When I was little, I’d sometimes lay in bed, staring at the dark, looking at nothing but seeing everything, as I stumbled upon anxiety over anxiety.
I’ve always liked Sundays. Weekdays are packed with obligations and Saturdays quickly fill up with activities, but on Sundays I have time to exist alone—long mornings, complete breakfasts, and productivity on my own terms. March 8 was shaping up to be a pretty good Sunday. Sure, my anxiety had me on edge—the coronavirus headlines were inescapable and rumors of classes moving online after spring break were rampant—but the sun brightened the farmer’s market stands on Broadway, so I basked in the fragile optimism that the virus might not hit New York too hard....
“No hate, no fear, refugees are welcome here.”
“Venmo me for my emotional labor” reveals that the cult of individualism and the commodification of empathy are rampant on our campus. Research shows how children from suburban high schools are conditioned to view every social interaction as a transaction. In this frame of mind, every conversation, text, cup of coffee, and like on social media is supposed to manifest itself in the initiator’s securement of an acceptance letter, job offer, sexual gratification, monetary gain, social capital, etc. One is then forced to approach every interaction with the question: How can this person advance my status? Empathy for the sake of human connection is completely out of the question....
Earlier this week, Shaan Pandiri published an op-ed titled “Beto Should Be Better.” I’m writing to explain that Columbia’s obsession with its identity as an alma mater is not unique nor novel. In fact, whether from students itself or supported by the administration, famous alumni (in politics, arts, science) are a marketing tool for the University and a confirmation for students that their $70k+ tuition will hopefully pay off. Look at Beto O’Rourke, Columbia can say, a former punk rock bassist who is running for president! You, nameless Columbia student with eclectic interests, can pay thousands of dollars to our school and eventually run for president too!...
I returned to school in September desperately clinging to the slippery kite tails of a summer romance. It was puppy love. Long distance wasn’t ideal, but by the end of summer, I figured that with the right person, anything was possible. And let’s get real—I was so infatuated that I threw all logic to the wind. When I stepped onto the jet bridge to board my flight from Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, I was sure that I’d return home to him in December happier, stronger, and more devoted than ever....
My fall semester as a sophomore has been plagued by one incessant concern: choosing my major. Or majors (plural), or maybe a major with a concentration. I initially came to Columbia thinking that I would major only in one subject: political science. But when my first class registration appointment rolled around, few classes in that department were still open. So, on a whim, I registered for an American history class, and by the end of the semester, I had decided that I would double major in history and political science....
By now, you've certainly heard about Trump's recent immigration reform. But what can you do if you are affected by this new policy?