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Shilpa Saravanan | Why we need to let others change on their own

(12/13/17 1:31am)

Here’s something to do on the (rare) bright days in the months to come. If you sit at the perfect angle in the Van Pelt amphitheater, at the perfect time — two hours before sunset is a good bet — and you look southwest, towards the Wistar Institute, you’ll be treated to a faceful of sunlight streaming through the (mostly bare) branches above you. It’s far more than my eyes, at least, can handle; I always have to look away after a few seconds. But to have to squint in the middle of winter is a wonderful, warm feeling.

Shilpa Saravanan | Home for Thanksgiving break, but not Thanksgiving

(11/16/17 3:01am)

“Are you going home for Thanksgiving?” This is the question I’ve gotten the most over the past month. Before this year, yes, I did go home (pre-Thanksgiving flights to Texas, unfortunately, have only gotten more expensive with time). But though I’ve been home every year of my life for Thanksgiving Day, I have never been privy to a real Thanksgiving.

Shilpa Saravanan | Planners, but no plans: our struggle with our time

(11/09/17 4:33am)

I’ve had a planner every school year, since (at least) third grade. Initially, these planners were of the school-provided sort that my parents had to sign each night, showing that they understood my assignments. Once teachers let us deal with assignments on our own, I began to pick out my own planners. I started with the cheapest available ones from Target (palm-sized, perfect for the amount of work assigned in middle school), and eventually graduated to a knockoff Moleskine that I used as a bullet journal.

Shilpa Saravanan | How to finally stop being busy

(11/02/17 3:48am)

It’s been a rough week. In my experience, the first week of November is always this way. It’s finally been chilly for more than two days in a row, there are barely any light filters into my apartment anymore and my cacti are slowly turning yellow, wasting away — did you know they could do that? I didn’t. I find myself, more often than not, staring at them from the couch for lengthy periods of time, feeling very sorry.

Shilpa Saravanan | The universal and specific value of ethnic studies

(10/12/17 3:55am)

My mother, for as long as I can remember, has urged me to befriend more of my fellow Indian-Americans, particularly Hindu ones. It’s for my own good, she says — even more so now that I’m in college, where it’s so easy to get lost, but also so easy to find other Indian-Americans. “What if we don’t have anything in common?” I say. “You always have your culture in common,” she replies, and I can never argue much with that.