Not a Sell Out, Yet

By EMILY JIA This is the second in a series of blog posts where the author, an incoming freshman, tries to figure life, friendships and priorities the summer before college. You can find the first post here. It’s my first time taking the Amtrak alone, and I climb aboard while clumsily balancing my two bags. One of them contains a puffy bag of Chicago popcorn and a box of madeleines; the other, a change of clothes. I’m visiting my high school roommate in her hometown of Champaign, a place she affectionately calls “the ghetto.” When I see her room for …






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Ugandan Thanksgiving

By CECILIA LAGUARDIA This is the second in a series of blog posts where the author discusses her adventures studying baboons in Uganda. You can find the first blog post here. After the first few weeks of struggling to figure out how to live in such a new environment, things have settled into a comfortable routine. We no longer forget towels or soap when we make the trek up the hill to use the shower. We’ve gotten over the smell of the pit latrine behind our house, and we know how to get water and have our clothes washed and …






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Teaching in Japan: A Memoir

By CATHERINE ZHANG This is the second in a series of summer blog posts where the author discusses her experiences teaching Japanese high schoolers. You can find the first blog post here. I officially finished my first week of training for Toshin English Camp in Tokyo, Japan. Next week, we begin working with high school students, helping them develop speaking skills and discover their “life mission.” I am incredibly excited. One aspect of training involved understanding the Japanese education system. Americans tend to perceive Japanese students as hyper-focused on academics. The widespread existence of cram schools doesn’t do much to …






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Haley

By MEGAN SIMS This is the second in a series of summer blog posts where the author takes us through the ups and downs of queer dating for the first time. You can find the first blog post here. She’s chewing gum as she comes out the door. I hate gum. I once saw a video where they had identical twins sit next to one another, one chewing gum, one not. People rated them on various things like friendliness and likability. It was meant to show that people who chew gum seem more approachable. It has the opposite effect on …






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Laughs in Translation

By FRANCESCA VIOLICH A little moat, flowers blooming up from cracks in the ancient bricks, a flag lazily blowing in the breeze: a classic German schloss through and through, placed casually on the verdant landscape like a dropped toy. We stand together at the top of a tower on this castle, my new German friend Florian and I, and we squint out at the huddle of buildings in the distance. “What’ s that cloud of smoke? Is that a factory?” I ask Florian. He blows a lock of sandy hair upwards with a practiced puff. “Ja, it’ s a food …






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Summer Lovin’: Raising the Bar

By RACHEL CHAPMAN He appeared to be well rounded from his Tinder profile: 24 years old, dark hair, dark eyes, well-dressed, a student at Harvard Med. I was meeting John* for the first time after a few flirtatious text conversations. I rarely get excited for first dates considering this will be my 5th Tinder date in the past week and my 12th since the summer started (none having earned a second date). However, I had high hopes for this one. I smiled as he approached Crema Café, but my enthusiasm started to wane. He was considerably shorter than me. Shit. …






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Something Old, Something New: Summer Camp on Two Sides of the World

By RACHEL SILVERSTEIN There’s a sweet spot every March when the weather takes a turn for the better and the general mood on campus wakes from hibernation, turning its collective eye towards summer. Every year, at exactly this time, I wake up to feelings of intense nostalgia for a sleepy summer camp tucked by the edge of a hundred-year-old wood in Rose Valley, Pennsylvania. During the school year, this land belongs to a private elementary school—the kind with a progressive education motto, where teachers called by their first names take preschoolers on hikes through the woods to play in the …






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Surviving Trust Fund Babies: A Summer at Oxford

By JACOB HOWELL I’m a graduating high school senior from a small town off the coast of Maine. This summer I look forward to work, play and adventure. I plan on working at the golf course on the island. It’s the same place I worked last summer, which would be boring except that this year I look forward to teaching my brother the ropes. That is, until I leave for Europe. I was actually lucky enough to travel to Paris, Florence, Venice, and Rome on my senior class trip a little more than a month ago, but I’ll soon return …






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Harvard Kid Takes DC

By EMILY JIA It’s my first day of vacation. For some reason I thought we were going to NYC until I saw “DC” at the airport gate. After arriving at our hotel, we got lost immediately and somehow ended up in Chinatown. What can I say: the motherland was calling. (Even though I saw zero other Chinese people there.) We entered a McDonald’s and were greeted with some next-level sagging and suspicious noises. I hail from the Northwest Chicago suburbs where this is not the typical McDonalds treatment, so we migrated to another Chinatown classic: Chipotle. There, I made the …






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Summer Reportin’: Surviving the Music Journalism Industry

By CHERIE HU As I type, technology is transforming the way humans consume, create and distribute music. While we previously had to pay $12 for a single album, we can now stream millions of songs for free. With cloud services, we can collaborate on a song remotely and seamlessly with a co-writer who lives halfway around the world. Instead of shelling out several hundred dollars to attend a music festival, we can now watch live-streams of this festival from our couches for a much lower price by strapping devices to our eyes (hello, virtual reality). Yet, this innovation also instigates …






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How to be Yourself: Japanese Edition

By CATHERINE ZHANG This summer, I will be, as I like to describe it, teaching Japanese students how to “be themselves.” If this sounds like the type of hippie spiritual journey that a 50 year-old suburban mom takes after her emotionally taxing first divorce, let me explain. Beginning in early July, I will be an instructor at Toshin High School in Tokyo, Japan, as part of the Come On Out Japan program. Toshin High School is the largest preparatory school network for university entrance examinations in Japan, enrolling approximately 120,000 students in 1,000 branch schools. It is juku—also known as …






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Brown, Gay, and Non-Combative

Musings on issues facing the communities we inhabit. By LUKE MARTINEZ To clarify, I despise arguments. If someone tells you that they like arguing, it means that they enjoy the feeling of putting another person down, and they gain a sense of superiority from rhetoric. The main purpose of a conversation is to understand someone, not to change their mind. Without mutual respect, none of the valuable information that each contributor brings is exchanged. Interrupting someone during a conversation is to say, “I don’t care what you have to say right now, because what I have to say is that …






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Two Parties

What it means for a woman to casually date a woman for the first time.  By MEGAN SIMS In October of last year, I turned off men. What I mean is, I clicked that little button on all my dating apps that allows you to remove the sometimes-kind, often-predatory men that haunt Tinder. What I mean is: I made a conscious decision to take my queerness fully into my own hands. I decided to embrace the harder path of pursuing the kind of people I wanted, not settling for the easy ones. I joke every now and then after a …






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