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Alex Silberzweig | Penn students would benefit from reading for fun

(07/16/19 3:12pm)

When was the last time you sat down to read a book between early May and late August? When was the last time you read for fun — at all? During the academic year, we are often preoccupied with our academic responsibilities and extracurricular activities, and when we find outlets for ways to decompress after a long week of work, the entertainment we seek oftentimes comes in the form of Netflix or scrolling through our social media feeds. These are pretty conventional go-to’s. But what if you were to read a book instead? 

Alex Silberzweig | Khan Academy highlights deficiencies in conventional teaching methods

(07/02/19 1:55pm)

Have you ever prepared for an exam, only to realize that you didn’t understand what was taught in class? How often do you rely on Khan Academy to learn the material that you didn’t understand from your lectures? Khan Academy has truly changed who we are as students by providing us with educational resources that are right at our fingertips. Yet Khan Academy also reveals some pessimistic realities about the current state of in-class education. 

Alex Silberzweig | Don’t let your parents determine your career path

(06/18/19 12:20am)

There’s something about going home for the summer that initially seems so satisfying. It’s been about two months since your last break, and you’ve just finished a grueling round of finals, so you feel more than ready to see your dog or curl up in your own bed. But a few hours after that first warm hug and that nice “I’ve missed you” from your loved ones, you get hit with a wave of questions about your intended area of study and subsequent career plans. Expect to be compared to at least one relative in the family, and field a few questions on why you’re not more like him or her. 

Alex Silberzweig | You don't have to live in New York City

(05/30/18 10:22pm)

What comes to mind when you think about the Big Apple? Glistening skyscrapers, a grimy subway system, bustling streets, and tourist attractions? For many Penn students, New York often seems the only possible destination after graduation. You might think you need to do whatever it takes to make it there.

Alex Silberzweig | Big donations have little significance for Penn students

(12/12/17 1:04am)

As the semester winds down and I inch closer to the end of both my sophomore fall and my first semester at Penn, I can’t help but think about how little time I have left here. Two and a half years. That’s it. What have I made of my time here? What will I do to make sure that my years here are as memorable as possible? Will I bear any sort of real impact on this school, or will I be just one of hundreds of thousands of Penn alumni?

Alex Silberzweig | What does it mean to be 'kind' in college?

(11/14/17 1:10am)

Take a stroll — or a brisk walk, if you’re late to class — along Locust Walk, and you’ll probably be bombarded by flyers promoting a bevy of events. Some of them will catch your eye. Maybe it’s because you’ll get free food or the people promoting the cause were especially compelling. Other events will just flit in and out of your consciousness. You’ll be busy that night, you tell yourself. Or you just don’t care. Either way, do you really feel that bad that you just walked past that eager college student who handed you a flyer? I doubt it.

Alex Silberzweig | Creating a more accommodating recovery atmosphere at Penn

(10/31/17 2:37am)

We all know flu season is upon us when both the air and our coughs get just a little bit crisper. Most of us also know just what it’s like to have the flu. The seemingly endless lethargy, the aches and pains, congestion, runny nose … you name it. It’s daunting on its own, but having the flu while you’re in college is a whole other level of horrifying.

Alex Silberzweig | The dangers of seeing and being seen

(10/17/17 2:57am)

The outside world often perceives college students as a mass of sweatpants-wearing, ramen-eating teenagers. Walk into any college bookstore and you’ll see what I mean — at least about the first part. Baggy sweatpants and cozy, oversized sweatshirts are always front and center. The outfit symbolizes the “I’m too busy and tired to care” look. College catalogs are filled with smiling students sitting contentedly in their baggy alma mater apparel.

Alex Silberzweig | What’s the deal with intro-level STEM classes?

(10/03/17 5:20am)

Mention the phrase “pre-med” to a bunch of fall semester freshmen and quite a few of them will perk up and mention that they are, in fact, that specific moniker. Talk about the pre-med track to these same students two years, one year or even one semester later, and they might say, “Oh, I dropped pre-med” or “It wasn’t for me.” They’ll have an “oh well” look on their face. Was the pre-med track just not for them, or was there something more to it?

Alex Silberzweig | Major shaming: What’s the use?

(09/19/17 5:15am)

When I thought about college before my freshman year, I fantasized about the ability to choose almost all of my classes to my liking. There was little else that excited me more than not having to take a predetermined set of classes that I must plow through in order to graduate. College seemed like the perfect place to focus on exactly what I wanted to study.