Why I’m Grateful For Boba This Holiday Season

Why I’m Grateful For Boba This Holiday Season

In extreme loneliness, tapioca is our savior.

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Deplane, dinner, boba is the routine I usually follow on my trips back home. Where I'm from, boba is much more of a social activity than a delicious drink. An outing to get a Thai Milk Tea is comparable to a mini-Christmas dinner in the way I usually drink boba surrounded by people I care about with conversation that leaves me feeling happy and whole.

Boba is a motif that follows times of celebration and community in my life. During my senior year of high school, finishing a college application was rewarded with a trip to the local sit down boba shop with my mom, dad, and sister. The same went for when my sister PR'd in her track meets, or when my friends wanted to procrastinate on studying for exams, and even when my relatives were in town and were in deep need of a catching-up. This still rings true; my boba excursions during my visits back home have been to spend much needed time with my boyfriend and to catch up with friends whose hilarious stories make me wish I still went to school with them.

Oddly enough though, it seems as if the purpose of boba is to be an individual experience and not one shared by family and friends. It's packaged with a single straw for one person only and has no need to be enjoyed with anyone else. Other highly valued modern-day cultural artifacts seem to follow this same outline of individualism; smartphones alienate you from your peers, headphones allow you to block out the sound around you, and Google's latest Oculus Go literally puts you in your own world. On such a highly populated Earth, it's never been easier to be alone.

To me, this is dangerous. In a year where Cigna's 2018 Loneliness Index states that "nearly half of Americans report feeling isolated from others as well as lacking companionship" it is imperative now more than ever to reinstitute systems of community in our society before we alienate each other to a point where age-old morals like camaraderie and teamwork no longer exist. It feels silly to think that as human beings who are intrinsically reliant on each other for survival we could ever live truly individual lives, but this is very much a potential reality. According to the same Index's Loneliness Scale, Gen Zers (ages 18-22) scored a loneliness rating of 48.3 out of 80, making myself and those in my generation the loneliest generation yet.

For this depressing phenomenon, we desperately need a solution. This is where boba comes in. Everything logistical about boba tells you that it's supposed to be enjoyed alone. Many boba shops don't even have places for you to sit but still community and friendship prevail. If there isn't a table, I and my friends pile back into the single car we stuffed to get boba and laugh for hours about our most embarrassing moments. On other nights, we'll venture to boba shops far from our regular spot just to have the experience of enjoying our beloved tapioca in each other's company.

It's empowering to know that in the seemingly inevitable doom of generational loneliness there stands a champion of camaraderie in the form of milk tea. So as I'm catching up with my friends and family this winter break with long hugs and hearty laughs, I know what I'll be most grateful for... Boba.

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10 Things Someone Who Grew Up In A Private School Knows

The 10 things that every private school-goer knows all too well.

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1. Uniforms

Plaid. The one thing that every private school-goer knows all too well. It was made into jumpers, skirts, shorts, scouts, hair ties, basically anything you could imagine, the school plaid was made into. You had many different options on what to wear on a normal day, but you always dreaded dress uniform day because of skirts and ballet flats. But it made waking up late for school a whole lot easier.

2. New people were a big deal

New people weren't a big thing. Maybe one or two a year to a grade, but after freshman year no one new really showed up, making the new kid a big deal.

3. You've been to school with most of your class since Kindergarten


Most of your graduating class has been together since Kindergarten, maybe even preschool, if your school has it. They've become part of your family, and you can honestly say you've grown up with your best friends.

4. You've had the same teachers over and over

Having the same teacher two or three years in a row isn't a real surprise. They know what you are capable of and push you to do your best.

5. Everyone knows everybody. Especially everyone's business.

Your graduating class doesn't exceed 150. You know everyone in your grade and most likely everyone in the high school. Because of this, gossip spreads like wildfire. So everyone knows what's going on 10 minutes after it happens.

6. Your hair color was a big deal

If it's not a natural hair color, then forget about it. No dyeing your hair hot pink or blue or you could expect a phone call to your parents saying you have to get rid of it ASAP.

7. Your school isn't like "Gossip Girl"

There is no eating off campus for lunch or casually using your cell phone in class. Teachers are more strict and you can't skip class or just walk right off of campus.

8. Sports are a big deal

Your school is the best of the best at most sports. The teams normally go to the state championships. The rest of the school that doesn't play sports attends the games to cheer on the teams.

9. Boys had to be clean-shaven, and hair had to be cut

If you came to school and your hair was not cut or your beard was not shaved, you were written up and made to go in the bathroom and shave or have the head of discipline cut your hair. Basically, if you know you're getting written up for hair, it's best just to check out and go get a hair cut.

10. Free dress days were like a fashion show

Wearing a school uniform every day can really drive you mad. That free dress day once a month is what you lived for. It was basically a fashion show for everyone, except for those upperclassmen who were over everything and just wore sweat pants.

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5 Times Your Depression Is Likely To Make You A Terrible Roommate

Mental health is the biggest factor sometimes into one's actions. Watching this happen to someone you love or even yourself can be depressing.

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Over the past few months, I've noticed that depression really sucks. Of course, everyone knows that. I didn't really realize that having serious depression would affect the people around me until my roommates and some friends started getting frustrated by my actions. Once I was confronted, I started seeing everything that I was doing, and it's truly awful and if I were in my roommate's shoes, I would be irritated as well.

1. When you stop acknowledging their presence

Whenever my roommates would come home, I don't even notice. I don't say hi and I don't even talk when they talk to me. I focus on what I'm doing. My energy is too gone to make idle conversation.

2. When you stop cleaning up after yourself

I leave my shoes everywhere, that's my big mess. I have a million shoes and I leave them everywhere. I don't pick up after my dog when she leaves her toys everywhere. My dirty dishes pile up where I leave them. The list goes on.

3. You don't take care of your own room

This is one of the biggest tells in depression. I'm not usually very messy. I'm messy but I always clean up after myself. Now, it takes me weeks to even attempt to straighten up my room. It also ends up getting dirtier within a few hours because I'm careless with my things.

4. You don't take care of yourself and it shows

Making myself look decent has never been one of my favorite things but wearing the same clothing day after day can become a little strange and questionable. Just as well as not brushing my hair or styling it (which I love to do).

5. You avoid any sort of 'hang out' with them.

I've avoided and decline any kind of hang out with them or go to a function with them there. I don't like the social interaction and I know that I'm not feeling up to it, so I just avoid it altogether.

There are so many other things that depression affects when it comes to being a roommate. However, some of those things are too personal. If you have a roommate that is going through some similar symptoms, be careful. Addressing it is hard, talking to them about it is hard, and if not brought up carefully, it can lead the roommate into a further depression. I'm grateful that it was brought to my attention, but I also know that I didn't want to leave my room for weeks. I hated myself even more and the thought that other people noticed the bad habits I had taken up, I thought they hated me too.

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