To Be a Neurodivergent Harvard Student

Even if I am not as hyper-productive as Harvard typically necessitates, my ADHD and I — on both good and bad executive function days — still belong here all the same. And you do, too.

What Nostalgia’s Hiding

Children’s media does not contain more insidious messages than the rest of our society. They are simply easier to note when delivered by smiling cartoons. To resist the needling messages hidden in children’s media, we must reframe the way we think about our world from every angle.

Oh my Gawd I Got a Bee

If you worked as hard as you possibly can and earned a Bee, then congrats! You should feel proud of your personal growth and hard work. Conversely, if you got a 4.0 GPA, but didn’t learn anything or cheated your way into it, then the accomplishment is empty. True learning is about personal growth, and grades can be misleading.

Dream a New Dream for Tomorrow

If my writing has made you imagine anything you’ve never imagined before — made you question yourself and your world, made you uneasy, made you uncomfortable — don’t push that away. Think about it, talk about it, bring it with you on your own path; live it, remember it. Those are dreams.

Why I Write

My journey will consistently involve a struggle to unearth the exact words I seek; however, I am now forever equipped with an impetus behind why I work so hard to discover them. Above all, I aspire to always be the woman, classmate, and friend who others can entrust with their stories, wishes, and future visions

An Unlikely Cubicle

At Harvard, we push them down deep, transcending their tragedies of inaccess through our relentless resourcefulness. But through our hard work and creativity, our not-a-moment’s hesitation to grasp at any opportunity that comes our way, we have the courage at moments like these to reflect. And to reach back.

Eleganza: Fashioning a Creative Community at Harvard

Fashion is an integral part of so many people’s lives, and Eleganza helps to show that there is a space at Harvard for people who value fashion. The show takes place during Visitas each year, and it helps expose incoming freshmen to the amazing creative community that exists at this institution.

The Involuntary Hurdles of a Voluntary Leave of Absence

The real resolution to this fragmented mosaic, though, is not a nudge towards the numbers — but instead, through active recognition that departure is not the only stage of the leave of absence process that can become tainted by coercive, confusing moves; and by seeking to alter the aging, souring patterns of action that University metrics and aggregations do not reflect, but which have, for years, served to push students away.

NeuroDiverse Thoughts on Neurodiversity

Neurodiversity isn’t merely about neurodivergent individuals. It’s about all of us; after all, considering our brains will never be the same, your experiences contribute to neurodiversity, in the most literal sense, as do mine.

I Wish They Could Fire Amy Wax For Being a Literal White Supremacist

Though tenured faculty’s “extramural speech” protections are, rightfully, strong, Wax’s case is an extreme test of the vague rules which govern tenure termination. There must be room within the tenure system to dismiss professors who so clearly impair their ability to teach, as Whittington concedes Wax “may well have,” because of inarguable racism. If a student knows their professor views them as inherently inferior, how can learning proceed?

The Mystery of American Escapism in ‘Nancy Drew’

The capitalism of American society idealizes a difficult working life in exchange for its fixation on the simple pleasures of meals and clothing. The minimalist descriptions of Nancy Drew create a caricature of what people wished life could be in the 1930s. What more is there to desire in life besides meals, clothing, and the arduous work it apparently takes to make them possible? I can think of a few things, but perhaps the children reading the Nancy Drew series 90 years later will begin to believe that’s all life is about.

If Harvard Students Were Honest…

As a Harvard student, I’m tremendously grateful for the opportunity to expand my intellectual horizons by spending copious amounts of time in your mandatory writing class. As a human teenager, though, I hate it with the passion of a thousand suns.

Broken Mirror, A Million Shades of Light

Living a disabled life means that I fall, and as I lie stunned, I see my reality of existing in this world reflected on a mirror of concrete or tile. But it’s a broken mirror, cracked by many falls; and in its brokenness, it refracts light into a million component shades, revealing not only my struggles, but — if I focus beyond my newly-acquired scrapes and bruises — all the smiles and tears of my life.

When It All Seems to Go Wrong

So, when it all seems to go wrong, take a moment to pause. Remember who is rooting for you. Remember all of the people who inspired, energized, and motivated you to reach where you are now. Remember that they are humans too — people who make mistakes, engage in self-reflection, and move onwards.

Why Are There So Few Black Fashion Designers at the Oscars?

Uplifting and supporting fashion designers of color means creating more opportunities for all marginalized people to utilize clothing to define their place in the world.

Between the Lines of Harvard’s Leave of Absence Handbook

Institutional policies are not only about inky dents on canvas, or about pages of simplified rules. But the accounts that I have gathered since then, some of which are still untold, suggest that there’s much more to this mismatch between Harvard policy and practice.

The Heroes of Our Own Stories

It’s all the more reason why your understanding and empathy towards everyone is crucial towards fostering both acceptance of neurodiversity and an even better Harvard community.

Shelter’s Off Season

Harvard’s student-run shelters are of a rare breed invented here. That their entirely volunteer-based, student-led model works at all is a testament to the goodwill and dedication of students. In an environment inundated with flashier options, they work late night and early morning shifts and choose work genuinely capable of transforming lives. Yet the April 15 cliff we are approaching highlights one way this model bends towards student interests, and inevitably destabilizes the lives of those it is designed to serve.

Servers of Colonialism in ‘Cyberchase’

Colonialism extends to multiple cultures that the creators have chosen to profile as “others” for our entertainment. The show is so clever in the way it plays with words and fantastical settings, but real-life cultures are not settings that can be played with to further a narrative. The end of each episode features a non-animated segment called “Cyberchase For Real.” Perhaps the show’s creators should stick to depictions of cultures “for real,” and not promote cultural stereotypes in children’s media.

Mother Nature was an English Major

So the next time someone tells you they’re majoring in the humanities, don’t laugh and offer to pay for their unemployment. I mean, if you REALLY wanna donate money, I guess that’s fine. I could use some new socks. But other than that, a simple, “Woah, cool! Please invite me to your film screening,” will suffice.

These Disabled Harvard Students Will Inspire You

(Disclaimer: This piece is satirical in nature, and these students do not exist.) This week, I decided to sit down with two disabled students to discuss their experiences at Harvard and what “living a disabled life” means to them.

Let’s Talk About It

Day in and day out, scenes of political arguments flash across our screens. The intention behind broadcasting these arguments is often sound and justified – exposing Americans to the scope and complexities of political viewpoints is vital for developing societal awareness. Much of modern political discourse, however, unfurls egregiously in execution.

The Brain Dumping

Have you ever noticed the way birthday candles melt? A carnival-colored cascade, dripping bright pinks and yellows, melting too quick for comfort. For Claudia Cabral, that fast melt marked the time to slow down. Not that she had a choice — her 20th birthday fell on the same day she was sent home at the outbreak of the pandemic. It would have been her last birthday at MIT. And it would have been the last one regardless — one semester later, Claudia would be accepted as a transfer student to Harvard.

Black is Beautiful: The Legacy of Kwame Brathwaite

My first exposure to Kwame Brathwaite’s work was in 2019 at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston as part of an exhibit titled “Icons of Style: A Century of Fashion Photography.” A black wall was printed with the words “Black Is Beautiful,” occupying the entire space from floor-to-ceiling. Before attending this exhibit, I had known nothing about the photographer, but the striking photographs (and the impact of the slogan I had heard hundreds of times before) prompted an ongoing interest in his work.

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