My Freshman Hell

As I walked, biked and pushed myself over my limits for about 350 kilometres from Leon to Santiago de Compostella as I did Camino de Santiago, I learned what God truly meant to me.

I had always known that God was part of me and I was part of God. Pushing over the Spanish hills and mountains, sick, sweaty, challenged beyond my strength, I learned that God was at all time present in my life- I learned to see God in the eyes and faces of my fellow piligrims who offered me their water bottles, their words of motivation, their food or money. God for me, you know, is Love.

In 4 days I hitchhiked alone from Spain to Bulgaria.  I was alone and profoundly vulnerable, yet I felt no fear. I had unshakable trust in human beings. I knew my Love was my strength, my “weapon”; my tool for change, for advocacy, for exchange. And I was in a process of constant exchange of love, ideas, warmth and kindness which I knew transformed not only me.

There were some rear occasions when people tried to take advantage of my energy in ways I could not appreciate, yet I learned to accept and view them as simply instances of deprivation of what is so important for us, human beings- love and human connection. Nothing could hurt me. I was powerful in my vulnerability.


I came to college trusting that I had nothing to hide, trusting in the community I was being introduced to as I trusted the strangers I met on the highways across Europe, who often went out of their way to help me be safe, hitchiking.

I came to college in the United States of America to learn that women are, indeed, marginalized.

I learned that as a female writer tackling sexuality and polyamory I was inherently making myself a subject of discrimination and sexualization.

What’s worst I found out that people think it’s fair. If I can choose not to write about sexuality, yet I pick the alternative, than I must be searching for it…

There was this point in my second semester… I had even stopped writing my “Love and sexuality” column, which I otherwise saw as an opportunity to share my views and contribute for the diversity of alternatives, of ideas, of philosophies, and even educate, in a way.

My guy friends. My girlfriends. My gay friends. They just all wanted to explore their boundaries. With me. It was sickening.

The idea that people reduced me to just one array of my knowledge and experience was sickening.

It was sickening  to see how IT WASN’T ABOUT ME.

It was sickening to realize that in this environment I had to watch out for myself.

When instant gratification is the ultimate aim of a certain body of people, everything translates into sex. Kundalini becomes sex. Love distorts into sex. Intimacy, connection, all of that is lost for the sake of sex.

And yes, I am sex positive, but in my mind, in my life and in my writing sex is only one of many paths to human connection.


I learned that no one goes on dates in college and that if you are “lucky” to go out with someone, then the person will simply assume they have the right to your body by the end of the night as a prize for the extra effort to even take you out…

I learned that relationships are conditional. Relationships work as long as it’s fun, as long as you don’t have to work at it.

I remember being at New York, couchsurfing during Feb break, and just realizing how fearful I’ve become of truly expressing myself and expressing what I am and I’m not comfortable with out of pure fear not to lose any more people…

I learned that I’m “too much”.

And that the ideal relationship in college consist of no more than 3 things: partying, watching Netflix together and having sex.

I learned that both romantic partners and friends alike will not acknowledge my existence once the relationship transforms/ends. That it does not matter how much laughter, tears and secrets we’ve given to each other, people can treat you as an absolute stranger without a blink of the eye.

Do people forget THAT FAST?


How do you sleep next to someone night after night and then treat them as shit?

How do you see your “best friend” you have pushed away and not at least tell them you appreciate them and your past even if you need something else at the moment?

How do you forget that there is another human being in front of you and that the Other is not an inanimate object, but a living being with emotions and feelings just like you?

In my freshman year at college I learned that no matter how present I am, I may still be invisible. That I can hold a “friend”‘s hand as she cries and tells me she’s all alone and I may still not exist.

I learned what it feels like to feel used. I genuinely care about people. I try my best to be available for people. I believe in the power of sharing. I believe human connection can heal even very deep wounds. But as I was listening to people and experiencing their pain with them, I found out people stopped asking: “How are you?”.

I told myself it was me. I must be presenting myself as “strong”, as not needing support. I probably just don’t give people an entry to myself, no matter how open and approachable I see myself, it probably just isn’t enough… But when after a terrible night I went to the counselling center feeling worse than I’ve ever felt (with all my past) and shared that with some people I believed I was connected to, there was nothing… NOTHING.

And we just kept on the conversation…


I have learned a lot in and out of the classroom this year, at college, in the United States of America.

And while I receive full financial aid and don’t really pay anything monetarily, my education is already overpriced.

I have lost so much over this year. It’s been a very high price.

I have not stopped trying to stay true to myself and Be love and Give love, no matter if there’s any return.

It’s been SO hurting. So difficult to see how nothing is working.

For me this is crucial. I learn through my relationships with people. I grow and transform through my putting my love into everything that is important to me.

I can not put aside my heart to educate my brain.

And If I waste my time writing this it is because, apart from helping me stay sane, I still hope there are people out there and on this campus who might share a similar vision with me for an education and a world that does not require you to be either happy or successful and that we can stay grounded in our humanity and make the extra effort to connect and build reationships based on honesty and love and consideration for the other.




6 thoughts on “My Freshman Hell

  1. goddessofasymptotes says:

    Maggie, I feel for you, and I think you point out a lot of really troubling things about college/Middlebury that all of us should be more conscious of. I also often find this to be an isolating place. Thank you for being so brave and honest in your expression, and please don’t be discouraged — there are certainly at least a few people here who value the sort of connectivity you describe!

    ~ Nellie (on my blog account)

    • Maggie Nazer says:

      Dear Nellie,
      thank you so much for the support! Your words are soothing. I hope to get to know you better next semester and I’m sorry it hasn’t happened sooner..

  2. g says:

    Please do not lose confidence in people and please do not assume there is anything wrong with you, Maggie. It is completely normal that you will have enemies, people who want to take advantage of you, who do not like you, etc. because of your beliefs. Especially college guys, or girls who envy you. 🙂
    You are very thoughtful and you shall take everything that happens to you on campus as a part of your education. You are still learning.

  3. gal says:

    So sorry to hear. please remember that there are people who love you very much.
    And there are people who cant cope with your new ideas – so they fight it, they fight you, they act in the way they know- the way they comfortable with; they try to ‘win’ the game. some times its really not about you- maybe that can be of some consolation to you… I hope you are still the smily, open minded, fun and smart girl that I met a year ago. I know you are strong and am sure they cant destroy your true nature.

  4. hector says:

    Dearest Maggie – yes, I get it and we’ve worked through some of this – together. I think that you’ve made very meaningful, heartfelt connections with people. People are positively affected simply by being in your presence. The challenges at a place like ours are many; you’re not alone. This is not exactly the same, but it is about being “invisible.” It’s Tim Garcia’s senior project: I recommend it to you and others. IN the meantime, I am here. I will be here. And we’ll continue to growing together. Love …, as always ..

  5. Alyen says:

    I’d like to believe (and that is probably the only thing that keeps me from thinking that there is no hope in others, and in me sometimes) that there is, in human interactions an inherent miscommunication that is driven by fear and by people not listening to the voices within them (that cry and crave for love and human connection) but rather to the voices of society norms, expectations and standards which seemed to have banned sincerity and understanding as a value. Instead we live in a society of facade, where humans are reduced to what they are from the outside, you know, the surface, and where improvement is centered on that basis.
    I try my best to be optimistic because there is something about that that allows us to allow ourselves to keep looking and to keep hoping and ultimately, to find better people.
    Sorry, I know this may sound a bit abstract but it’s the best I could do to convey what I think. I hope it helps.

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