Stop This Train

Lately, my life has been a smorgasbord of Who-What-When-Where-Whys. What internship or travel opportunity will I pursue during my last Princeton summer? Which job and fellowship applications will I be submitting next fall? What town will I call “home” two years from now? When will I stumble upon the man with whom I’ll build my future? Oftentimes, I crave…

On Windham Hill

Windham, Vermont Population: 328. The Green Mountain State Was always our escape. No Wi-Fi, no cable, just Newts flitting through cattail mazes — A snippet of neon here, then there. Kitchen counters crammed with jars of jam: Strawberry-rhubarb, blackberry, spiced peach — Purchased at backroad farm stands from old men in flannel Who crooned Willie…

The Road Less Traveled

Solo travel: (n.) the art of discovering the world while discovering yourself When faced with the prospect of solo travel, many wonder, “What would I do with myself?” What will you do with yourself? You will climb mountains. You will wander. You will wonder. You will daydream. You will adventure. You will laugh. You will learn. You…

Finding My (Wild Atlantic) Way

Pages have always been my portal to faraway lands. This time, however, the journey is real – having commenced with the stamping of a passport in lieu of the opening of a spine. By transporting me 3,000 miles overseas to an island Far, Far Away, fate has placed me in a blank storybook and granted me free reign…

The Mountains Are Calling, And I Must Go

I’m about to do something terrifying. The best things in life are just that. Last summer, I studied abroad for the first time. Now, I will be taking it one step further: Ireland. Two-month internship. Solo. Words can’t convey the magnetism I feel toward this country that I have yet to step foot in. Quaint, unadulterated,…

Cosmic Pinball

Shooting stars play galactic pinball through the Milky Way: vagabonds of the inky abyss, hitchhiking their way across the cosmic highway on their final dance through time.   In their dying moments, they unapologetically fill space – leaving me to wish that I, too,   will fill mine.

The Golden Voyager Record of Princeton

It is half past midnight. Illuminated by the soft yellow glow of moonlight, Gothic towers touch the sky as if daring to poke holes in the night’s cloak of darkness. Inside these castle walls, hundreds of Princeton University students are scribbling and sighing and late-night snacking, but out here in the courtyard there is nothing…

451 Degrees of Separation

Among the science fiction genre, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 is an ever-flickering flame that refuses to be doused. With haunting artistry, Bradbury paints a desolate world of alienated, mechanized human beings who are more connected to their television screen “families” than they are to the spouses with whom they share a pillow at night. As…

SkyWheel: A Life Come Full Circle

Nostalgia has an address. Nestled away on the eastern seaboard, among palm fronds and palmetto bugs, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is the Pagano family’s land of memories. Myrtle Beach is boogie boarding with Daddy and digging holes to China with my sunburnt cousins, embarking on shark tooth treasure hunts with my older brother and competing…

The Pursuit of Passion

Last Thursday, halfway through the second lecture of a molecular biology course titled ”From DNA to Human Complexity,” I found myself fighting in vain to stifle an irrepressible smile. No, I had not just been struck by the sudden revelation that my life’s purpose is donning a lab coat and mapping genomes. (After this semester’s…

21 Signs You’re Anchored to the North Fork

We North Forkers grew up in towns of escape artists. And yet, one by one, we always return to harbor—lured in by the tide’s ever patient ebb and flow. In honor of Long Island’s best-kept secret, here are 21 signs you’re anchored to the North Fork: 1. Anything west of Riverhead is “up island.” And…

Bird’s Eye View of Life

“If you could have one superpower, what would it be?” This question immediately transports me to elementary classrooms past: to the collection of carefree, PB&J-filled days sandwiched in between birth and adulthood. Back in that age of unbridled fantasy, my superpower of choice normally wavered between Bippity Boppity Boo-ing myself to Disney World on command…