Category: Books

  • Diving below the surface: Dismantling duck syndrome and imposter syndrome

    Buried beneath a mountain of academic and social pressure, students at Stanford often find themselves grappling with two unique mental challenges — imposter syndrome and duck syndrome.  Imposter syndrome, characterized by a persistent feeling of inadequacy despite accomplishments, frequently coexists with duck syndrome. Originally actually coined by Stanford, duck syndrome refers to the outward appearance…

  • The art of mindful writing: Calligraphy nurtures mental wellness

    Amid the stress of juggling school, extracurriculars and relationships, a perhaps surprising — but scientifically endorsed — outlet is calligraphy, an art that can stimulate the brain and improve cognitive function. Calligraphy is the visual art of handwriting with either a pen, ink brush or other utensil and requires focus on not just what you’re…

  • People I used to know

    When I was in first grade, I had a friend from France.  Her name was Sidonie. I don’t remember her last name, and I’m not sure if I ever knew it. When you’re a kid, you don’t care about people’s last names unless they’re A) an adult or B) another kid with the same first…

  • A true “mastermind”: Unpacking 13 of Taylor Swift’s “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” Easter eggs

    On Aug. 9, 2023, Taylor Swift announced the release date of her re-recorded album “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” during the final show of the Eras Tour’s first U.S. leg. Many already saw it coming. Taylor Swift’s fans are infamous for being Swifties by day and detectives by night, diligently following the trails of clues that Swift…

  • ‘Dear Boomer’: What should I even ask a boomer?

    50 years ago, I rode my Kawasaki from Portola Valley onto campus, usually squeaking into class just on time. While much has changed since then, one thing has remained constant: our humanness. We still search for meaning and need connection. We still have dreams and we still screw up. In the last 50 years, as I’ve changed careers and…

  • Why do I need to explain my writing?

    Don’t publish that, Gheed!  It’s too direct. Too specific. This bothers me. I write about romance, life and home because they mean so much to me that I want to offer them a place to live on forever. I don’t write to feed people’s egos, or to send signals. I don’t write to spill my…

  • A work in progress

    I’ve almost gotten used to all the construction happening throughout campus. But as I bike past several makeshift walls and orange signs, I can’t help but feel a familiar sense of mild frustration as I’m forced to make a detour. I approach the narrow passageway behind the Stanford Bookstore and dodge several oncoming bikes that…

  • How we make place

    On one of my first days at Stanford, as more than 1,500 of us gathered in Memorial Auditorium to discuss our assigned Three Books, I remember raising a shaky hand. “How can we, as transient students, meaningfully contribute to the local community and repair the disruptive impacts of our presence?” How can we live here?…

  • The end of the rat race

    Like most prospective freshmen, after getting into Stanford I found myself wading through Reddit to find out everything I needed to know about student life. What I quickly found were stories of burnout, of being left out and of feeling like social life was nonexistent at Stanford. I told myself that my Stanford experience would…

  • On staying too long at the fair

    It is easy to know how you’re supposed to feel when you start college, but harder when it ends.  The beginning of college is designed to make you feel lucky. Your RAs memorize your name. They tell you “Welcome home,” even though you’ve never seen it before. Even if you don’t feel excited, you know…