Unpopular opinion: I hate the holidays

Off the Beat

Content warning: Sexual assault and suicide As a child, the holidays were magical times filled with love and good food. It was the time of the year that I got to reconnect with family, creating memories that I would cherish until the next year brought new ones. The holidays meant
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Settled in myself

Off the Beat

Three summers ago, I stood in my neighborhood and watched a strip of fire burn on the distant mountainside across the San Fernando Valley. Last winter, we felt the threat of fire as dry winds blew our windows open and the Thomas Fire burned in nearby Ventura County. With each
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Families are not escape plans

Off the Beat

It feels odd to write my goodbye to Berkeley without having graduated yet. Next semester I will be braving the forces of an East Coast winter and moving to Washington, D.C. as part of the University of California, Washington Center internship program. My job search, much like other areas of
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Chasing dreams as a first-generation Pinay

Cal in Color

These spaces — spaces like UC Berkeley — were never created for people like me. Retention rates of Pilipinx students at UC Berkeley always frustrated me, but at times like these, I was numb to the idea of becoming a part of those statistics.
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What’s in a name?

Off the Beat

I realized our names don’t define us — instead we fill them with our own identities. My name has nothing to do with my dad and I’ve reclaimed it as mine. In the end, I’ve decided I don’t need to change my name. I’m happy with just making it my own.
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A half-white Christmas

Off the Beat

All I want for Christmas is to stop being asked what I am. As someone of multiracial heritage, navigating the concept of “otherness” prevents me from fully immersing myself in the festivities and experiences of my cultures.
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Fruitless conversations

Off the Beat

This moment with my cousin was memorable and valuable for both of us because these interactions with “the other side” are becoming fewer and fewer. The instant that we identify whether a person is a Democrat or a Republican, we often stop listening as we expect to learn nothing.
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When naughty is nice

Sex on Tuesday

I think the best gifts are things you know the recipient will love but that they would never go out and buy for themselves. For a lot of people, sex toys fit the bill.
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Making it through dead week

Off the Beat

Last semester, I did all my readings for one of my classes. I participated in class discussions, and I went above and beyond — surprising even myself — and found myself consistently in office hours. My work ethic made it seem like I had a steady grasp on the class. I understood
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Annals of Beauty

Miss Communication

There is an inconspicuous clinic on an unremarkable street lined with tall oak trees in which I spent the better part of an afternoon against my own good judgment and the advice of my close friends. I sat in a sterile waiting room — the walls were cream, the smell
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