By Angela Macias

"'Everything we know and understand was once considered nonsense." -Through the Looking Glass
I still don't understand who or what I am, but I know I will eventually.

By Rally Telano

Reader Drawings

Are you an avid Lithium reader? Have you ever wished someone would draw you? Lithium's own talented artist Daisy Acosta is now sketching Lithium's readers of the month! This issue features portraits of @alliesayslinkstart and @blissgmorvant of Instagram. For further information as to how you can be drawn, DM Daisy!

Girls Through the Lens


Photoset by Melissa Atefi

Identity Through Friendship

Better Days (Identity)

Hidden Self

Asexuality, Labels, and Our Hypersexualized Society

ASEXUAL; noun. A person that lacks sexual feelings. In a sad way, I find it funny when people get upset about 'everyone needing to label everything'. Chances are, those people have labels they use on the daily and they are simply unaware of it. I have no judgment of people who don't like labels, seeing as that is their decision. However, labels are often what allow someone to feel like their true self. Asexual may be just another label, but it seems to make people uncomfortable and uneasy. We live in a hypersexual world, and the idea of not being attracted to anyone is viewed as absurd. -Hannah Thompson

Who Am I?

Identity: A Trip to Africa

The Haze

Photoset by Olivia DeMatteo


Photoset by Alex Silvers

How to Find Yourself


A Note of Appreciation for My Mother

"I just wanted to take the time to write an appreciation note for my mother. During the past month, I've realized just how strong she is. She laughs even when things are going terribly wrong. She sacrifices sleep to make sure all of her kids get to school on time. She was the only member of my family to show up to my award ceremony. My mother has transformed me into the person I am today. I see her as a symbol of hope, and every day I am thankful to have a mom as amazing as she is."  -Daisy Acosta

Labels and Price Tags

By Bella Reish

Why do I
Need a label
Like a loaf of bread?
Does it seem
Like I am wrapped in plastic
Made to be observed?

The Moon and Me

By Olivia Ferrucci

He lights the candle of aspiration
with wet matches soaked by green men,
​acting as if it is okay to trample another
​with heated words and fighting tongues
cleft by ignorance.

Lemon Shortbread

By Breia Gore 

    When my grandmother works in the kitchen alone on Sunday afternoons, she knows not to keep the cutting knives out long enough for me to see them. Lemon shortbread is being made. Discussions are happening in the hallway. I am talked about like I am made of swamp water. Ghastly fog trailing my heels, each sentence uttered like motorcycle revving, my skin circles Jupiter bruises like nighttime pavement walks. My mother begins to cringe each time I say I am going to take a bath.

Identifying as a Feminist

By Lexi Miller
   Feminism is not convenient. It’s not the conversation starter you use at parties when you want to make friends, it’s not the cute and clever pick up line you practiced in front of your mirror prior to confronting the attractive person you saw at the movies last Saturday. Why not, though? How did the equality get twisted and warped so much to spit back the word, ‘controversy’?

Not Being Anyone Has Shaped Who I Am Today

By Natalie Ulberg 

    The theme for this month’s issue is identity, but who’s to say that lack of identity can also define you? My name is Natalie, and I have borderline personality disorder, often shortened to BPD. I was diagnosed early June in 2015 (however, my psychiatrist has been suspecting it since 2014), and BPD has affected by identity, or lack of one. 

On Racism Against Asians

​By Ry X

   “At least you’re not getting shot” is a common response Asians get when we call out racist remarks against us- which, I admit, is logical. I know you don’t mean to be rude when you say that, but it kind of sounds like you want us to get shot. Racism has been seen as a black and white issue for far too long- not that it’s bad that we have our eyes and ears focused on black and white racial issues all the time- but it’d be nice if racism was acknowledged despite the context of the situation.

Caught Between Two Worlds

​By Rawan Olma

    I moved from Egypt to the U.S. when I was in third grade. Upon arriving in America, I was overcome by tremendous cultural shock. The first two years were awful, as I spent them distancing myself from my culture and heritage. I was an alien, to say the least. I wanted nothing more than to be like the white American kids at my school with their Lunchables and after school dance classes.

