Screaming On the Inside

‘Cause I’m Mr. Brightside

Madeline Fuerstenberg

More stories from Madeline Fuerstenberg

November 2, 2020

Before we spiral too deeply into the labyrinth that is The Terror Dome, I want to make one thing clear: I actually have a pretty great life.

Contrary to how I may make things seem, I am incredibly grateful for all the opportunities I’ve been given over the past few years; because, really, I tend to have stupid-good luck. I honestly just enjoy being overdramatic. 

Yeah, there’s a lot on my plate and it can all be extremely overwhelming, but it is so important to keep an eye on the bright side.

I was in the Emergency Room for that pain I wrote about last week. Turns out I had an infection in my left lung that led to a partial lung collapse and a whole lot of agony. But a few antibiotics later, and I’m good as new.

And sure, I have two jobs on top of being a full-time student — but I love those jobs. On the one hand, I’m reporting and honing my abilities as a journalist. I love this field. I know this is what I want to do with my life. These experiences will be so valuable to me in my future. 

And on the other hand, I’m working at a doggy daycare. With dogs. Lots of them. Sure, I get peed on every once and a while, but it’s worth it because I get to pet dogs.

School is a source of stress we can all relate to, but think about it: some people never get access to even the most basic forms of education. According to, there are 72 million children around the world without access to primary education, 54 percent of whom are girls.

But here I am, studying at a fantastic school where I’ve had opportunities to participate in Holocaust research in Lithuania, lead one of the university’s oldest campus organizations and obtain an education from some truly amazing professors.

Working as editor-in-chief of the Spectator is stressful and terrifying, but it’s also an honor. I was elected by my peers at the end of my second year of college. I’m one of the youngest editor-in-chiefs in recent Spectator history. Not many people can graduate college with a journalism degree and write that on their resume. 

I am currently living with one of my best friends. My boyfriend and I are about to celebrate our one year anniversary. I have a big family that loves and supports me.

So yeah, there are times when all I can do is focus on the negative — those terrible feelings of helplessness, stress or inadequacy. Those are the easy feelings to focus on because they feel the most immediate or impactful.

But I need to work on remembering those other feelings — those feelings of pride, acceptance and love. 

Those are the feelings that truly matter, because those are the feelings that stick with you. They don’t change or disappear as fleetingly as the bad feelings. 

Just writing these things down gives me a sense of happiness. 

I have a lot of homework to do today. Tomorrow will mark the beginning of my first full week of classes (I missed a few days due to last week’s health issues). It’s our second print week here at The Spectator, which could very well lead to another 2 a.m. meltdown while I sit alone in The Spectator office, sending our completed pages to the printers.

But despite the knowledge that this week could be horrible, I’m choosing to hold on to the fact that things are rarely as bad as I make them out to be in my head. Everything works out in the end; I just have to make it through the hard parts.

Rest assured, I will still be screaming on the inside. But sometimes, when I think about all the good my life has to offer, that screaming does temporarily stop.

Fuerstenberg can be reached at [email protected]