Student Writing

Vol. 12, No. 1

Guest Editor: Elizabeth Reimer

In this issue:

  • 0 read more Introduction to "Student Writing"

    Introduction to "Student Writing"

    by Eli Reimer

    Adults often ask me how college is going. As an introvert and awkward conversationalist, my answers are usually rather short. I mention a class I enjoy, say that I get along with my roommate, and remind them of my majors. I nod politely and smile. In most cases, we switch to another topic quickly. Winter break, which recently ended, is a prime time for such conversations.

    Of course, my simple, routine responses do not come close to describing what college is like. College is a mess of stories and experiences. I’ve only been here for three semesters, and already I …

  • 0 read more Home


    by Anali Martin

    I wanna go home. I wanna go home. I wanna go home.

    A mantra I say to myself when I feel past the point of dejection. We’ve reached full “hell no” territory. Weight hunches my shoulders and slows my feet down to a plodding walk and keeps my body anchored to my bed. When tears constantly threaten to fall, when even a good hug doesn’t feel like it could fix my frustration, when I can’t hold my head up in class, when I feel empty and cold.

    Home for me isn’t necessarily one place. When I say, “I just …

  • 0 read more Eclipsed


    by Anali Martin

    Baptism was an inevitable part of my walk of faith: to be deliberately contemplated, but ultimately sought after. It was the same way with Christianity and being Anabaptist. I was allowed and encouraged to question and think for myself (an Anabaptist founding belief), but there was this assumption that all my questions would lead back to God and the church. It wasn’t ever explicitly stated, and I never felt hemmed in or stifled by that fact, but in the end, the “right” answer was always going to be Jesus.

    Baptism was the next step in that questioning process, though it …

  • 0 read more The Forest of Ambiguity

    The Forest of Ambiguity

    by Emie Peterson

    But I looked out the window. The sky was white but the glow from it dark. The trees were caught in between. Some bare and free of everything they carried through last season. Some, still hanging on, holding the weight of what is to pass. In a sense I felt like those trees. But there was more uncertainty in my own eyes. Not terrified or fearful, but uncertain and confused. Yes, I like the mess, and not knowing a kind of high. But movement is to be made and decisions forced upon me. I laugh to myself though. Because really, …

  • 0 read more For Things Left Behind

    For Things Left Behind

    by Kate Szambecki

    Dust billows behind the Saturn as my thumb traces the grooves on the gear shift. I glance away from the dirt road and lock eyes with Calla in the rearview mirror for a moment and then refocus ahead. I can’t help it every once in a while—Calla is back from college in New York City; her eyes are gray and wise, and she is the only person I’ve ever met that can pull off that short of a pixie cut. When I am around her I feel reckless.

    Eventually we reach our destination: the side of Emma Creek Road, a …

  • 0 read more Wine and Water

    Wine and Water

    by Megan Good

    The day of my sister’s baptism, I cried and cried. My parents did not come to pick me up; apparently they forgot that I didn’t have a car and might like a ride. After chewing my nails and hoping they would show up, I hopped on my bike and pedaled frantically down Virginia Avenue. I slipped into the third row of the middle section, beside my aunt and uncle, just as the first hymns were ending. The tears that had started on the bike ride over refused to be stifled. I sniffled and snuffled, wiping my face with my hands …

  • 0 read more slowing down / ghazal for Jemel Roberson / borderlands (three poems)

    slowing down / ghazal for Jemel Roberson / borderlands (three poems)

    by Elizabeth Nisly

    slowing down

    do it quickly
    start doing the thing
    you sprouted from your mother’s womb
    to do. there’s a reason we’re called the human
    race, this life is only so long, every minute gone is
    one minute less to spend on this earth, to

    do it quickly
    but perhaps the thing
    the reason my toes met the earth
    my purpose
    is to slow down
    breathe in
    breathe out
    notice the way my ankle
    meets my foot
    with wonder, and the shape
    of the clouds and the
    color of bread, the bread
    from my father’s
    sourdough starter
    which he got
    from …

  • 0 read more Incompetent Boys

    Incompetent Boys

    by Elizabeth Nisly

    “How old are you?”

    This is the charming opening line from a pale-faced hipster who has now prowled past my seat on the train three times. I remember him from the observation car. He saw me staring at him (in fascinated disgust) as he waxed poetic to some old white guy about how to fix the world’s problems.

    “I wish we would’ve just stormed the White House. Show them we still mother-fucking run this country,” he had said.

    He must have mistaken my eavesdropping for interest.

    “I’m 20,” I tell him. I’m cuddling my sister, who could be my girlfriend, …