Opinion pieces and vignettes

This page highlights the articles I've published with the Pitt News. Topics display a wide range of subjects, from local based topics, to global, cultural, and social issues. I often like to analyze controversial current events and offer a unique spin on the issue. 

Opinion | Pandemic facilitates deeper virtual connections

During the COVID-19 pandemic, though, most people don’t have the luxury of meeting someone organically in a classroom, in a bar or even casually in the streets. Masks hardly set the mood, and social distancing arguably kills it. Not only are physical relationships restricted, but emotional connection is hard to find because of the isolation and stagnancy that has consumed everyone’s lives. Thus, many young adults have turned to online dating — and surprisingly found it rather successful. This has taken an emphasis off of hookup culture and forced people to actually get to know each other by forming an initial connection through virtual communication.

Opinion | Don’t let self-care overshadow caring for others

Daily walks, evening meditation, weekly therapy — as life in quarantine persists, many people’s lives and social media feeds have been taken over by a new emphasis on self-improvement and individualism. Mental health and personal growth should remain a priority, especially since the winter months and potential third wave of COVID-19 are approaching. But the fact of the matter remains that there is still a global pandemic, and not everyone is flourishing in this new state. Thus, it’s important to continue to check in on friends and family members and make others an equal priority to yourself — the two don’t need to be mutually exclusive.

Opinion | Counterpoint: Schools should bring students back to campus in the fall

Since stay-at-home orders were put in place, domestic violence has skyrocketed, and the mental health of many Americans has plummeted. If students are trapped at home, those who have less fortunate living situations will not be given the same opportunity to reach their full potential. Pitt has irreplaceable resources such as free tutoring, a food pantry, access to nutritionists and free health and counseling services. Many students have never used these resources and may not even know they exist. But for other students, these services are vital to their academic performance. Throughout the last few months, COVID-19 has revealed the cracks in our country and the urgency to have better doctors, researchers and government officials. By putting a halt to higher education, institutions will only delay the next generation of this country’s leaders.

Opinion | Dispatches from home: Winter break vignettes

A few days before I was set to leave for Europe this winter break, the U.K. consulate informed me that my visa application to study abroad was rejected due to faulty fingerprints. So instead of reuniting with my family abroad, I spent 10 days in what felt like a re-enactment of “Home Alone” while my family wined and dined in Europe for the holidays. At the end of the 10 days, I was eager to reunite with my family so I gave up my New Year’s Eve plans and drove to Newark Airport, only to crash my car. I then witnessed a shooting during the three hours I spent waiting at a major intersection for the cops to arrive. This may seem like a rough start to the new year. But on the bright side, no one broke into my home, the U.K. approved my second visa application and I emerged unscathed from a car crash.

Opinion | Refuel without repercussions

The final exam period often evokes extreme and irrational behavior from college students. Desperate to do anything for the grade, students often pull all-nighters, scavenge for unprescribed stimulants, skip meals to save time and push themselves to emotional breakdowns. And while I’ve always been intrigued by Machiavellian ideologies, when it comes to these strategies, the ends don’t necessarily justify the means. Below, I’ve listed five methods that can help students relax without a hangover, and refuel without facing the negative repercussions of sleep deprivation and excessive caffeine.

Opinion | Thanksgiving break is hardly a break

As a true foodie, I spend half the year looking forward to Thanksgiving’s turkey and stuffing — but the endless pile of books and five essay rubrics in front of me made my favorite meal of the year slightly harder to enjoy this time around. When Pitt initially removed its annual fall break — a three-day October weekend — and replaced it with a week-long Thanksgiving break, I was ecstatic about the schedule change. The five-hour drive home to New Jersey was always a hassle for a weekend trip, and a week-long Thanksgiving break sounded like the pre-finals relaxation getaway that I knew I would need. Unfortunately, while a week-long break feels much-needed, that’s hardly what professors have granted students this week. Not only has the week enhanced stress levels, but as Pitt is one of the few colleges with a break this lengthy, it’s also inconvenient.

Opinion | “Call Her Daddy” podcast entertains and degrades

The first time I listened to the “Call Her Daddy” podcast, I was utterly appalled by both the profanity and absurdity of the ideas that the show was overtly promoting. And yet, the blunt and provocative nature of vloggers Alexandra Cooper and Sofia Franklyn has given the Barstool podcast a five-star rating. While Cooper and Franklyn may have cracked the code of the so-called “daddy game,” women should take this advice with a grain of salt. Women might benefit more from a game that they create and write their own rules to — one that doesn’t abide by the aloof standards that certain men of the 21st century have regimented into the modern dating culture.

Opinion | Using social media for social change

In wake of the devastating Amazon fires, it seems like Instagram users have picked up a new trend of posting climate-related articles and memos to their stories. This is not the first time social media has been used as a platform to spread awareness of political or social issues. When it comes to climate change, we do not have time to read every detail and educate ourselves on all of the science — and to assume that we do is presumptuous and overly ambitious. With that said, social media can spread the word and enact change, it’s just a matter of avenue.

