling it again, even if it kills the artist inside him.
Master of the poker face, you’ll find her sitting at the curb near the football field. What few friends Zara makes never last long, she chases them away because she simply can’t be bothered by the sheer idiocy of people. It takes her one conversation with people to know exactly who they are. They’ve disappointed her so often, she can’t bring herself to care. Her parents tried forcing her to join the military, but how could she wear the same uniform as the people who’d taken so much away from her? She silently cries at the back of her class when her classmates justify child abuse.
Umar has to get into LUMS or his family will disown him since LUMS is the epitome of intellect. He writes breathtaking poetry for the girl he loves but never shares it because people never understand it, nor does he want them to. He’s had a terrible childhood, but his parents will never admit it; they just want him to go to LUMS because that’s the only place for the elite. Umar wants to be the smartest guy in the room, but his room is empty, he’s lonely, depressed and doesn’t see the point of existence. His kindness is always overlooked for his intelligence, and he’s writing a book in vain. The people won’t get it.
Maria is always worried about money, so she’s holding down a job she hates, crushed underneath the mind-numbingly boring, and meaningless tasks she’s given. She wants to eat well, dress well and gets upset when the people in her class decide she’s just another pretty face. Her hopes, dreams, and ambition held no priority over her younger brother’s, which is why she’s stuck in this place, among people who’ll never see her for her generousness. She’s a raging feminist and has been mocked for her passion countless times. She often contemplates suicide, because there’s only pointless suffering ahead.
Ali, Zara, Umar, and Maria all occasionally get together and do nothing. Ali and Zara prefer smoking a pack of Dunhill together, Umar is addicted to anti-depressants, and Maria quietly sips from her bottle.
As for me? Oh, I just sit and type away on this old laptop hoping I’ll last another day at this job.