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Reporting on South Asians, education & whatever else you want me to. Work in NBC News, The Juggernaut, Inc. Magazine, etc. Email me:

From “Survivor” to “Say Yes to the Dress,” there’s a reality TV show for everyone.

In a year filled with mass deaths, a global racial justice reckoning, and a grueling election cycle, it’s understandable if you’ve felt underlying anxiety every single day. It’s been hard to find a brief escape or even an outlet to get out our thoughts, as we’ve kept away from our friends and family to keep from adding to the U.S.’ dismal COVID-19 infection rate and death toll. We’ve found momentary relief through little things: Zoom calls, baking, and quarantine walks. But one universal escape became more essential in 2020 — this year, we needed reality TV, for better or worse.

I distracted myself from the bad screen with…more bad screen.

If 2020 is a hot mess, Election Day-Turned-Week was a dumpster fire. I wasn’t sleeping, I was glued to a screen at all times, and I lost brain cells worrying about the fate of democracy. In a year where everything is, yes, unprecedented, I’ve been clinging to any semblance of normalcy to help me stay grounded. And unfortunately for me, one of the few constants in my life is The Bachelorette.

Pre-pandemic, I considered not watching The Bachelor franchise anymore. Over the years, it’s dwindled from being my problematic fave to simply being… problematic. The premise of the show itself…

Find information about voting rights, local hotlines, and same-day registration.

Graphic by Maggie Chirdo.
Graphic by Maggie Chirdo.

After a year marked by a devastating pandemic, civil unrest in response to widespread racial injustice, and blatant voter suppression efforts, Americans are being given their final chance to determine what they want the next four years to look like today.

As you head to the polls today to cast your ballot, make sure you know your rights and what resources are available to you.

Don’t know where to start? Here’s some basic info

“I think that Gen Z is a lot more intelligent and capable than a lot of kind of older generations like to paint them as.”

Illustration of three young voters by Sara Schleede and graphic by Josh Magpantay.
Illustration of three young voters by Sara Schleede and graphic by Josh Magpantay.

Young voters get a bad rep. Less than half of American voters between the ages of 18 and 29 voted in 2016, and the youth vote is often characterized as being “disillusioned” and “apathetic.”

But fast-forward just a few years, and young voters are breaking records. In 2018, Gen Z, Millennials, and Gen X turned out in higher numbers than older generations. A survey conducted this fall by the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics found that 63% of eligible voters between the ages of 18 and 29 would “definitely be voting” this year. In contrast, only 47% of surveyed…

“That’s the most classic, old fashioned way to raise money.”

Rukmini Das usually only bakes once a year, on Thanksgiving. But, like many other Americans, she started baking more often when stay-at-home orders were implemented in late March during the COVID-19 pandemic’s spread in the United States

Das, 24, left Princeton, N.J. in March to quarantine with her family in Houston, Texas. She was working from home as a strategy and advisory consultant, but in her spare time, she baked: cakes, pies, banana bread, and more. …

“Our students, our teachers, the county need a form of news.”

Illustration of Dana Richie by Josh Magpantay.
Illustration of Dana Richie by Josh Magpantay.

The last time Clarke Central High School senior Owen Donnelly, 17, saw his newspaper staff was in March. The Georgia school’s newsmagazine, The ODYSSEY, had won several awards at the Southern Interscholastic Press Association Convention, and the staff was fired up to finish off the semester strongly.

“I was like, ‘Okay, we’re going to go back to school, we’re going to finish off, and it’s going to be awesome,’” Donnelly, a current co-editor-in-chief of The ODYSSEY, told The Interlude. “And then it just didn’t happen. We didn’t go back to school.”

After the coronavirus pandemic crept into the United States…

Natasha Roy

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