Opinion | Summer of creativity: vignettes from summer break

My summer consisted of working at a political research center during the morning, sunbathing at the beach in the afternoon and discovering the variety of Tel Aviv nightlife in the evenings. While the experience sounds incredible, and it was, there were obviously setbacks. Aside from a cockroach infestation and tarantula sighting in my apartment, I also struggled to cover expenses for an entire summer abroad, had to adapt to cultural differences, dealt with a language barrier and put up with the distance from my close family and friends for months. With that being said, I would not change anything about my creative experiences and am forever grateful for the life lessons it taught me and the way it allowed for me to grow.

Opinion: It’s OK to move back home after college

While having to search for a job after graduation is stressful on its own, there’s also the looming fear of having to move back home. More graduates are choosing to move back home than ever. A record 36% of college seniors were expected to move back home for at least a year upon college graduation in 2016. Despite their good reason to do so, there is a lingering stigma of laziness and failure that surrounds those who do. Moving back home after college does not equate to failure, and it shouldn’t be perceived this way. On the contrary, it is often the most realistic choice for a student who is trying to save money and work to pay off loans.

Opinion | Anti-hate resolution overshadows anti-Semitism

After an outpour of criticism in response to the inflammatory comments of Representative Omar, the Democratic party constructed a resolution to condemn the anti-Semitic comments. While the resolution began as a direct response to Omar’s anti-Semitism, it quickly transgressed into a wishy-washy general prerogative to abstain from all forms of hatred, and doesn’t do enough to acknowledge and denounce the anti-Semitic rhetoric that’s recently been used in Congress. While enforcing a rejection of racism and discrimination in the government is commendable, it simultaneously overshadows anti-Semitism by not addressing the issue specifically and exclusively.

Opinion | Debate and Disney: Vignettes from spring break

Upon arriving in Florida for spring break, my phone inexplicably lost service for the next six days. After a week of strenuous midterms, this was the last thing I wanted to spend time worrying about. While I was initially concerned, the problem turned out to be exactly what I needed. My next few days were full of utter relaxation as a result of being completely disconnected from everyone else. What began as a catastrophic nightmare actually turned into an unforgettable adventure — and a much needed break. In fact, I encourage everyone to start their next vacation by turning their phone off — it’s worth it.

Opinion | Tinder: 1 star

When I was younger, I grew up with a story of romance, in which someone would jump on a Ferris wheel for me, write 365 letters and build me a house. With social media, love is not quite as romantic. Technology has seemingly transformed the traditional concept of dating into a game of swiping left and right. The easier communication becomes, the more options are available, and as a result fewer young people are entering serious relationships. Not only has dating become detached from romance, but it is also becoming less common. With no shortage of virtual options, people can simply play the field rather than seriously pursue one partner.

Opinion | The immorality of romanticizing a serial killer

Ted Bundy is infamous for the brutal abuse, assault and murder of 36 women in the Midwest in the 1970s — although there is reason to suspect there are more unknown victims. While this is not recent news, the serial killer is back in the spotlight. Netflix recently produced a documentary on his life and a trailer was just released for “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile,” a dramatized version of his life starring Zac Efron. However, rather than expose the actions of a psychopathic criminal, the movie is trending all over social media because of Bundy’s good looks and supposed charm. While it is acceptable to show his double-sided character and investigate his story, it is unsettling that his story has opened up space for appraisal and such skewed romanticism.

Opinion | Women’s March fails its principles

The 2017 Women’s March was aimed at inclusion and equality of women from all backgrounds and ethnicities. Yet recent anti-Semitic allegations pointed toward the group’s leaders have fractured the movement that was originally intended to amplify support and empower all women. In a time that prioritizes the inclusion and equality of women, it is crucial that women do not fight sexism with racism and religious discrimination— an avenue that will only increase division of women and alienate supporters of the movement. If women activists seek to create a worldly atmosphere in which they share equal rights as men, they need to regard each other with the same level of respect and consideration they expect from others.

Opinion | Pa to Paris: Vignettes from winter break

After a week of all-nighters, my winter break began with another sleepless evening as I boarded my seven-hour red-eye to Paris. Nonetheless, the jet lag did not phase my sister and I because we were returning to our second home. This made every moment we did spend in our family’s country even more sentimental. Despite our everlasting jet-lag and another crammed seven-hour flight with double the amount of luggage we had when we left, my sister and I felt more rejuvenated than ever. Revisiting our family and place of origin was the best holiday gift we could ask for.

Community support necessary to recover

This past Saturday, 11 people were murdered during morning services at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill, a highly populated Jewish area in Pittsburgh. Six others were severely injured in the attack. But despite the horrific anti-Semitic attack on the community, I do not feel like my pride or openness in being Jewish has changed in any way. Whereas other hate-motivated crimes may leave a community fearful to continue their practices, this one did not make me feel any less secure to be a Jew in Pittsburgh.

Bill Cosby gets away with a slap on the wrist

When Andrea Constand charged Bill Cosby, “America’s Dad,” with sexual assault, the country reacted fiercely. Droves of celebrities took to Twitter — some denounced the former sitcom star while others defended him. While Cosby’s sentence is in some ways a victory — it acknowledges he’s guilty — it’s not a sufficient punishment for someone who violently assaulted dozens of women. This incentivizes men in power to continue behaving inappropriately because when it comes to prosecution, they still have the upper hand.
Load More Articles