• Dear Readers,


    I’ve been sleeping late. I want to recuse myself of guilt and say that I don’t know how it happened, but I do. It started when college started, because everything was new and exciting and there was always someone to meet or somewhere to be. I shed the rigid, pre-regimented structure of my high school years—seven classes a day, with parents who expected me home and asleep by midnight—and realized that there were other options for how to live that I’d never thought to try. 

    Because I had a class across campus at 9 a.m., I spent my mornings regretting my late night (or rather, very early morning) escapades and vowing to sleep earlier. Yet when the pandemic happened and all my life rhythms were given a second chance at reinvention, I didn’t fix anything. I was hundreds of miles away from Brown, so staying up late felt like a shred of personal control over globally uncontrollable circumstances, a quiet ritual that I’d carried home from Providence.

    This week’s writers are similarly enchanted by how parts of our lives can change. In Feature, our writer walks us through how people came together (and fell apart) during the recent Austin winter storm. In Narrative, one writer recalls the good times of last summer, spent in Idaho with found family, while the other reflects on how sometimes, the ordinary is meant to stay just that. Our authors for Arts & Culture talk about songs: about sea shanties, and about music’s illustrative power in the midst of a pandemic. And in Lifestyle, writers tackle the topics of mid-semester slump and the real meaning behind your favorite pair of white shoes.

    Change is inevitable, but it’s hard to know what will change and what will endure. Between adjusting to my new college life, and then readjusting to being at home, and since adjusting to every other strange new ritual that the pandemic has prompted, I’ve realized that the systems and routines of my life are much more malleable than they seemed. It’s inspiring, because it implies that reinvention can come again at any time. And it’s interesting, because I’ve learned that I am much more capable of embracing change than I thought. But as I crawl into bed at 3 a.m., I’ve been wondering if that’s always a good thing. For what it’s worth, I promised myself I’d sleep early tonight.



    Alice Bai

    Feature Managing Editor