The Huffington Post

Collaboration with The Huffington Post College Blog during academic year '14-15.

The Graduation Piece I Wrote But Didn't Want to Say

 ROBERT SPENCER VIA GETTY IMAGES

ROBERT SPENCER VIA GETTY IMAGES

“Do not be grateful for your Harvard education yet. It is your burden to use it.”

These are the words spoken to me by my host father in Ecuador, as we sat on their back porch on my last night in the city, my host parents chain-smoking cigarettes in the humid breeze. I responded in silence, speechless at the words that no one had ever before dared to say to me.

Latkes in Jersey

If red is the color of love, orange is the color of gratitude.

Tinged with the hue of flaming foliage, Thanksgiving, like all other holidays, has been translated to Hallmark cards, specifically emblazoned with festive turkeys and footballs and the occasional joke about tryptophan. Along with the autumnal tones, the commoditization of giving thanks has become explicitly materialistic, with Black Friday riding the coattails of the supposedly selfless holiday.

Coming Home, Whatever That Means

Home is always having a delicious pile of books on the shelf that you never get around to reading because there is too much conversation to be had. Home is eating peanut butter out of the jar and having someone waiting behind you, spoon in hand. Home is having her curl up next to you on the bed, unannounced, and by the look in her eyes you know she needs to talk. Home is moments of peace, even when we feel lonely. Unpacking your suitcase. Walking around without pants on. Paintbrushes soaking in the bathroom sink. This is home.

From Rain to Riches?

 DAINIS DERICS VIA GETTY IMAGES

DAINIS DERICS VIA GETTY IMAGES

It’s like that houseguest who won’t leave, lingering around the crudités way past the point of scintillating conversation.

He was a nice addition to the party at first, a bit of company while things were heating up, but then he made himself at home, kicking off his shoes and guzzling your booze without even saying “please.” Everyone else is ready to go to bed, but this guy just doesn’t get it. That is what the snow has felt like. Go home, Snow, you’re drunk.

Seeing Green (And Yellow and Purple)

 HIROSHI WATANABE VIA GETTY IMAGES

HIROSHI WATANABE VIA GETTY IMAGES

I have synesthesia, a strange mental phenomenon that creates involuntary connections between sensory pathways, and the version that I have causes me to see associate colors with letters and numbers. It’s really not that exciting — it’s not like I’m living in some sort of trippy, rainbow fantasy or anything — but it means that I visualize the word “Tuesday” in a specific shade of green, for example.

Choosing Joy in a Selfish Place

Everyone here is overcommitted in some capacity, and it shows in both our G-Cals and our pace of life. The constant busyness is a way of constantly to one-upping one another, even if these obligations make us miserable. And because we are kept so wrapped up in extracurriculars and exams so as to not have a moment’s silence, we have no time to reflect upon the relationships and ideas that matter. We have no time to let significance percolate, to meander through a farmer’s market or visit a library “just because” (or if we do, we post it on social media, thereby externally validating our deviation from the burnout norm). We have no time for the birdsong.