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Serena Zhang

Falling out of your comfort zone

At this point in my life, I don’t really consider myself an expert at anything. Sure, I’m vaguely knowledgeable about certain topics: Broadway musicals, mahjong and making dumplings. I’m even good at a few things too, such as writing, getting by on less than five hours of sleep a night and eating dumplings. Although I…

The honest ‘college experience’

It’s a Friday evening. I’m lying in bed, phone in hand, my readings for class spread out next to me. They’ve conveniently slipped my mind for the past half hour, and I’m just about to pay them some heed when I suddenly remember the photo I posted on Instagram yesterday. Guess my work will have…

The not-so-super sexism in superhero movies

There’s something irresistible about superhero movies — they’re fun, jam-packed with action and all-around pretty light-hearted. They’re box-office hits, having perfected the recipe to keeping audiences engaged time and time again, even when it’s a story they know they’ve heard before. There is, however, one big, ugly blemish on that otherwise spotless veneer: how superhero…

Sad sells

Today, I found out that an artist I follow on social media committed suicide. In fact, she ended her life one month ago, on Oct. 1, and I only found out now because I happened to come across one of her old posts. I didn’t know her that well. She was someone whose vision and work…

Crying wolf

“Petals off a Peony,” the title of my biweekly column, refers to my mother’s hometown of Luoyang, China, which is known as the City of Peonies. A single working mother and immigrant, she is the most incredible person I know. Everything I write is for her. October is here, bringing with it tortuous midterms, cheesy…
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