The Pre-Package

By Danielle Leard

    Sexuality and gender are more present now than ever. Through most of 2015, I explored my gender. It took several months of thought, reflection, and research until I was able to decidedly say that I am a cisgender female. Of course, if this was the case, why did I not feel comfortable in my own skin?


By Danielle Chelosky

     I wasn’t even halfway through high school when I definitively knew I wanted to be a writer. I told myself to focus on writing articles, poems, and short stories instead of doing my biology homework or studying for my geometry test. I was already setting priorities differently than others would because I knew what mattered to me meant more than getting good grades in subjects I couldn’t care less about.

Improving Identity

By RyLee Weatherby

In my mind I see
A snapshot-
Me at seven with wide eyes
And chubby cheeks.
My mouth full of candy,
My heart full of innocence.

My Identity As A Woman In Today's Society

By Cecilia Connelly

My identity as a woman can be represented by a square of clay. The original shape and plainness of the clay when first looked upon is the identity that was slapped upon not only me, but women everywhere.

July Heat

By Breia Gore

I used to think I was a starved, godforsaken mishap,
a piece of Monet the underworld hadn’t finished molding.
My eye’s had been neglected when it came to brightening like the other girls,
sunken in and an off shade of umber that doesn’t spark like the sun

Beginning of Purpose

By Iya Perez

    At some point in our lives, we can't help but ask ourselves, "Who am I and why am I here?". I know for myself, I have had this thought running around my mind for as long as I could remember. It was a thought which deeply bothered me, simply because there isn't a single concrete answer that I could gather.

"Where are you from?"

By Wen Hsiao

“Where are you from?”,
a question I could never answer,
every time I’m asked, my fears multiply.
“What’s the deal with her?”
I hear all the questions but I can’t reply.


By Bren Spahn

Such intricacy in two little letters.
So many thoughts of harshness and bad memories.
I am the girl who talks herself down.
I am the girl who will text you at 3 A.M. wondering what the point of living is anymore.
Am I a lesbian? Am I bisexual?
I don't even know the basic facts about myself.
I'm sorry I dumped you two weeks after dating you.
I don't even love myself, how can I love someone else?
My room is the only place I feel like I can truly show myself.
If only you didn't leave, maybe you could see me too.
How does the sun rise? The sun set?
I want to stay awake for hours, staring at the chemicals in the sky.
I know everything I do to be sub-par, 
and every word I speak someone else's.
How do I figure myself out?
Well, maybe I need to...
I don't know.
I don't know how to figure myself out
How am I supposed to do this when I don't even know who I am?
My parents always told me to be myself when I meet new people, because then everyone will love me,
But how am I supposed to do that when I don't even know who I am?

Gabrielle Richardson: Identity

Gabrielle Richardson is an Instagram innovator best known for her work as a curator of the Art Hoe Collective. Constantly working to raise the voices of youth of color, Gabrielle impacts thousands on a daily basis. Lithium editor, Olivia Ferrucci, asked Gabrielle a few questions regarding the pride in being an adolescent of color and the struggles she has endured.

Xoe Arabella: Identity

Xoe Arabella is an adolescent poet and social media mogul. With over 300,000 followers on Instagram alone, Xoe has a tremendous voice that resonates with positivity. She serves as a role model for teens everywhere. Lithium recently had the privilege to talk with Xoe about her own identity and social media's impact. Interview by Olivia Ferrucci.

Who Am I? (A Playlist For Contemplation)




By Danielle Chelosky and Angela Macias

Seventeen - Alessia Cara

Happy - Marina and the Diamonds
Laura Palmer - Bastille
In the Garage - Weezer
20 Dollar Nosebleed - Fall Out Boy
Ego - Bibi Bourelly
Ask Yourself - Foster the People
So Close to Happiness - Hoodie Allen
Hate Yourself - TV Girl
Heroes - David Bowie
Weirdo - The Vaccines
Youth - Daughter
Gods and Monsters - Lana del Rey
Slutmouth - Girlpool

Self-Discovery and Identity

By Marisol Medina

The Ballad of Me and My Brain by The 1975 

This song talks about losing who you are as a person, but continuing to search desperately.

