I did not expect, in the heart of a city, to foster some greenery of my own, yet I visit the rooftop deck of my house nearly daily to tend to six lil plants.

I have basil, lavender, chives, oregano, and a mini sunflower.  More practical than flora I used to take care of back in suburbia.  Purchased as teenage seedlings from the farmers market.  I’m not much of a chef myself, but my housemates have used my basil for dishes like lasagna.  It delights me to be useful. Continue reading


The close conversation had reached that point where we had run out of superficial, cheery things to say.  I wrung my hands as a thought forced itself into speech: I had been afraid that saying it aloud would make a tentative idea more real than it actually was, but I couldn’t help it, it had been haunting me for too long:

“Um, I don’t know,” I began slowly.  “I think, more than anything, I want to be in a relationship.  I know that’s a lame thing to say…I believe in feminism and independence and all that, but…it’s true.”

I lowered my head and blushed as my friend reassured me, but I couldn’t help but taste the aftertaste of a remark that was not articulated finely enough.  Because, in truth, I enjoy being single.  I like going to concerts and kissing strangers without worrying about someone back home.  I like quiet moments by myself.  And I see people constantly holding hands, constantly spending the night in each others’ dorms and I think: I don’t want that.  I don’t want all of that, at least not all the time.  

But I definitely want something.   Continue reading

In the Company of Myself

Recently I’ve been smiling sadly my high school self; I’ve been re-reading some journal entries from her senior year English notebook.  Essentially, she was lonely and confused, searching for a sense of identity and starving for companionship.  She wrote down dreams of long hugs and soft hand touches. Continue reading

Goodbye, 2016

“New Years” never really meant that much to me.  “My life is determined by school years, not by successions of January Firsts,” I used to say, and New Years Eve always fell awkwardly in the middle of a school year.

With college sliced into two distinct semesters, this may be the first time New Years actually indicates a transition for me.  Not only a transition to new classes, but a transition from a naive and exploratory first semester of college to a more focused and directional second.

At the same time, I’ve never experienced a year so sharply dichotomized.  I mean, the first half was the triumphant, pressure-free closure of my high school career.  In the second half, the doors of my little town burst open to Penn, to Philadelphia, to the world.  Continue reading


If you’re friends with me on Snapchat, more often than not you’ll see this next to my name:


Yes, I’m the girl who’s a bit trigger-happy with screenshots.  When friends confront me about my this, I swear that I’m not collecting blackmail: I just find disproportionate delight in seemingly mundane photos and text.  Especially for Snapchat — there’s something earthy and guileless in my friends’ selfies that I treasure.

Do you ever scroll through your camera roll and see absolutely useless snapshots?  Yet, even though my phone’s storage protests, I can’t bring myself to delete some of these pictures.   Continue reading

Small Stories

Last night I chastised a boy (Kevin) in the dorm lounge for telling this story: “I was walking Emily (his female friend) back to her dorm across campus.  We passed the old frat house, where there were a bunch of drunk people in costumes.  But Emily was just walking by with her bicycle helmet on her head.  It was funny.”

I gave him shit because his story wasn’t really a story.  “Where’s the beginning, middle, and end?  You only had setting.”  I teased him about it before going upstairs to sleep.  Then my hallmates, just arrived from a party, sidetracked me.  They were loudly playing League while struggling not to throw up.

“How was it?” Continue reading

College Observations

Hey.  I haven’t been posting very frequently on here, and technically I can blame it on schoolwork and such.  But it’s also because I feel pressure to write up some poignant musings about college, which is the true culprit here.  I’m learning a ton, obviously, but my revelations are so small and numerous that they’re hard to articulate impressively.  So I’m settling with rambles.

In a nutshell, I’m happy and learning about myself.  A lot of things that worried me during high school — the opinions of strangers, boys who didn’t care about me — seem so small and far away.  For instance, I had anticipated getting crushed by nostalgia and missing others.  I do miss things, especially people — but there is so much richness in the present that, for once, I don’t want to go back. Continue reading


For college pre-orientation, I went to a three-day camping trip and a silent disco for the first time.  The experiences are more similar than you’d think.

I’ve attended two years of summer sleep-away “nerd” camp previously.  Though I never hiked during those trips, I’ve noticed that, basically, summer camp is a hot cooker for intensified emotions.  After an awkward start, platonic and even romantic feelings develop faster than one thinks possible.  I used to miss my three-week-long friends like I was ill; unattainable camp crushes yielded some of the strongest emotions of my young life.  Similarly, during my pre-orientation camping program — called PennQuest — before college, my hiking mates felt incredibly attached to each other.  Maybe it was the bonding over itchy bug bites and steep hills — or maybe it was the sight of everyone in their sweaty, makeup-less, and simplest forms.

So camps are microcosms of accelerated intimacy.  But are they special exceptions to emotionally-cautious life, or a mass-hallucination of young minds eager to feel less alone than they are?   Continue reading