Op Eds

A Pre-Med Letter of Resignation, With (Self) Love & Liberation

For Black women, self-care is an act of liberation. It disrupts systems of power — even at places like Harvard — that hold a stake in patriarchy and institutionalized racism. It is a way for us to free ourselves and dilute our pain from historical patterns of trauma caused by everyday violences. It is a crucial aspect of embracing and valuing our dignity and self-worth because trauma doesn’t have to be our destiny. We deserve to heal, to grow, to change. And sometimes it looks like distancing ourselves from potentially toxic, or infectious, scenarios or spaces to protect our energy and safeguard it for our own well-being.

Why You Should Take a Philosophy Course

Sometimes, the questions philosophy tackles may seem like emotion or art, too ethereal and grand to truly understand and only perverted by their formalization into a classroom. However, the formal discussion of these questions in an academic setting, far from stripping them of value, instead reveals new insights, allowing one to build upon years of human thought. To sit in a philosophy class at Harvard is no less than sitting in a dining hall discussing these same questions with hundreds of generations of humanity.

To Those Who Aspire to Lead The Harvard Crimson

As Chair of the Diversity and Inclusivity Committee this past year, part of my work naturally centered on improving our historic lack of diversity. This issue hastily leads to investigating why there is an anti-Crimson stigma among communities of color on Harvard’s campus. In digging for the roots of anti-Crimson stigma, I found patterns in many of those regrettable moments I mentioned that inform some crucial recommendations I will make today.

I Would Not Date a Blind Person

For many of us, having a disability eclipses, at least for those who don’t know us, any aspect of our character that in a non-disabled person would naturally draw attention. Our task is to make these people want to look beyond by talking about disability and showing that it is nothing taboo and strange, or anything more than, in my case, a pair of eyes that don’t work.

From Pokémon Trainer to Harvard Student

Nobody should ever feel like they have to adhere to a particular path or match a stereotype to achieve something; instead, they should be fearless about what makes them unique. There is no correct route when one has genuine passion, and whatever shape that may take, it is neither shameful nor inadequate: it is something to be celebrated.

Why There's No Perfect Harvard Student

While many people say that college is the time to “find yourself,” funny enough, I had the opposite experience. Throughout my first year of college, I wanted to become what I believed to be the perfect Harvard student so badly that I completely lost myself in the process.

The Pitfalls of Pity Pressure

This emptiness triggered in me the realization that I had come to Harvard for the wrong reasons. I had fruitlessly tried to use my education to shape others’ impression of me instead of using it to enrich my own life and the lives of others. Remembering my dad, I knew his sacrifices were made for my happiness, not for me to convince others of it. I needed to let go of how others saw me and my circumstances, and had to start living for myself.

Harvard Must Rethink Its Approach to Liberal Arts

While any liberal arts curriculum prides itself on academic flexibility, what Harvard needs, paradoxically, is a more rigid curriculum that is sufficiently rigorous and challenges students to get out of their comfort zones. The purpose of a liberal arts curriculum should be to inspire students to be independent, life-long learners, and fostering independent learning requires guidance.

Harvard Amnesia

There is something uniquely Harvard, in fact, about turning the passive into the active. We capitalize on forgetfulness to maximize efficiency. Forgetting becomes a useful tool for neatly discarding whatever we deem unnecessary, especially the things that are hard to remember; not because we can’t recall them but because we don’t want to. We choose to forget to save more time to be busy, and to save ourselves from dealing with whatever lies beyond an introduction.

Generation Z’s Great Awakening

Removing the systems that amplify our society’s injustice is what we need to prioritize, not everyday people who make a few individuals upset on social media.

Drinking Alone Under the Moon with Li Bai

The sheer number of students at Harvard and the College’s formal emphasis on community on campus constantly remind us that we are never alone. But sometimes, we just are alone — and there’s nothing wrong with being alone. This autumn, while the weather is still nice and the moon is still bright, go be your own best companion.

HUDS Food Makes Harvard Home

HUDS food is the great equalizer for the majority of us on campus — it picks no favorites. Regardless of if your parents are in the top one percent of income earners globally or if you come from a home with food insecurity, you are blessed with vegan creamy pasta with Beyond sausage for dinner and a blondie brownie for dessert.

