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LEUNG | We Can Still Go, Even If You Like Me

A red carpet stretches across the room. Wooden sticks, maybe five feet long, are placed in groups of six on top of it. As we walk the expanse of the room, we contemplate the meaning of these rather enlarged sticks, watching as they alternate in fullness and parts. Most people would roll their eyes at this concept of art, others, like us, are in awe that we are a part of it. Dia:Beacon is a museum of art that houses works from the 1960s to present.

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LEUNG | Avoiding the Void

 

I still remember how ecstatic I was when I landed an opinion column my first semester at Cornell — an over-eager, naive, freshman who was still unsure about her purpose and existence in Ithaca had made it into the newspaper! The future looked bright. And if you’ve followed my journey these last few years, then I applaud your voracity, commitment, support and skepticism. Because you, like me, are most likely still trying to figure out what the hell you’re doing with whatever you’ve been given. Three years later, and I am nowhere closer to finding the answers I sought so eagerly when I was a freshman.

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LEUNG | Scholastic Nostalgia

When I was in elementary school, I remember how excited I got about Scholastic book fairs. I don’t know when they happened, or for how long. I only remember entering the auditorium I usually hated going to — it reminded me of long lectures by the principal on useless topics such as, “You must stay on the playground during recess — or else,” or “Chocolate milk won’t be available for lunch anymore — don’t ask” and browsing through the dozens of new, glossy books selected for us. And the little bits they sold; I went crazy for them. The tiny, colorful erasers and wall-sized posters seemed like the coolest things at the time.

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LEUNG | Not Just Your Resume

At 1:44 p.m. last Wednesday, I made an executive decision. For the next three hours, I sat with other students, feeding off the energy of the room and, occasionally, the free popcorn I realized I hadn’t been taking more advantage of. I sent an email to my professor on why I couldn’t make it to class and regretted not feeling sorry. The decision wasn’t difficult, but I owe it to my sophomore year English professor. No matter what we discussed in her class, we were grounded by our feelings; we were students studying texts, but we were not purely analytical beings who were detached from emotional connections.

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LEUNG | You Can Grow Up Now

If I could, I would tell Helen of Troy I’m sorry she had the face that launched a thousand ships. Because I had the shirt that launched a thousand other things, and none of them were that pleasant. It was a simple white T-shirt; one with the outline of two boobs (two half circles and two dots). I thought it was simplistic, minimalist and far from graphic; just a fun way to support the “Free the Nipple” campaign and female empowerment. I had seen it on websites such as Etsy, ROMWE and Shein, but when I saw it hanging up in a small store in New York City, I knew it was my chance.

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LEUNG | It’s My Aura, I Can Do What I Want

It was hot, like only the city can be. The kind of hot that keeps you crossing to the other side of the street to find shade the buildings create just to realize you have to cross back over a minute later. And you can’t help but feel absolutely dragged down by the mixture of heat from the subway and the hordes of people passing by and the blazing sun that makes your skin feel like it’s been stuck in an oven, but it’s the city and what are you supposed to do — stop? No, you keep going. So it was one of those days.

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LEUNG | The Era of Not Knowing

But college is such a confined place where so much happens every day, whether that’s because of the proximity of so many students or the exposure to so many new things at once. Our self-growth is sped up in this four-year experience; it can be difficult, but it’s something I’m already grateful for.

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LEUNG | For What It Is

A whole Great Gatsby affair comes to mind when I think about the ’20s. The glorified notion of the time of prohibition, symbolized by speakeasies and flappers. Or when I think of the ’60s, it’s Woodstock and hippies that come to mind, complete with colorful Volkswagen vans and the Beatles. It seems like human nature to categorize these time periods. We find specific objects or events to describe an entire era, so that when we look back on a particular decade, a specific image comes to mind.

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LEUNG | The Lives of Others

It’s not exactly as if we’re developing deep relationships with the people we sit next to in class everyday, or the ones we spend long rides with. But at the same time, we experience a brief connectedness with others that almost seems tangible. We get a little sliver of another person’s life through the ways we unknowingly communicate — stolen glances, quick observations, short exchanges. These interactions we have with others, on the subway, in the hallways, in a large lecture class or on a plane, show how little we know about others’ lives — we only catch a small glimpse of something we aren’t completely sure of, but can attempt to know and understand.

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LEUNG | More Than This

Sunday morning I found myself in a coffee shop on North Cayuga street. My notes for an art history exam laid on the table. My iPhone 6s was charging and I checked it periodically to scroll through Instagram or check my email. I sat with my earphones in and some soft tunes playing. The contrast of this outside representation of being calm, cool and collected made me want to laugh, for my mind was raging.