I still know that a bowl of apple and pear slices or washed grapes and blueberries are a symbol of home and my mom and grandma’s unspoken expression of love.

By Sophia Ling

Yet too often, the closer you are to the margins, the more your story is left untold.

By Brammhi Balarajan

I will once again watch as blue stains the pillars, and I will thank her — for teaching me that rituals are not a promise, and that writing cures all heartache.

By Sophia Peyser

From glances at my clothes to jokes about how much I knew about Islam made me question whether I’d ever feel welcomed as a Muslim.

By Sara Khan

The struggle didn’t end with color: blunt and chin-length, long and layered, I never found a style that I thought suited me. If I hated my hair, what was the harm in getting rid of it all?

By Ada Demling

My Colombian family lovingly teases me by calling me “gringa,” or American, and though they say it with a playful grin on their faces, the word is a bitter reminder of my lack of belonging.

By Dani Parra del Riego

Life is just one big Google Doc and all of the former edits are stored safely in your memory just in case you need them.

By Ali Barlow

Every rejection or acceptance reminds me of how I need to have double the qualifications of my American friends to even have a chance of receiving an offer.

By Rhea Gupta

The most effective way of understanding others — or trying to do so — is to realize it is impossible to be categorized and defined by one group or label. Even the most common labels can contradict each other, such as being labeled lazy and driven simultaneously.

By Sara Perez

I appreciate the Fishers, the Lilys, the Bens and all the others who’ve helped me wrestle with life’s troubles, whether over a game of MarioKart, cooking pasta in their dorm or sharing a simple cup of tea.

By Demetrios Mammas

I’m scared of becoming so far removed from my culture that people talk behind my back and call me “white-washed,” that my own family refers to me as “American” and that I have no knowledge of who I am besides those six years where I was Chinese.

By Sophia Ling

I encourage myself to acknowledge the harsh reality behind Indigenous communities and to treat Indigenous culture as part of my ancestors’ lives rather than a distant exotic reality.

By Martinna Roldan

Ironically, the puzzles that began as a distraction also became my teachers, helping me to understand that real world problems also need to be solved slowly, piece by piece.

By Maya Rezak

Not only was I wholly unprepared for the displacement from the normative narrative of “girl meet boy” that my society and religion had fed me for so long, but I also experienced it all in a strange new land. 

By Catherine Aniezue