Summer's Rise

Modeled by Nia Thompson
Photos by Patrick Thompson 

Editor's Letter: The Peak

It’s August 27th and summer has never felt so elusive. It feels like I’m reaching out for some nonexistent answer, a reason as to why the time in between school years must be so frequently bookended by dread and some sense of hopelessness. There’s the sultry heat of finals, blistering in anxiety and the feeling of inferiority. With September’s arrival, my distaste for new beginnings and early mornings reappears like clockwork. But between those two placeholders-- in the midst of lax afternoons and sleepy mornings-- there is peace.

In the last 68 days, I have experienced the best summer of my life. I spent a month studying dramatic writing at NYU, worked two jobs that I love with all of my heart, and began a thrillingly innovative collaboration between Lithium and Adolescent Content. I spent time with people that matter to me and genuinely make me happy. I also spent more time with myself. I learned how to manifest joy but more importantly, how to live it. I mean it when I tell you I’ve never been this happy. Therefore, “The Peak” is entirely authentic to me. When I was editing and uploading submissions for this month, it felt like I was learning. I gained insight into our team members’ peaks: their euphoria, how they deal with feelings, and what it means to overcome something. It all feels so real and authentic and it is. We, as young adults and teenagers, experience peaks on minuscule and monumental levels. It is the simple victory of getting out of bed each morning and it is the complex feeling of permitting yourself to feel happiness in its entirety. There’s vulnerability in that. When you feel euphoric, there’s the tantalizing realization that things will not always be so good or so easy. But this month’s issue is wholly fearless. I hope that as you scroll through each piece, you find yourself recognizing the gritty difficulty that so often accompanies contentment. Happiness isn’t easy. But it is liberating.

Lots of love,
Olivia Ferrucci


South Carolina: A Photography Zine

By Julia Fletcher

Home Again

A photo essay about life in Manila, Philippines from May to August of 2017.

By Emma Noelle

Warped Tour: A Photo Diary

Neck Deep.


Memphis Mayfire.

American Authors.

By Sarah Fritz

Another Pretty Face

it was the day you departed
and the skies opened up for a second
as you made your way away from my embrace
I felt the ground shake
and my tears morphed into an ocean that stretched endlessly to the depths of Earth to engulf you in my memory
because if not,
then my memory would soon fade away from your head
and join the mental collage of past lovers you had before me,
and the ones that will come after
But no
I don't want to be apart of your messed up masterpiece of smiles
and quirks
and freckles and messy hair and toothpaste grins at 7:32 in the morning when you wake up and find me standing in front of your bathroom mirror
probably singing some James Taylor tune
I don't want to be seen as just another lover
deranged and obsessed with your mystery
crazed and drunken from your persona
another one of the tens of women who will remain personality-less
who will be characterized only by name
who will never stick out in your mind
let the silhouette of my body in the haze of your secondhand smoke
haunt your mind at night when you wonder why something is missing from your life
imagine me hanging out the passenger side window of your fast car
as we speed down I-85 on a spring day
dream of me playing with my necklace
biting my lip
remember that I wasn't just a pretty face
remember that I had substance
remember that I would always dance around the subject of my grades
because I hated letting you know that I was exceeding in all of my classes
remember that I was different from the rest
because unlike the rest
I will not be your fly in your tangled up
never ending
never satisfying


By Brooks Sullivan


it’s been too long you see
since heavy hearts gained speed
since adrenaline met the breeze
since you kissed me

over a year and i'm still
only at the peak
where we sat and didn’t speak
and our hearts would beat, beat, beat

and please don’t forget me
when i fall all again
when my heart does amend
when my heart doesn’t bend

i love you, i love you
don’t you dare let me fall
for the air is too thick
with no words at all

and our hearts will beat, beat, beat

By Ryan Vortisch

American Wet

By Nas Nixx