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A column about columns

(04/22/24 4:00am)

Since I started writing for The Chronicle my sophomore year, one of my friends has insisted I write a column about columns. The closest I’ve gotten is an OP-Ed about the QuadEx arches, but with my final piece for The Chron now here, I figured it was time to finally write my column column. While I know he means the doric and ionic variety, I must, as always, write what I know, which is the type of column you’re reading right now.

Pay attention in class

(04/08/24 4:00am)

I’ve been swimming a lot recently — and, no, thankfully not in Brodie. This behavior has perplexed me, as it’s not because I enjoy swimming (I don’t) or that I’m particularly good at it (I’m not). But, as I mentally composed this piece while completing my decidedly mediocre laps, I realized my urge to go to the pool is not about the physical act of swimming — nor the five kudos I will receive on Strava after — but rather the necessary detachment from the less-than-waterproof world inherent to being in a pool.

Dating apps are good, actually

(03/25/24 4:00am)

I used to hate dating apps as much as the next person — which is to say, viscerally. A couple of years ago, I was having breakfast with a friend, and he challenged my dislike. I couldn’t think of anything original to say. So, I figured I’d put my money where my mouth is and give them a go: I’d probably hate them, but at least I’d get some stories out of it. However, as you can probably guess from the title, I instead changed my mind. Because, to be honest, you can’t really know until you try. You could have reasons against using them — such as a religious principle or already being in a relationship — but an aversion without trial is not the same as an opinion crafted through an informed assay.

The curriculum isn't the problem

(03/04/24 5:00am)

You can’t force students to be intellectually curious. Regardless of Trinity's requirements, Duke students will — if they so desire — find ways of gamifying, bending the rules and cheapening the intentions set out by the administration. To address this, we must recognize that all students exist on a spectrum from only wanting a degree to learning for the sake of it and that most of us land somewhere in between.

The fear of being single

(02/19/24 5:00am)

Valentine’s Day is my least favorite holiday. No, it’s not because I’m single and bitter — only one of those is true, you can guess which. Sure, the blatant, unethical consumerism of cut flowers and foil balloons, sketchy additives in candy hearts, and general lack of recyclability of gift-wrapping materials are bad, but these problems aren’t unique to Feb. 14. My main issue lies in the societal fear-mongering and hetero- and mononormativity — the privileging of opposite-sex and monogamous relationships, respectively — of it all.

Stop being late

(02/05/24 5:00am)

The year is 2020. You’re sitting in your bedroom in a presentable top and pajama pants, gathering the mental fortitude to click on a Zoom link to join class, a club meeting or maybe a random webinar. You wait until the clock hits the exact start time and click to connect. Upon entering the meeting, the host announces, “Let’s just wait a couple more minutes for everyone else to log on.” Great, what a waste of time!

I'm glad It's Thyme replaced Panda

(01/22/24 5:00am)

Coming back from winter break for Duke’s 100th year, our gothic wonderland didn’t look much different than before, save for slightly fewer orange cones. One would think that after all the money and time Duke poured into tearing apart and reconstructing campus, we would at least have solved the issue of the small pond that forms in front of WU and Kilgo when it rains — alas. However, one positive has emerged from the rubble: It’s Thyme finally replaced Panda Express.

Do you really need that master's degree?

(11/27/23 5:00am)

Just like four years ago, for myself and fellow seniors, it is again the time to be incessantly asked what we are to do after graduation. This is, of course, an incredibly annoying question until you have arrived at a satisfying answer. This time, however, the response is not so clear cut: No longer is it as simple as offering the name of a college and receiving a judgment proportional to your questioner’s opinion of the institution. While we broadly could do any number of things next, it tends to boil down to one of two options: entering an applicable industry or continuing to go to school.

We need to rethink swag

(11/13/23 5:00am)

If I could acquire some branded material object for free and neglect to do so, it feels like I’m losing money (that’s girl math, right?). Before starting college, I had heard of the promises of free T-shirts galore. Honestly, I’ve gotten fewer of those than I expected, but the overall quantity of swag I’ve received throughout these four years is just ample, but overwhelmingly so, and most of it hasn’t been from Big Duke. It’s great, and it’s awful at the same time.

What's the big deal about New York?

(10/30/23 4:00am)

Where do you want to live after graduation, and why did you answer New York City? Now, I’m generalizing here, but you can’t deny the pull of the city, whether you grew up in the middle of nowhere and see it as a beacon of having made it big or in New Jersey and list it as your Metropolitan Area on your LinkedIn page. All I’m saying is that I’ve never heard someone say, “I got this great job, but, ugh, it’s in New York City.”

The flipside of upward mobility

(10/02/23 4:00am)

This year, I’ll make about as much as the average American. I’m 20; I’m not old enough to legally drink. I don’t have a full-time job. Shortly after I graduate, I’ll make more money in a year than the largest amount my parents made combined when they were both still alive and working. This will most surely happen before I’m old enough to rent a car. I used to think the idea that, at some point, making a six-figure salary would be amazing — now I usually don’t apply to jobs if their TC is only 100k. I guess it’s always easy to get accustomed to the idea of having more.

Maybe you should be passionate about work

(09/18/23 4:00am)

I enjoy being a student, but I’m not passionate about it. That much has become clear this year through both inter- and intrapersonal observations. I see peers, professors and family members who chose to build careers out of pursuing their interests through academia — whether research, teaching or both — and they live and breathe it. The university, and all that it entails, brings fulfillment to them in a way it doesn’t for me.

Duke needs to end legacy admissions

(09/05/23 4:00am)

Based on Duke’s response to the Supreme Court’s recent overturn of race-based Affirmative Action, it’s clear that our admissions department doesn’t like being told whom they should admit. While Duke did not go so far as to eschew the decision, President Price responded in a university-wide email to reaffirm a commitment to racial diversity. However, race-based boosts aren’t the only ways students receive advantages in the admissions process, and regardless of what we think about the court decision, it calls strongly into question the other ways in which the playing field is by no means level.

We have too many clubs at this school

(04/02/23 11:00pm)

As we reach the end of the school year, it has become time to prepare for the next one. As the current president of Rotaract Club, I recently sent our applications for the executive board to current active members. This request came with the understanding that, unless a minimum number of people apply, the club will likely cease to exist. Don’t worry—this isn’t an ad to join my club, but a means to talk about the frustrations that come with our extracurricular involvements here at large.

ChatGPT and the role of the university

(02/27/23 8:12pm)

We’re probably all tired of talking about ChatGPT at this point. Yet, here it is, continuing to permeate practically every conversation, especially those related to doing school work. I’ve heard all the opinions, from “oh my god, the world as we know it is ending” to “thank god I never have to do homework again.” As I see it, they both have a kernel of truth: we will need to adapt at least somewhat, but that’s not necessarily bad.