My Shot by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Miranda discusses coming from the bottom, rising up to the top and realizing you're more than you thought you were throughout this piece from Hamilton.

American Beauty/American Psycho by Fall Out Boy

This Fall Out Boy jam is about realizing you love someone who's not like you at all.

Girls/Girls/Boys by Panic! At The Disco

About finding your identity, but having to keep it secret.

I Don't Love You by My Chemical Romance

​Throughout this composition, Gerard Way sings of discovering you don't have feelings for someone as strongly as you once did and allowing yourself to move on from the suffering you endured.

Lie To The Truth by The Young Veins

About ignoring the reality of how you feel.

The "I" In Lie by Patrick Stump
This piece is about realizing you love all the wrong people.

Doubt by twenty one pilots
Explores the topic of doubting yourself and who you are as a person.

Finding Yourself

Identity Playlist

Girls/Girls/Boys Panic! At the Disco 
Youth Troye Sivan
Mrs. Potato Head Melanie Martinez 
Who Will I Be Tonight? Gold Motel
Say It Loud, I'm Black & I'm Proud James Brown
Vagabond MisterWives
Castle Halsey
Girls The 1975
Heaven Troye Sivan Feat. Betty Who
We Are Who We Are Kesha
Sing My Chemical Romance

This Is My Identity

Colors vs. People

I found a hobby recently where I assign colors to people based on, well, everything. Sounds weird? It probably is. A dark navy blue flashes through my mind whenever I speak to K. A soft, light yellow-green appears in the air when M asks me a question. It's a little difficult to explain, but then again, this color thing was a product of boredom. Who knows, maybe you'll find yourself doing it one day. -Daisy Acosta

Tamil Culture: Identity

To me, identity means culture. I’ve come to find myself in the wonderful Tamil culture and there’s definitely a lot to it. Growing up (and still to this day), I’ve been surrounded by cultural music, as my mom is a singer. I cannot count how many times I've been to band practices in small basements, or how many parties or shows I’ve been to where I sat by the DJ. I’ve never enjoyed anything so much. I'm always thrilled to go to the shows and band rehearsals, because it’s come to be a part of me.My mother also learned a cultural dance, bharatanatyam, while she was growing up. I’ve heard so many stories and tales of Tamil culture, including how it came to be, yearly rituals, and even just life back in the days. -Annetzia Joseph

The Complexity of Existence

Existing is a complicated matter. Trying to identify or solve ourselves in the process is so overwhelming, and rather frustrating. I believe we find ourselves and lose ourselves very often. We change as we exist. We have these variations of ourselves that grow with us. When we change, we fade into new versions of ourselves. It is as if we are adding chapters to our life story. When you read a book, you don’t just rip out pages and leave them behind as you read; They remain a part of the book and thus a part of the story. Perhaps the chapter you’re currently in is extremely gloomy, or it’s the highlight so far. It's not always easy breezy flipping pages through rays of sunshine. Sometimes, we kind of get stuck within ourselves. Call it the “in between”, when you start to notice things changing but they haven’t quite done so yet. No matter how drastic it is, change is change. Speaking as someone who’s usually pretty oblivious, the first time I noticed things changing, I felt as if everything was moving and I couldn’t stop it. Things do settle down and work out, though, because your story is unfinished and you have many more chapters to add to the wonderful book of you. When we try to pinpoint our exact identity, we oftentimes jump to a single word or adjective. We are SO much more than one word or a sentence. We are every version of us we have ever been. We are all of our conversations and our dreams and our laughter-filled days and dreary Sundays.  I chose to use the style I did for my piece, because I see these existences as chapters in books. Being the artist I am, I sometimes see them as colors; We are this piece of art that's full of life and color, but we change. Some become more vivid, and others fade. We are hopelessly trying to analyze ourselves via a black and white definition, but I think we are in fact existing in color. -Sophie Cole