Ryan Introspection 4
The famous Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, Ireland.
Ryan Introspection 1
Ryan with his parents and younger brother, Alan, at a cousin’s wedding reception earlier this spring.
Learning to Fail
Is it vulnerable or honest about the reality of being at this school? Or is it playing to an aesthetic standard of what a Harvard student is supposed to be: personality, friendships, and academic success, all in one? These performances feed into a perception, however misguided, of students at Harvard and other elite universities as universally capable and flawless super-students, without even the possibility of failure.
A Senior’s River Run
Ever since I got to Harvard, I’ve wanted to make my time as “normal” as possible to correct for the abnormality in my path to this institution.
I wanted to appeal to admissions officers in the way that my classmates were — by writing about our trauma — without really exposing myself.
Once you get into the sardine groove, it’s hard to go back.
Beneath the Stars and Planets
Curiosity and skepticism for what really dwells in space are what initially captured my interest in astrophysics, and I decided then, at nine years old, that I could imagine a life studying astronomy.
Revelations in Rebuilding
What I’d intended as an outpouring of vulnerability, she’d seen as an ability to overcome adversity.
Even after filling up a notebook and a half, I didn’t know myself at all, and I certainly couldn’t know myself in 650 words.
Zadie Smith Saw This Coming
Yet as I read “On Beauty,” her wonder of a 2005 novel, I couldn’t shake the one central mystery it posed: does Harvard by any other name sound as sweet?
The Fish that Loved Me
Sardines were there for me when no one else was.
How do I reconcile these complicated histories with the kind of future I’m aspiring toward?
Zadie Smith 1
Before I saw Harvard through my own eyes, I saw it through Zadie Smith’s.
A Manufactured Metamorphosis
The new version of myself I’d created no longer belonged to me.