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It's okay to change your mind

(09/20/22 4:00am)

When I entered Duke the fall of 2020 in the heart of the pandemic and during a crest of social reckoning, the idea of having the typified college social experience felt rather absurd. And so, for quite a while, I vilified the idea of Greek life and SLGs, of going out, Shooters and Devine’s, drinking, smoking—you get the idea. I largely attribute this mindset to the pandemic era regulations—in which you were forced to choose between breaking the law to socialize in a way congruent to what was acceptable in the past or following the covid rules and resenting those who didn’t for being selfish—but I’m not sure that if the state of the world were different I wouldn’t’ve had comparable views.

The cost of eating at WU

(09/06/22 4:00am)

“Let’s get lunch.” It’s a classic Duke student saying, along with “how are you?” And “good, how are you?” And while sometimes “lunch” is replaced by “dinner,” it’s seldom breakfast. Why? Because, especially after freshman year, almost no one eats breakfast at WU, if at all. Why? Because it’s so goddamn expensive—besides, who even eats breakfast, anyway? And when you start to think about scheduling breakfast dates, waking up earlier, balancing your virtual food point budget, and whether Mobile Order will even be working, it’s easier to just skip it than to play the breakfast game.

If you give a college student an Apple...

(04/13/22 4:00am)

Walk into any lecture hall here, and you’ll see what a fellow columnist described as a “sea of Macs.” Work out in Wilson gym, and more people than not are sporting some generation of AirPods. Swipe into your dorm, or pay for your food at WU, via Apple Watch. Be added to a text chat of 10 people and still have blue bubbles. Write the first draft of this column on an iPad with an Apple Pencil. Type it up on a MacBook. Welcome to Duke.

Go to class.

(03/16/22 4:00am)

If you’ve talked to a professor recently, you’ve probably heard a complaint vis-à-vis the lack of students coming to class, especially for, but not limited to, the classes for which in-person attendance is non-mandatory. The past few weeks seem to have been the perfect storm of tenting, Covid-fatigue and spring break anticipation that have led to the steady decline in class attendance.

YikYak and the paradox of public anonymity

(03/02/22 5:00am)

While plenty of Duke students have been playing Wordle since its recent inception, a new, less benign manifestation of campus hype has settled upon the new/old app YikYak. The platform began in 2013 and was shut down for the first time in 2017, primarily for bullying and threats of violence.  Now that it has entrenched itself back within the university milieu, the questions remain as to how long it can last this time, and whether it should exist at all.

Krzyzewskiville: a more perfect meritocracy?

(02/16/22 5:00am)

Sometimes said pejoratively, sometimes shocking in the frankness of its usage, meritocracy is on the minds of those of us at a place like Duke. Coined in a 1950s satire by sociologist Michael Young, the societal co-opting of this term with such verve and ubiquity almost makes me worry that perhaps it serves more to normalize undesirable societal outcomes than warn against them. But, regardless of the intentions of the creation of the word, our segment of society has come to highly value how achievements are earned and deserved.

Finding solace in the sophomore slump

(02/02/22 5:00am)

After a first year of college which—given the massive shift in geography, increase in academic rigor and altered circumstances of the coronavirus–felt very personally successful, the unsustainability of achievement began to set in. Coming into college, I figured I would have to work harder than in high school but, when originally I didn’t need to work that much harder while having a better social life and more available opportunities simply by being a Duke first-year, the new necessity to expend more effort towards schoolwork, relationships and everything else felt more like a personal failure than anything else.

Lights, covid, action

(01/19/22 5:00am)

Sitting in front of my computer for two or three 75-minute Zoom meetings in a day, completing schoolwork and tasks which can only be done via said computer (and maybe giving myself a break and watching an episode of TV), my screen time is soaring to nauseous heights. This certainly doesn’t make me feel like I’m doing what’s best for my health. Ending the day with raw eyeballs and the inklings of a headache doesn’t make me want to go back  and do the same thing the next day.

Social media is not redeemable

(12/01/21 5:00am)

It has been about a year—or a year by Spotify Wrapped standards, at least—since I gave up most forms of social media as a quasi New Year’s resolution/personal challenge. After kicking the idea around in my head for a while, reading the book Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport was the push I needed to get started (this is the only time you’ll see me recommend a self-help book). Newport challenges readers to evaluate their relationship with technology to create a meaningful personal life without fully abandoning the internet.

So much Duke, so little time

(11/17/21 5:00am)

When the “why Duke” question is asked, a common answer offered is that the abundance of opportunities available to students is one of the best things about our university. And I agree, the opportunities are great; beyond the tangible programs and facilities and resources, the chance to meet a wide variety of people and encounter many ideas is unparalleled and unique to this time and place in our lives. We can’t do everything, but we have the chance to do nearly anything we can imagine.

No, people aren't good

(10/20/21 4:00am)

While my fellow columnist Dan may see the glass as half full, I cannot help but question the innate goodness of humankind. It is a rather lofty claim either way to speak on the nature of all humans, although if I were forced to choose within the binary, I would probably go with the cynical “people are bad” viewpoint. But it’s not that simple, nor should it be reduced to such confining terms.

Work hard, play hard, rest hardly

(10/06/21 4:00am)

Grades, sleep and social life: choose two. We’ve all seen the triangle-shaped meme suggesting that we, as college students, must pick one of those three facets of life to give up. And from what I’ve seen amongst Duke students, sleep is the first to go. We “work hard” and “play hard”, and rest is never factored into the equation, often at the expense of the quality of the time spent on the other two vertices.

STEM isn't everything

(09/23/21 4:00am)

Coming from a decidedly non-rigorous high school, the barrier to entry for technical knowledge as a Pratt freshman last year seemed insurmountable. I was stuck in intro level courses, while my friends were sailing ahead with their AP credit placements; I was disheartened that college had barely begun and already I was starting from behind. I initially applied to engineering programs because I wanted to push myself academically, but staying in Pratt just seemed brutal.

Somewhere in the middle

(09/08/21 4:00am)

In what few discussions concerning money I’ve had here, I’ve found it unusually common to hear other students complain that they just didn’t qualify for financial aid, that their parents make a little bit over the cutoff. And I have no sympathy. Your parents make over two hundred thousand dollars, and you’re implying that you’re jealous that Duke pays for so much of my education?