Can the Oppressed Speak?

The bottom line is that white writers speaking for the oppressed is not trivial. You cannot remove politics from literature and literature from its impact; literature impacts politics which dictate our material conditions, which can decide whether many of us live or die.

Affirming my ADHD: So What if I’m “Too Much”?

We stand to gain so much more from being our authentic, genuine selves. If no one else, I — the guide of the land of late-night, the girl who wrote a comedy special to Harvard as part of her application — am always here to hear your story and laugh and cry by your side from sunset to sunrise.

Freshmen, Only Do Things You Really Love

In your four years of college commitments, chase joy. In your vision of the future as extrapolated from your life now, chase joy. You can set yourself up for daily happiness, and it starts with dropping that activity you always wish you could skip.

HKS is Harvard’s Theranos

Local governments hire HKS alumni expecting that the MPP credential holds a certain merit. In reality, from my experience, most students come from dissimilar academic backgrounds compared to adjacent graduate programs, complete AP-level coursework, and get rubber-stamped as policy leaders for completing a program where anything below a B- is failing — and, to my knowledge, almost nobody fails. As we experience a global leadership crisis, it’s important the public not rely on Harvard’s MPP program until the school commits to higher standards of vetting and rigor.

Divestment is Personal

As one of the world’s leading academic institutions, Harvard should strive not to meet expectations but exceed them. This means actively working for positive change. Demonstrating a strong commitment to creative action against climate change can bolster Harvard’s reputation as innovative and globally-minded.

I Only Have Eyes For You, Right Now

The inter-connective capacity of modern technology presents us with an infinitely sprawling lawn. But how do you know? How do you know that the person you’re with is the right one? If your blissful three months of spring infatuation is worth sitting on the bench all summer?

Afghan Lives Matter

America is a democracy; its citizens are therefore morally complicit when they know of crimes and atrocities committed by their government and army and nevertheless choose to shrug their shoulders and do nothing. Americans have a duty to speak out and — more importantly — bring those who are responsible to justice. Harvard’s voice here is essential, both as a leading educational and cultural institution in the country and as the alma mater of many leading figures in current and recent administrations.

Harvard is Sweeping Dorm Crew Under the Rug

Dorm Crew provided a much-needed avenue for students to work on their own time and earn money without interrupting their school schedules — a rare opportunity on campus. To quietly cancel it without enough consultation from the students involved is shortsighted and duplicitous.

What Makes Harvard Different?

The real value of Harvard is being surrounded by people who push you to your limits, who help you realize how much you don’t know, and who inspire you to see how much potential there is in the world for you. It sounds cheesy, but you realize how important Harvard’s environment is once you find yourself exploring the law libraries, starting podcasts, and writing books, all because of the motivation given to you by your peers.

Save Students Not Money

At some point, the University must take more of a responsibility for the spread of Covid-19. Before asking students to give up important parts of their college experience again, administrators should ask themselves what more they can do to stop the spread without compromising student life.

What Wasn’t in my Harvard Acceptance Letter

While I still acknowledge how privileged I am to attend this institution, I cannot ignore its flaws. It is my responsibility as a member of the Harvard community to acknowledge its shortfalls. To continue to speak up and use my voice. To admit that, today, I can see the cracks within your perfect exterior.

The Radcliffe Name: At Risk of Erasure

With Radcliffe College, once Harvard’s sister school, gone, the institute remains the sole institutional flag-bearer of a name that still represents, for a great many, the long and continuing struggle for parity. The rebranding is particularly baffling — and galling — because the wound has been self-inflicted, imposed by the institute itself. At a stroke, it diminishes the legacy of women’s history at Harvard, hard-fought since the late 19th century.

Harvard’s Decision to Divest from Fossil Fuels Teaches the Value of Persistence

Had the effort ever lapsed in the face of official scorn, Harvard would still be in league with Exxon, trying to make a little more money off the collapse of the planet. I remember most vividly Harvard Heat Week, in April of 2015. Some of those memories are uncomfortable — sleeping one night in the shrubbery outside Massachusetts Hall, and the next in the occupied alumni office.

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