What Not to Do to Prepare for Midterms

Because what kind of insane creature would even contemplate self-care at a time like this?   By ALAYA AYALA   1.Sleep Sleeping is for the weak and you know it. Tired after having classes all day and studying all night? Don’t even think about taking that nap, you could be using that time to study, and you know it. Thinking about going to bed at a reasonable hour? Absolutely not. You shouldn’t even be considering going to bed until at least 1 a.m. Oh, but you have a 9 a.m. tomorrow? Sucks to suck. You were the one who didn’t …

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Bi the Way, I’m Still Coming Out

Angsty Thoughts on Too Many Expectations   By: ALAYA AYALA   For me, coming to Harvard was as freeing as it was binding.   I was free from the fetters of my high school responsibilities, free from the city where I was born and raised, and even as I hated to admit it, I was free from the expectations of my old friends and family. There was a two hour barrier on I-90 separating me from my old life, and I felt light enough to officially Come Out as bisexual last fall, to everyone. I had lived with so much …

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4:22

  Class-Schedule Calculations By ALAYA AYALA   This semester, the new class schedule has caused trouble for some students, with many struggling to figure out exactly why it’s been so hard to settle into the new routine. Now that we’re a month into our semester, the Indy has sat down and done some calculations to figure out just how much more time Harvard students have been spending in class.   Last year, our classes started 7 minutes past the hour, and generally met for an hour at a time. This gave us 53 minutes total for each class. On our …

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The Roommate Agreement

By ALAYA AYALA   I woke up with a wild gasp, sitting bolt upright in my seat and frantically trying to figure out where I was. For a moment I was all panic as I realized I wasn’t in my bedroom, in fact, I was in a room surrounding by unfamiliar people, many of whom were watching me curiously. I couldn’t breathe, my heart pounding as I tried to understand what was going on. As if a lens had suddenly fallen over my vision, I realized where I was and ducked my head in shame. I’d fallen asleep in the …

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Rainbow Scales and Special Leaves

Some thoughts on childhood, stress, and college.   By ALAYA AYALA   Recently, I’ve been living for these text posts that I see on my social media feeds all the time. They’re like concentrated shots of relatable content that I can take less than five seconds to swallow. Sometimes they burn on the way down. Sometimes they leave an aftertaste. The really good ones leave me breathless for hours from laughing – or crying. Maybe it’s because I’m a lightweight when it comes to the truth.   The other day I saw a post about children’s books that really messed …

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On Embodying the Upside-Down Smiley Face Emoji

Some thoughts on Mental Health on an Ivy League campus. By ALAYA AYALA Upon going through old text messages recently, I counted an extraordinary 103 uses of the upside-down smiley face emoji over the past week. This may just be an expression of my lack of creativity when it comes to using emojis, but I like to think it’s a pretty accurate reflection of where my mind has been recently. I’m definitely smiling, but it’s not for happy reasons, if you catch my drift.   Last term, quite frankly, was hell for me. On the outside I’m sure I looked …

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The Relay for Life

Harvard and MIT team up for American Cancer Society event. By ALAYA AYALA   On April 7th Harvard and MIT will be hosting an event called the Relay for Life. People across the nation participate in local Relays to help raise money to support the endeavors of the American Cancer Society. This year, the Harvard-MIT joint committee for the Relay for Life has been fundraising, recruiting, and planning in anticipation of the event. Each committee member that I’ve spoken to is involved with the Relay for Life for many reasons, ranging from wanting to be involved with a good cause, …

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Symptoms of a Broken Mirror

A short story By ALAYA AYALA The cold tore through Her jacket like some beast, biting at Her skin, wrapping itself around Her, making it hard for Her to breathe. She barely noticed. She was freezing on the outside, Her leather jacket and thin leggings not doing much to prevent the onslaught of the bitter wind, but it didn’t matter. On the inside, She was incandescent, She was blazing. Had it been weeks? Months? Since that last outing, since She had last allowed Herself to let go of the reins that She always clutched in a vicelike grip? She couldn’t …

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10 Blocking Group Stereotypes You’ve Probably Encountered This Spring

New Freshman Class, Same Old Stereotypes By JAYCEE YEGHER and ALAYA AYALA With the beginning of Spring Term came Blocking Fever™. Everywhere you looked there were frantic freshmen trying to figure out who they would be living with for the rest of their Harvard lives. The stress of it all was overwhelming, but there was hope for all of us. We all went through a blocking group or five over the course of the second semester, but settled down somewhere tolerable at least. Perhaps you landed your dream blocking group, or maybe you or a loved one ended up like …

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Battle of the Matchmakers: Tinder vs Datamatch

The Independent attempts to figure out which matchmaking site is preferred by Harvard students for solving those Valentine’s Day woes. By ALAYA AYALA   This year, in honor of all things having to do with free food, hookups, and Valentine’s Day, the Indy put out a survey asking Harvard Undergraduate Students their opinions on how Tinder and Datamatch compare. The survey was created by the Independent, and attempted to compare two common online applications, before taking a step back to speak with those who refrain from both. The results of the survey were as follows: Of all respondents, 51.5% were …

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