Club Penguin may well be the new Hinge, at least for Janet Hernandez ’24 and Charles E. Neuhauser ’24.
At the beginning of quarantine — the 15th of March to be exact — the two of them hopped on a group call for early admits. Torn from the pages of any classic love story, Hernandez caught Neuhauser’s eye from across a crowded Zoom.
Coming to college, coping with eating concerns and body image issues was harder than it was in high school, but spending a long period at home after having already been at college for nearly two years was even more difficult.
For most of high school and my first year at Harvard, I had convinced myself that I was fully recovered from the eating disorder I had initially been diagnosed with as an eight-year-old. I believed mental illness was a relic of my pre-adolescence. Through hard work and support, I had escaped its grasps. However, this enticing narrative, this perfectionist’s view of recovery, has only prevented me from being honest with myself about my own emotions and behaviors, ensnaring me in a silence that COVID-19 has exacerbated.
Red and blue campaign signs compete against the fading yellow and greens of Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains, where Davis J. Tyler-Dudley ’21 and his blockmates are spending the semester. In between school work and extracurriculars, the group spends any free moment available participating in campaign and voter registration phone banks.
Immersed in this ever-present political scenery, most of them will be casting their ballots this fall in a swing state. Tyler-Dudley has observed “a lot of distrust” in both government and institutions more broadly.
October 6, 2020, 10:50 a.m. — I sit uncomfortably perched on the top steps of Widener Library, large J.P. Licks coffee in hand, and begin to observe my surroundings.
I once jumped out of a plane, falling freely, briefly terrified, immersed in a cushion of air, an unparalleled view of the ground, my parachute firmly in place.
An entanglement of unrivaled freedom, risk, and fear makes free-fall exhilarating: defying convention, embracing the moment, while knowing the odds favor your landing safely.