manisha-ummadi_online-mug

A picture-imperfect holiday

Off the Beat

My holiday season always begins the same way — I sit impatiently in an almost-empty BART train car hurtling itself away from the chaotic streets of Downtown Berkeley to the sleepy suburbs of the South Bay. Phone in hand, I scroll absentmindedly through my Instagram feed, sifting through perfectly filtered
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jayesh-kaushik_online

The layover

Between America and Me

“You’re not American? But you speak such good English!” I’m in my freshman year dining hall, making new friends over cold pizza and casual racism. Casual because my classmate doesn’t seem to be overtly prejudiced, and they’re definitely not aware of their faux pas. I shrug and inform them that
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anusha-subramanian_online

Do it for the ‘gram

Lost in Translation

There comes a point in every international student’s freshman semester when they have to make an overwhelmingly difficult decision — to post or not to post? After the initial radio silence on social media as you focus on fitting in, figuring out an academic schedule and life without your parents,
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abhishek-roy_online

Tip of the iceberg

Laid Bear

The crowd applauded loudly as the magician slowly slid a razor-sharp sword down his throat. The magician bowed as he finished the act by politely asking us for some money in return for the show. He tried to persuade us to tip by saying that he swallowed an entire sword
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anusha-subramanian_online

Only child but never alone

Lost in Translation

People often talk about the emotional trauma of being the middle child, or the struggle of living in the shadow of a successful sibling. But I don’t think the general population quite grasps the ordeal of going through your teenage years as an only child. Not to be overly dramatic,
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anusha-subramanian_online

The acquired accent

Lost in Translation

“Don’t you dare come back with a fake accent.” I snorted disdainfully at these emotional parting words from my best friend, skillfully covering up the anguish and self-doubt that was welling up inside me. It’s a true testament to the power of UC Berkeley’s impostor syndrome that I began to
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anusha-subramanian_online

Yes, I speak English

Lost in Translation

By the time Golden Bear Orientation finally ended and some kind of feeling began to creep back into my overtired muscles, I had practically developed a template for the conversations that I had with every new student. And it went something like this. First, I’d pick a personality. Who did
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abhishek-roy_online

Surviving on Flex

Laid Bear

Whether it’s buying groceries or calling an Uber, there is an unconscious effort to convert the price into rupees. I anxiously perform these conversions, often expecting an exorbitant price. Often I notice a fellow international student, from somewhere in Asia, pausing and looking at the price of a box of cookies or a packet of chips, perhaps performing the same dreadful calculations in their head.
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zobia-qurashi_-online

Learning first generation

Stories from the Book

There is no easy answer to those questions, just as there was no easy answer for me as I navigated being a first-generation Indian American growing up.
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