Support independent, student-run journalism.

Your support helps give staff members from all backgrounds the opportunity to conduct meaningful reporting on important issues at Stanford. All contributions are tax-deductible.

The Young Adult Section: Zero and one

Last Wednesday, I attended the first week’s meeting of my history class discussion section. We started our 50 minutes with an innocent icebreaker, in which every student went up to the chalkboard, said their name and then wrote it down where their birthplace might be if the board were actually a map, albeit blank and borderless. We were supposed to reference where the students before us had placed their names and estimate where our own belonged.

The Young Adult Section: Vulnerability

Sometimes, all we want in the world from another person is a nod — reassurance that we aren’t alone. Sometimes, we just want our thoughts received, acknowledged and echoed back to us like they make sense and, yes, it’s okay. Normal. You’re fine. I understand. For as much as communication is about conveying information, it’s about confirming what we already think. This might explain our impulse to latch onto, in first encounters, “ME too!!!” or “I know, right?!” like conversational lifeboats. It’s that initial connection we constantly seek, even if we’re only at shallow shores of acquaintance.