lifestyle

Doing the Northeastern Shuffle

By Catherine Titcomb
Photography courtesy of Unsplash.com

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Every college campus experiences some degree of fluidity as students come and go, whether to transfer in or out, graduate, or study abroad. This is emphasized at Northeastern largely because of the co-op program, and the phenomenon has earned its own name, the “Northeastern Shuffle.”

N.U.i.n Fall and Spring, out-of-state and country co-ops, co-op cycles and studying abroad affects friendships, relationships and rooming situations. As soon as a student settles, half of their friends leave. However, many Northeastern students believe the fluid campus is what makes the university so unique, and should be seen as an asset.

Lucy Hoffman, a second year student, argued that Northeastern “helps to create an atmosphere where there is always someone new to talk to with an amazing experience and insight to share.” People leave to experience wildly different things, and come back to share their knowledge with their peers, contributing to an socially aware and worldly student body.

Rachel Sigel, another second year, said that the changes often “make it difficult to maintain close relationships with students and faculty.” Friends, research partners and network connections are some of the most valuable takeaways from college, and Northeastern’s constant state of change can make it difficult to establish and maintain relationships.

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At the risk of sounding like a commercial for experiential learning, most students cite the co-op program as a reason for their attendance at Northeastern. However, because of co-op students have at most two years and at least a year and a half of classes before being thrown into the workforce, forcing them to adopt a new routine. The shift from classes to work forces students to learn flexibility, be uncomfortable, learn quickly and build a new network of peers.

I applied to Northeastern because I wanted to have a typical college experience in Boston as well as gain career experience. My acceptance letter told me I would have to spend my first semester abroad, which was the last thing I wanted. I wanted the freshmen floor friends, dining halls and sports games that my friends would be experiencing. I decided to sacrifice this idealistic tableau of my first semester at college for the next four and a half years at my dream school. Now, I cannot imagine freshman year without the friends I made in Greece through the traveling and the memories. My perfect college plan was interrupted from the start because of Northeastern, but the way it worked out prepared me for future location changes on co-op and taught me that allowing change pays off. This flexible mental state is necessary to survive at Northeastern, and is also essential for success and happiness in life.

Accepting flux at Northeastern is a step towards accepting flux in the world. Nothing is more inevitable than change, yet people never expect it. Relying on stagnation and permanence for our happiness leads to hurt.

In his novel Looking for Alaska, John Green references the Buddhist teaching that desire causes suffering and interprets it as, “When you stopped wishing things wouldn’t fall apart, you’d stop suffering when they did.” Both small and drastic changes happen throughout life, and being open to this flux frees one to accept every aspect of life, even if it turns out to be different than what was dreamed or planned for. The Northeastern shuffle causes students to expect change and learn to be flexible, which proves valuable even out of the context of campus.

It is this flux that continues throughout our lives that make life interesting. Despite the pain and confusion it can sometimes cause, change adds variety and combats boredom. This makes it a vital aspect of fashion. For many, picking out a different outfit everyday is one of the best parts of the day. In the fashion industry, designers must embrace flux because the industry relies on newness in collections, techniques, and trends. Rapid change in the fashion industry makes it an example of the beauty of flux and an argument for embracing change. Flux makes fashion interesting, it makes Northeastern interesting and it makes life interesting.

Loving: Race and the Modern American Couple

By Melissa Wells
Photographed by Catherine Argyrople

This article has been adapted for the web from our Intimacy Issue.

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There is a type of love that is on the rise, no longer illegal or taboo but still seen as unusual: the love between people of different races. In part due to growing public acceptance on a generational level, the modern couple of today is more and more likely to be interracial.

Loving beyond boundaries is an act that may have seemed radical, even unfathomable once, but is changing America nonetheless. Progress, at any rate, should be celebrated. But as much as America has evolved, so have the manners in which racism, sexism and homophobia thrive within American society. With society advocating for same-sex love, navigating the modern dating scene and changing the ways love is represented in the media, conversations concerning interracial relationships are pushed to the side. People assume that the challenges interracial relationships face have been overcome, but it is now that the conversation is more important than ever.

