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Professor traumatized by student’s genuine response to “How are you?”

DURHAM, NC—When Professor Levitz asked sophomore Hannah McClade how she was, he did so out of politeness. He expected a “pretty good” or perhaps a “could be better.” What he did not expect, however, was a genuine response that detailed a spiraling descent into depression and anxiety.

“I just wanted to make casual conversation,” Levitz explained, “I didn’t actually think she’d respond truthfully!” He continued, “I sat there for five minutes listening to her describe her struggle with imposter syndrome. By the time she got to her relationship with her parents, I was emotionally exhausted. I need to schedule a CAPS appointment just to unpack it all.”

McClade shrugged. “I mean, he asked how I was doing, so I answered honestly. It’s pretty messed up how we are socially conditioned to lie about how we are actually doing. What’s the point of even asking if you don’t want to hear the truth?”



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