How A High Schooler Changed The Way I Lead My Life

Last June, I met one of the most courageous activists I’ve ever known. In the weeks and months that followed, we got together frequently and learned about one another on a deep level. Our conversations taught me about a world I knew nothing about and forced me to ask difficult, uncomfortable questions about myself and my surroundings. This person who rocked my world wasn’t a colleague, a partner, or a friend. She was a seventeen-year-old student, Sofia*, with whom I spent eight months preparing college applications. We specifically focused on…

Why My Post-College Life Is About To Get Schooled

When the time came, I wasn’t ready to graduate college. Emotionally ready, I mean. Logistically, I had the requirements met and the classes passed. Emotionally, however, I wasn’t the person who, four years prior, I imagined graduating from college. I imagined someone glorious, defined by significant scientific discovery, large-scale philanthropic impact, employment at her dream job, and having found a future husband. If I could have chosen when I’d graduate from college, it would certainly not have been as soon as I did. Hell, I might still be there. Despite lowering myself to the floor sobbing the night…

“Change everything except your loves.” -Voltaire

“The moment at which Magwitch like reveals himself to Pip demonstrates Dickens’ views on the relationship between society and man.” “Why don’t you try that again?” “The moment like at which Magwitch reveals himself –” “Uh-uh-uh.” I still remember a particular exchange between my 8th grade English teacher and me during our unit on Great Expectations. I had raised my hand to answer a question about social commentary in the work, but teacher seemed uninterested in my response. After a few more attempts like the one above (all in front…

“Simplicity and repose are the qualities that measure the true value of any work of art.” -Frank Lloyd Wright

Because I grew up in the generally warm Bay Area, it was rarely necessary for us to turn on the central heat in our home. When we did, it was typically during this time of year, the cold and rainy holiday season when my brother and I were on vacation from school. While most of the vents in our home are on the ceiling, three special ones can be found on the floor in our family, living, and dining rooms. In those young childhood days, my brother and my favorite…

“I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.” -Maya Angelou

It was a few months before I was to leave for college and I was already getting the jitters. When they found out I would be going to school over 2000 miles away from home, most of my friends’ parents would ask me how I planned to deal with the cold. Though at the time I found this question to be rather inane, I am now thankful that we directed our conversation to the weather. Much better than discussing whether I was going to miss home. Who doesn’t, at some…