April 12, 2017 Meeting Recap: Video Chat with TWLOHA Intern Maggie Peterson

Our previous meeting was a different one in that we did not do our normal slideshow presentation on a mental health topic. Instead, we did a video chat with TWLOHA intern and fellow Illini Maggie Peterson for the second time this semester.

Peterson is a student enrolled (currently part-time) at the University of Illinois who is spending her spring 2017 semester in Florida to intern with To Write Love on Her Arms at their headquarters in Melbourne.


Because most of our general questions were answered in March the first time we spoke with her, this time we asked her about TWLOHA’s recent events, the recently popular Netflix TV series Thirteen Reasons Why, and her internship ending soon. We also discussed how she spent her birthday in Florida (which was the day before we spoke with her) and her meeting mental health activist, comedian, and author Kevin Breel (whom our UChapter met and hosted in February 2016). During the video chat, we also got to say hello to two other TWLOHA interns, who wanted to pop in and say hi.

Below are a few notes and quotes from the video chat.

On the Run For It 5K:

  • There are more participants in the 5K each year.
  • TWLOHA did not set out to go worldwide with the event and have satellite runs.


On Heavy and Light:

  • It was Maggie’s second time attending a Heavy and Light event — the first one she went to was in Nashville in 2013 — but it was still a “beautiful night.”
  • She got to see the show from above, similar to a bird’s eye view, and “cried like six times.”
  • “Hearing Jamie speak is always incredible.”
  • Jamie read part of his book, If You Feel Too Much, specifically the chapter “There is Still Some Time” from which the book’s name originates.
  • The event was “incredibly moving and powerful and touching.”
  • There was a wall where attendees filled out a response card, sharing something heavy they’re carrying with them that night and something that is light they love to spread.
  • It was “a night of healing and conversation,” “very humbling,” and made her feel “really blessed and lucky to be where (she is).”

"Our hearts are heavy and light. We laugh and scream and sing." • • Life has been equal parts heavy and light lately. I'm working hard in therapy to attempt to figure out why I am the way that I am, and that's painful. I have years of self-hatred in my past, and that's not going to go away overnight. But there's also so much beauty in my life. Hugs with Lo when one of my favorite songs is playing. Watching one of my favorite artists perform a song that means a lot to me. Meeting a new friend, who happens to be a friend of a friend (and also a kick-butt poet). Standing on my feet for hours, back pain like crazy, but feeling like I helped make someone's night special by just by talking to them. So, yeah. Heavy is the pressure I put on myself to be perfect. But light is the freedom in being heard and hearing others. This year's #heavyandlight was one for the books. Thanks @twloha for letting me be a part of it.

A post shared by Maggie Peterson (@maryymargarett) on


On Thirteen Reasons Why (the Netflix series)

  • A few people in the TWLOHA office have watched it but others, herself included are hesitant to do so because of its content and ability to be triggering.
  • She’s interested in it but is “very cautious” of it at the same time, mentioning it’s important to be mentally healthy when watching it.

On her internship ending soon:

  • “It will be really hard to say goodbye to everyone … this little life I have here.”
  • Even though the internship is temporary, “it doesn’t make it any easier to leave.”
  • She knows the TWLOHA internship is “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, … one (she knows she’ll)  never get again.”

Follow Maggie on Twitter and Instagram to see and learn more from/about her internship, and check out her TWLOHA blog post!

Thanks again to Maggie for taking time to speak with us! We look forward to having you join our UChapter this fall!


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