The Best Form of Validation
by Kai Arrowood
It was a typical winter Saturday in the 8th grade, and my family and I were walking home from dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant. I was wearing an oversized gray knit sweater, a hand-me-down from my grandpa. I was obsessed with oversized clothing that hid any curves.
More Than Surviving
by E.G. Grodzki
Being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 3 years old meant I never knew a life without the disease. I thought my experience was universal until one day in the third grade. As my best friend and I ran laps during recess, I was stunned by her effortless endurance.
Wrestling With Stereotypes
by Ushoshi Das
As we shake hands, I can feel the pressure on me. Like a mantra I repeat: Strong grip. Stern expression. Show him you’re serious. The whistle blows, and my mind goes blank. It’s just me and my opponent. As Coach says, if my head is really in the game, I shouldn’t even be able to hear the advice he’s shouting from the sidelines.
Arriving, Finally, As My Chosen Name
by Spencer Katz
I had recently cut my hair short for the first time. At school, a male friend saw me and said, “You look like a boy,” and it felt validating, especially coming from a boy. Then, it started to click that maybe I wasn’t the girl I thought I was.
Falling in Love for the First Time
My senior year started out amazing. I was on top of all my work, getting the best scores I could get, and making new friends. I was about to become the second person in my family to graduate high school. Adding to my excitement, I also met a girl who sat next to me in English class.
Learning About Feminism in the U.S.
by Marin Yamaguchi
In Japan, most mothers stay home with their children. I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about this—I assumed I would be a mom who stayed home with her kids too. But after I moved to New York City from Tokyo, I noticed that most moms work.