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I'm a coffee addict through and through. Every morning, I make my way to the kitchen, where I prepare a latte with fresh grounds, mix up some cold brew using my carafe and my favorite oat milk creamer, or, rarely, pour a plain old cup of hot coffee from the pot.
Content warning: This piece describes instances of sexual violence and harassment and links to firsthand accounts of these instances, which can be disturbing or triggering for some readers. Please find resources listed at the bottom of the article.
For many people, especially Penn students, imposter syndrome—feelings of self–doubt and equating yourself to a fraud—is not a novel concept. In fact, it’s been recognized by psychologists since 1978. Imposter syndrome can present itself at any time, whether you're in college or well into your career: A review published by the International Journal of Behavioral Science estimates that around 70% of people will deal with it at some point in their lives.
Philadelphia is no stranger to greenery. Whether you're strolling through Rittenhouse Square or picking up flowers from the Saturday farmers' market, Philly is the perfect city for those with green thumbs—especially considering the city's abundance of plant shops. With COVID–19 limiting opportunities for business, many houseplant hobbyists feared our favorite stores would be on the brink of closure. But three local plant shops have experienced quite the opposite outcome as they expand their businesses into larger spaces.
For the past year, COVID–19 has forced us to adapt to new precautionary guidelines, health protocols, and social pressures. One of the newfound pressures that has developed is the idea that we should be ordering meals to our homes because it's safer—whether that comes in the form of getting groceries delivered with InstaCart or eating takeout via Uber Eats or DoorDash. This seems like a convenient way to minimize the risk of spreading COVID–19 at grocery stores or restaurants. At the beginning of the pandemic, we saw a slew of articles advocating for the use of delivery services to combat COVID–19 and support restaurants. But for many people, including myself, this push for delivery highlights income inequality and ethical concerns.
Multi–billionaire and former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos stepped down from his post a little over a month ago—but don't let that distract you from the fact that the company's striking issues still persist. A recent company–wide boycott of Amazon has reignited the conversation about Amazon's exploitive practices.
It's 6:30 a.m. on a frigid winter day. I hear that stereotypical iPhone alarm tone blast, meaning it's time for me to pull myself out of bed and prepare for another day of high school. Not to my surprise, amid my rushed morning routine, I struggle to choose what to wear for the day. Attempting to balance my desire to wear clothing that I like with my insecurities, I settle on a warm flannel, jeans, and my favorite beat–up Nike Air Force 1s.
Have you ever gotten coffee and noticed that the cup has the phrase "100% compostable" in green lettering? Or gone to your favorite department store and noticed a new, 'eco–friendly' line of clothing? If so, you've likely fallen victim to greenwashing—the corporate go–around to sustainability.
A few months ago, I visited a quaint bookstore near my hometown in central Pennsylvania. The shelves were packed to the brim with both new and used books. The air smelled like a fusion of fresh and old paper. There were also several cats roaming the space, which I can only imagine brightened the faces behind everyone's masks. I checked out once I picked a few gardening almanacs. The cashier asked me if I wanted a bag, and I declined because I had no problem carrying a few books in my hands. She quickly exclaimed that for every time a customer declines a bag, the store donates some money into a fund for local foster cats. It made my day.
Productivity is the quality of effectively bringing about something. Whether your version is checking off all of your tasks for the day, or feeling dread because you think you’re not doing enough, productivity plays a huge role in your life.
I’m hunched over my desk with blue–light glasses on my face, staring at my computer screen for my weekly environmental science recitation. The TA puts us in breakout rooms, and one of my classmates points out my background—an indoor jungle full of luscious foliage and tranquility. “You have, like, a lot of plants,” they remark, in what I assume was an attempt to ease the awkwardness of our virtual ‘turn to your partner and discuss’ task.