Despite how common multiracial and multiethnic relationships and families have become, many in this country would refuse to enter a relationship with someone outside of their race. Surveys across the country show that intermarriage sees support, but different ethnic and racial communities throughout the United States tend to oppose racial mixing, especially within one’s own family.

This segregation also lends itself to socially acceptable discrimination within modern dating. Men and women alike cite racial stereotypes and/or struggles of dating someone outside of one’s race to justify their personal preference for dating within “their own", yet citing that same reasoning for why one wouldn’t want a neighbor of color is unacceptable. In other words, both are discriminatory and should be equally unacceptable in American society.

Although same-sex dating is slowly becoming more accepted in America, it is still informed by the same systems that create racism in heterosexual people. To be in both an interracial and same-sex relationship is particularly meaningful as it challenges American society to confront how it views same-sex relationships on top of narrow-minded notions regarding racial divisions.

Interracial couples intrinsically counter antiquated social attitudes, yet the popular assumption is that multiracial children are the antithesis of white supremacy. A clear example of this was when Chrissy Teigen emerged seemingly victorious from a Twitter spat with neo-Nazi Richard Spencer for the mere fact that she had a “black/Asian/white baby.” But upholding multiraciality as the antithesis of racism allows racism to thrive, a sentimentality evoked by mothers of multiracial families within the media like Ellen Pompeo and Chrissy Teigen. Moreover, both are quick to applaud their children meanwhile reinforcing racial misconceptions and tropes.

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In this transition from colorblind to culturally “woke,” Sheryll Cashin believes interracial love plays a role in saving America: “From blindness to sight, from anxiety to familiarity...love can make people do uncomfortable things...Culturally dexterous people have an enhanced capacity for intimate connections with people outside their own [race], for recognizing and accepting difference rather than pretending to be colorblind. And if one undertakes the effort, the process is never-ending.”

White supremacy cannot be removed from all the aspects of life it permeates by the mere diversification of the American populace. However, those who pursue interracial intimacy provide America’s greatest hope for racial understanding.

Racism may be both persistent and adaptable, but heterosexual and homosexual interracial couples provide the changed narrative needed to challenge it: their existence forces people to confront how their love transcends entrenched ignorance. Teaching cultural competency, fostering conversation, and demanding inclusive representation are some ways that Americans remain steadfast in a conviction against racism, homophobia, and sexism the country still struggles with.

Furthermore, by translating popular belief into a celebration of interracial love and “multiracialness” that doesn’t reinforce racial hierarchies, America can potentially evolve from the system of racial categorization and the inequality, oppression, and stereotypes that come with it.

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In the face of the same sentiments that thwarted Richard and Mildred Loving’s relationship fifty years ago—along with some new factors that reduce their love to narratives for aesthetic purposes—interracial intimacy continues to increase and serves as living proof that nothing will keep people from loving one another. They are testaments to the power of a love that refuses to stand down to anything. They are the result of progress; as love evolves into seeing beyond racial constructs, the upswing of interracial couples gives way to an inevitably multiracial future undeterred by the political and racial discourse in the world around them. America needs to recreate the image of how interracial love is portrayed in politics, in the media, in pop culture, in classrooms, and in history.

Every generation is bettered by a love that makes America a more diverse and beautiful place. Interracial intimacy reaches people across all racial lines, fostering empathy for the value of relationships. But they can’t be on the front lines alone. It is through loving and activism going hand-in-hand that America will dismantle embedded structures birthed through supremacy. And it is through these efforts that we can paint a better future, a future in which headlines twenty to fifty years from now do not reflect a violent history towards interracial couples that continues to repeat itself.  

Loving is a good start.

Spring Break 2016: Where are students going?

