It’s not wrong to think hard work will earn us some reward. But overestimating it can be a problem.

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Photo by Mathieu Stern on Unsplash

Leaving university and entering “the world of work” can be a difficult transition for many of us. I may not have the authority or experience to tell people what the right choices are to make now, but I thought I’d share some words on career anxiety, since I, for one, am no stranger to it.

Going to a prestigious university means you often come across people who are afraid of failure. People who are afraid of not getting an internship, a graduate role, or getting a first-class degree. It’s fairly common sense to know that this is because we associate these things with our own self-worth. …


I feel that the BJP neither has any prominent Sikh face to represent it, nor do they have anyone who can show a major one in upcoming elections.

This piece was written by Manseerat Kaur Bachhal, and was originally published on COSY.LAND.

The Indian government is paving the way for corporations to take over the lands of farmers in India. My future feels black. I’m frightened that I won’t be able to do farming on my own ancestral land, because the corporations will force me to sell it to them. We are all fighting for our survival.

Half a dozen of my family members are out there protesting. It’s deeply affecting Gen Z, watching the illegal ways the people we care about being treated by the government.

I have lost my faith in democracy, or that its possible to live in a free and fair way. It has shattered all my innocence, hopes and aspirations in a very wild way. It’s nearly impossible for me to study or even focus on my textbook, because when I open it, nothing else comes to mind but glimpses of those shaking hands, and worried eyes fighting for basic rights they’ve worked hard for their whole lives. …


“Oh wow. She looks like one of those Japanese dolls.”

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That’s one of my first memories, gazing up at my mother’s friends who ooh-ed and ahhh-ed over my perfect, silky black hair. They were all white.

“Say thank you,” my mother instructed, and I immediately obliged, even though we were Taiwanese. I was only a kid, but I knew this was weird. They were giving me compliments, but they were all based solely on my looks. And they were saying I was different. And I didn’t want to be different.

I showed my mother a photo of what I wanted to look like. We were one of very few non-white families living in a small, New Jersey suburb, and I wanted to be like the blonde girls I saw in Bon Jovi videos. …


“You are lucky,” my mom always told me, “You don’t have an accent like us. You don’t speak with bad grammar or broken English.”

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Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

One of my immigrant mother’s deepest fears was that I would end up in ESL (English as a second language) remedial classes, despite being born in the US. I remember when I transferred to a new elementary school for first grade, the school made me undergo an English assessment. My mom was furious.

Out of fear that my English abilities would be questioned, she had already taught me to read at a second or third grade level. …


This story is available to read for free on COSY.LAND.

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It’s a fictional label, but looks pretty cool.

As we all know, the Coronavirus pandemic has detrimented so many areas of modern life. But I believe mental health services may have been neglected the most, particularly in the UK.

Speaking to some friends, I learned that the waiting list to have an initial enquiry with a councillor through the NHS had been eight months.

This was a frightening fact for me, considering just how many of us have experienced problems with our mental illness this year. Even worse, I thought, for those who are suspectible to suicide having to wait that long. …


An unfiltered letter to my parents.

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Photo by Kyle Caraher on Unsplash

There’s so much I want to say, but I don’t think that the words needed to truly express myself exist. Despite living under the same roof with the two of you for almost my whole life, I still don’t know who either one of you is, nor do you know who I am.

As a little girl, I always remembered wanting to be in your arms because I was scared of the world. I feared the late sounds of bullets being fired and soaring helicopters outside our barricaded home. I feared the way he would touch me when no one was looking. The way he told me that he loved me. …


A problematic self-flagellating phenomenon by well-intentioned allies.

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In the wake of protests rippling throughout America, as people realize the harm their actions have, I’ve seen new cis/white/straight allies go out of their way to apologize for their previous actions that were homophobic, racist, sexist, or transphobic directly to people with marginalized identities.

I’ve seen white men post Facebook statuses about how they “used to be” part of the “racist problem.” I’ve seen novel-length apology posts about how folks want to repent for their past sins, calling for forgiveness from the community that was the target of their past transgressions. …


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Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Making a seemingly impossible leap in my diet and reaping surprising realisations.

This story is available to read for free on COSY.LAND.

Last year, I made a thorough analysis of my lifestyle habits. Despite seeming like a healthy and functioning adult, it appeared that I was silently addicted to a lot of things I didn’t realise.

Reading more about how addiction generally worked by triggering dopamine, leaving one with a relinquished thirst for “more, more, MORE!”, I began to address each one of my possible addictions. …


I grew up in Pittsburgh in a white family who taught me to identify as white. Only at age 27 did I learn that I had a Black biological father.

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Photo Courtesy of Pexels

As a mixed-race woman who has internalized racism and white privilege, I undertook the journey of integrating an identity that felt “other” but at the same time spoke truth to experiences I had always known but failed to recognize. I have felt shame and guilt for having bought into my family’s lie, for passing, and for distancing myself from the few African Americans in my community.

In middle school, two of my Black classmates approached me and asked if I wanted to join their group. They didn’t say “group of Black students,” but I knew what they meant. I said no. Their recognition of our shared identity made me uncomfortable because I had been taught to see Blackness as “less than.” The white me couldn’t risk being associated with them. …


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Rabhi Bisla, a California-based international trauma expert, has been leading conversations of community healing this Ramadan. Amidst rising levels of anxiety in the current social and economic climate, she opened a space for communities and hearts across the nation to heal. I was surprised not just by how much I had learned in that one session but also by how much I resonated with women I barely knew and of the power naming our struggles held.

Before the Circle

I received an invite to join a virtual healing space called Qalb Convos or Heart Conversations. I didn’t know what to expect, as I’ve never attended a healing circle, let alone through Zoom. Before the circle began, I was required to watch an intro video and fill out a form, thereby allowing me to enter with renewed intentions and feeling more invested in the group. …

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