GUEST ROOM | Demystifying Derailment

We all know someone who claims that they are a new person after some life change. Whether it’s a breakup, weight loss, switching majors or graduation, this person insists they are not who they used to be. Recently, psychologists have coined a new term to describe this trait: Derailment. Emerging research has demonstrated a close relationship between derailment and symptoms of depression, anxiety and more.

Derailment is defined as one’s “perceived changes in identity and self-direction.” It’s commonly viewed as a temporal discordance of the self, meaning that individuals high in derailment may have a hard time making meaningful connections between who they saw themselves as in the past and who they see themselves as now.

A Flavorful Celebration of Jewish Culinary Identities

Despite making up just about two percent of the U.S. population, Jews remain keepers of an incredibly varied culture. We see this first-hand in the wide range of Jewish identities which exist in America alone — an Israeli Jew may arrive in the U.S. cooking with chickpeas and pomegranates, only to balk at the copious amounts of “white food” which many Ashkenazi Jews consume. Likewise, latkes and gefilte fish may seem so intrinsically Jewish to these Eastern European Jewish communities that shunning them is to eschew Judaism entirely. Jewish culture is, therefore, dependent upon the interpreter’s own experiences, creating a collection of identities as varied as its people. Yet despite their differences, these groups unite themselves under the larger “Jewish” title, celebrating tradition and commitment to the community in similar ways: Through food.

CONTRERAS | Hecha en America

“But where are you really from?”: An insult disguised as a question. It implies that the recipient is not truly American, regardless of how they identified the first time the question was posed. I’ve been asked this question dozens of times since I started my undergraduate career. In my sophomore year, a classmate asked me where I was from, to which I simply replied, “Chicago.” This answer proved to be, of course, unsatisfactory. She continued to probe, asking me “where I’m really from” to which I replied, once more, “Chicago.”

Yet, she was determined.

PIETSCH | The Reality of Student Leadership

I once sat in on a college info session, where a stereotype named Jessica gushed about her love for the musicals she’d produced at her university. I don’t remember her major; I don’t remember the others who’d spoken on the panel; I don’t even remember the university where this took place. But I remember Jessica’s presumed willingness to die for her college, and the musically inclined students she led. I remember the life in her eyes when she described the fulfillment student leadership awarded her. It was a true college love story, which inspired and nauseated me simultaneously.