By Vanisha Dansinghani

In the midst of a stressful semester, students are struggling to juggle academics, co-op interviews and extracurricular activities and are looking forward to spring break as a way to refresh and recharge. Meanwhile, trying to find motivation to come back and complete the rest of the semester with a bang. While there remain some classic destinations for all students, let’s take a look  where we can expect Northeastern students to spend their Spring Break or should I say in some cases…“Spring Broke.”

Miami, Florida

Miami is collectively the most popular spring break destination for students in America, it is no doubt that a majority of Northeastern’s jetsetters would not miss an opportunity to travel to a city dominated by white sand beaches, elite parties and chic clubs.

Cancun, Mexico

Famous for its EDM festival, Inception fest and tequila tasting tours, Cancun is a classic choice for spring break.

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

As Punta Cana is the spring break location of my choice, I am looking forward to relaxing with my friends on tropical beaches, sipping martinis (virgin of course), and dancing to tunes at beachside parties by night. Punta Cana is not only a popular spring break destination because of its near-perfect weather, but also because of its all-inclusive resort packages and diverse range of activities including banana boating, snorkeling and swimming with dolphins just to name a few.

Costa Rica

The active and adventure-seeking students opt to travel to Costa Rica to engage in exciting water sports such as surfing, white-water rafting, kayaking and scuba diving. These daring individuals also have the chance to live the life of the monkey by exploring Costa Rica’s lush jungles.

Los Angeles, California

Popular for its star-studded vibes, world-renowned beaches, and occasional celebrity sightings, Los Angeles is the perfect destination for students in search of a balance between an urban adventure and a relaxing time at the beach.

Bahamas

Students looking for a picture-perfect paradise vacation among white sand, crystal-clear water and palm trees find the Bahamas to be their suited spring break destination. Whether it be the lavish Atlantis resort or rowdy party cruise- this is one destination filled with young party-goers.

New York, New York

Someone once said, “there simply isn’t any place like it.” There is never a wrong time to visit New York City. Students on a tight budget may choose to stay close to Boston over spring break, but will spend time in a city where it is impossible to get bored. Being a city that highly demonstrates the freedom of expression, New York invites people of all cultures to engage in the city and enjoy its vast diversity.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Attracted by the El Yunque Rainforest, beautiful beaches and blue cobblestone streets, but mostly because of its cheap airfare, students chose San Juan as a popular spring break destination this year.




Must See: Boston Public Market

By: Yashi Gudka

Photography: Yashi Gudka

The Boston Public Market is an indoor public market featuring produce, delicacy items, and much more. All of the items are sourced from either Massachusetts or the greater New England area. It has a historic origin as seen in the revival of the original Faneuil Hall marketplace. The Boston Public Market is the only market of its kind in the entirety of The United States. It promotes Boston residents to purchase fresh and local food, encourages consumers to understand how food is produced, and promote regional flavours.

 

Taza Chocolate, Soluna Garden Farm, and Red’s Best Seafood are just a few examples of the great vendors the Boston Public Market has to offer. Vendors sell produce, beverages, poultry, and specialty products such as apple cider donuts and lattes.

 

 

The Boston Public Market also hosts exhibitions Wednesday through Friday on sustainable cooking and wellness events that are held in an event space within the market known as The Kitchen. At this venue, people are able to learn new cooking techniques, healthy eating, and overall wellness. Multiple culinary experts have been drawn from around the United States to educate people about the importance of food and share delicious recipes.

 

Over the next month, The Kitchen is filled with exciting programs; as per below:

FREE

Brown Bag Lunch- Fridays 12-1:30pm

Taste of the Season- Sundays 11am-1pm

REI Yoga- Thursdays 7-8am

Fresh, Fast, & Delicious for less


$10-20

Date Night Cooking, Risotto for Two- Saturday 1/30 6-8pm

Bakeology 101- Sunday 2/7 2-4pm (DIY Cupcakes)

For the Love of Fish- Thursday 2/11 5-7pm (with Red’s Best Seafood)


Next time you are in the South End, be sure to check out the Boston Public Market!  Also, interested students can purchase a membership at The Trustees in order to get 10% off your purchases at select vendors and discounts on programs at The Kitchen.

