The Mittle-man on Campus: Feeling 2022


Illustrated by Sydney Fener

Lying on her bed, the Mittle-Man advises a student on their love life through the phone.

Sarah Mittleman, Opinion Editor

‘The Mittle-man on Campus’ is a satirical column centered around high school clichés and the teenage experience. None of the articles in this column are representative of the opinions of The Chronicle staff as a whole.

Devoted readers, can you believe it? We’re a month into 2022, and I, for one, am thrilled about it. Not only was last year terribly lacking in theatrical Hollywood fun, but I did not receive well-deserved Nobel Prizes in Column Writing and Advice Giving. I don’t know why Alfred Nobel was too uptight to recognize my talent and dedication to serving the greater good in 2021, but it undermined the entire foundation. Just so you know, Alfred, my work has benefitted the Coldwater community for eight whole months.

Nevertheless, my time spent beside the mailbox waiting for my award was not wasted. I spent those hours reflecting on the past year and urge you all to do the same. The greatest problem with our generation is we find it so easy to forget the little things. We live in a suspenseful world, and impactful events occur every day. Surrounded by so much buzz, our brief moments of joy are often lost in the sea of explosive drama. As the prettiest, most popular girl in school, I find it especially challenging to live in the moment and even more difficult to remind myself what’s really important. Each time a student begs me for an autograph or my company on a date, it detracts from the quiet meaning that comes from a friendly hello in the halls or a crisp breeze after it rains. I encourage all of my fans to briefly step back and recall the details of 2021: together, let’s find the buried significance of last year.

For one, there were a lot of shocking rumors. As demonstrated by the award-winning documentary “Easy A,” gossip circulates rapidly in high school. Some of the hearsay was flabbergasting this time around—students in social isolation will do anything to spread a rumor, and will even resort to gossiping in Zoom breakout rooms. I mean, remember that outrageous story that I was dating a gorgeous prince from a foreign land? Just about everyone was talking about how cute we looked together. And that time the entire student body unanimously voted me “most likely to be a Victoria’s Secret model?” How shallow. I’m more than just a pretty face; I pride myself on my journalistic integrity, for example, which means I’d never tell a lie for a good story. But that’s not all: according to the rumor mill, Justin Bieber, Tom Holland and Timothee Chalamet have all asked me out, and I’ve received athletic recruitment offers from every selective school in the nation (this last one is ridiculous—I haven’t heard from Cornell). The craziest yet was that I “hit someone’s car in the school parking lot surrounded by several eyewitnesses.” Guys, the lies and gossip have got to stop, okay?

In 2021, many of us found love. From Elle Evan’s romantic pursuits in “The Kissing Booth 3”  (rest in peace to one of the greatest cinematic trilogies of our generation) to MJ’s Spiderverse smooches, it seems just about everybody got a taste of romance this year. I like to think my advice provided each and every one of you ample opportunity to begin relationships. In fact, I’ve received several “thank you” emails from happily married teenage couples, grateful that I plotted out their perfect meet-cutes. I’ve even managed to coax teacher relationships with my knowledge of “Clueless,” a challenging feat made easy by my incredible wit. I too was bitten by the love bug on several occasions this year. Although those situations all ended in disaster, they created the perfect context for my upcoming college romance. For those of you who endured heartbreak this year, just remember to become cold and brooding, and to keep those emotional walls up so a light-hearted love interest can tear them down for you!

A key facet of New Year’s is making empty promises to improve our behavior, let go of bad habits and altogether become happier and more successful. These resolutions notoriously fail, and here’s why: it’s impossible to motivate oneself without external pressure. Since I’m already flawless, my resolution this year was to stop making resolutions for myself. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? But don’t worry, devoted readers: as resident Advice Giver, who would I be if I didn’t provide you all with tips for the new year? My wisdom allows me to identify all of your terrific failures as human beings (and trust me, there are a lot of them). But don’t worry: the new year is the perfect opportunity to advance your character arcs. That’s why I’ve taken it upon myself to provide you all with a brief list of resolutions you can adopt to improve yourself this year.

1. Give me more attention. This is a simple task to perfect: it involves merely tracking me down on campus, falling to your knees and worshipping my very presence. If that feels like overkill, feel free to compliment my natural beauty, stand in line to ask me to Prom or quote your favorite lines from my column by memory instead.

2. Stop accomplishing things. I know students at this school are supposed to value academic success, but each time you guys add another activity to your list, it makes me appear less impressive. Practicing generosity is a great way to better yourself. So limit the major accomplishments for my sake, okay?

3. Focus less on your appearance and more on mine. I don’t need to remind you guys how difficult it is to go to school surrounded by the gorgeous children of supermodels. Even though I’m the protagonist, it can be hard to stand out in a sea of beauty queens. In the spirit of giving, why don’t you all avoid looking nice for school and give someone else a shot? This year, put down the mirrors and makeup and applaud me on my looks instead.

4. Read more of my articles. That’s right: I check my views. I know that you’ve been slacking off. What are you guys doing that could be more important than viewing my column? Spending time with loved ones? Applying to colleges? Enjoying your academic and extracurricular pursuits? I’m so much more entertaining. Have you not seen my holiday issue? Go give it a read!

5. Leave more space in the parking lot for me. Please?

Before I leave you with those resolutions, let’s not forget to address the enormous elephant in the room. There was one overarching theme of 2021, an inescapable fact of life that colored many of our experiences this year. It spread far and wide, its infectious nature sweeping the nation. What I’m referring to, of course, is my column. Though I only published my first article in April of 2021, it still dramatically changed the fate of every person alive today. I want to congratulate everybody who was fortunate enough to view my work this year. It has been a pleasure being the school’s resident Advice Giver, and don’t you worry: I’m not quitting anytime soon.