How Not to Be a Big Sister

Looking back, I realized that because I had tried to be the perfect long-distance sibling, I had turned myself into someone unrelatable and distant. I thought that because they looked up to me, I should only show the parts of myself that were worth admiring. Instead, I wondered if the best thing I could do for them was to be totally honest.

Kate siblings photo

The author, bottom left, with her six siblings.

Daye: A Woman Who Untangles Roots

To this day, hearing her switch between languages — her mother tongue, Sorani Kurdish, and Arabic — reminds me of the melding of cultures I’ve always hoped to embody. Yet I find myself replying to her in Arabic. Mama longed for me to learn Kurdish, but I was pressured to embrace my Arab half at the expense of my mother’s tongue.

Asian Non-American?

Categorization can help us feel a sense of belonging to a certain group. But what happens when these categories become exclusive? What happens when these categories instead entrap and ensnare us?

To Pay Attention

I never thought I loved Chico. But that December day as I lay curled up in my childhood bed watching the interaction between Christine and Sister Joan on my iPad, I realized that I had paid attention to it. And if I really hated it, why did I spend so much time telling other people about it?

Birds Chico Photo

A photo of birds that the author took one day as she lay in the grass at the park by her house.

Time in a Bottle

I’d never had a real fight with my dad before, but this was a long time coming.

What It Means to Lead The Harvard Crimson

In a way, you take an oath when you are elected to this presidency, even if you don’t realize the depths of its demands at the time.

An Asthmatic Character

“A person should stand up straight, not crooked,” my mother would whisper, referring to both the calligrapher and her creation.

No Country for Harvard Men

I felt like I had entered a thick and strange haze. Daily showers made me feel unnaturally clean, and I missed the smooth arc of the sun across the sky. I felt like a space alien walking down a crowded street and making small talk after class.

Goodbye, Beloved

To me, Sethe was the literary embodiment of womanhood — the queenly woman with blood on her hands and a tree scarred into her back. She was the personification of repression and “rememory,” the manifestation of a traumatic past into the present.

room cover photo

My collage brings to mind precious experiences that I’d have otherwise forgotten. It’s like a library of my life, which challenges the ephemerality that my memories can easily take on.

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