Fall 2015 in Photos

By: Abigail Walker

Fall is my favorite season in terms of fashion. The gorgeous jewel tones of burgundy, dark green, navy blue and rust orange make their appearances across the industry in fashion shows and new fall lines. Clothes get warmer as the weather gets colder and layering becomes possible again. Sweaters are a staple in my wardrobe. The second I feel the first hint of crisp fall air, I will break my sweaters out (even if I end up with that awkward cold sweat from running around campus in a wool knit).

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My go-to fall accessory this year is this taupe ostrich bag from Kate Spade. I picked it up in one of the surprise sales during the spring, but only recently started using it as my school bag.

Other fall favorites of mine include this enormous bat wing sweater I picked up at Primark in Dresden, Germany over the summer. I could kick myself for not buying it in every single color just because I wear it so much. (Picture taken in the reflection of a shiny gold elevator). 

Is it really fall if you aren’t wearing riding boots? Simple answer: no. As much as I hate to admit it and for fear of falling under a certain category, my Cole Haan riding boots are key to most of my outfits this season. (Golden retrievers are also important). 

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Rosie, The Londoner, is one of my favorite bloggers. Always chic and a little quirky, she’s a very talented fall dresser. Her Jimmy Choo black leather moto boots are one of her most enviable fall staples.

Jessann from Prosecco and Plaid is one of my new favorites. Because she lives so close to us in the Newport area of Rhode Island, the way she dresses is very easy to recreate here in Boston.

Amber of Barefoot Blonde, lives in New York and has been posting a lot of funky piece lately that are great for the change from late summer to early fall. With a baby and a golden retriever (and a cute husband) it’s hard not to fall in love with her life and her style.

5 Things That Are Better Than Having A Significant Other On Valentine’s Day

By Jessica Fortier

You finally made it through the barrage of inquiries about your love life at holiday
family parties. As if that didn’t remind you enough about your single status, St. Valentine’s Day is coming up. But rather than feeling bitter and forever alone, you should adopt the Chinese celebration known as Single’s Day. This Chinese holiday is a commercial holiday, just like Valentine’s Day. Topping the online sales of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Single’s Day is a day dedicated to buying gifts for yourself. While this amount of consumerism is a bit over the top, I like the idea of celebrating yourself
and being happy with who you are. So instead of sulking remind yourself that there
are 5 things better than having a significant other on Valentine’s Day:

1. Netflix + Ben and Jerry’s + Pajamas

Declare a “Girls Night In” and watch a movie (or three) on Netflix with your friends. There is nothing better than being comfy and bonding over a movie marathon with your best buddies.

 

2. Girl’s Night Out

You are single, so live it up and have fun! Have a night out with your fellow single ladies and embrace your freedom.

3. Mac ‘n’ Cheese

If all else fails, there is always mac ‘n’ cheese. Mac ‘n’ cheese is the ultimate boyfriend: comforting, reliable, and easy on the eyes.

4. Awkwardly see 50 Shades of Grey with your best friends

Let’s be real. There is no possible way to watch this movie without being weird. There are three options 1) watch it by yourself 2) go with friends 3) watch it with your parents. Out of these three choices, 2 is the probably the best one because you can laugh off the awkwardness with your friends. This could be a regrettable choice as well (but at least you will have a laugh or two).

5. Wine & Cheese

Have some friends over for some wine and cheese. Step it up a notch from Velveeta and buy a “fancy” array of cheeses at Trader Joes.

 

Pictures from: womensfreesamples.com, popsugar.com.au, babble.com, officialfifty.com, idealsstore.com