As we usher in the new year, these are some must-listen audio essays from 2023. Hear from YR Media's writers about their thoughts on a variety of issues such as the increase in cost of living to the Supreme Court's decision to strike down affirmative action.
By Noumaan Faiz
"Now I admit, I didn’t always notice the effects of inflation. I was only six years old during the big financial crisis in 2008. But now as a young adult, I finally understand my parents' frustration when gas prices go up even a few cents. Having to spend almost $100 every time I’m filling up a tank drains both my bank account and my soul."
By Nina Roehl
"Looking back to before I started therapy, I realize now that I was diminishing the real struggles I was going through ... I really feel the difference in where I am mentally now. I know that I still have a lot of work to do, but I’m proud of how far I’ve come. And therapy has been a tool that’s helped guide me in the right direction."
By Audrey La Jeunesse
"At my very privileged school, it’s frustrating when my peers with long family histories in prestigious universities, cry “affirmative action” when students of color — especially Black and brown students — are admitted to those universities ... . Colleges can’t be race-blind with the types of questions and essays they ask for. For many, like me, race is inseparable from life experience."
By Phoebe Lefebvre
"I’ve lived down the road from Wood Street for 13 years, and I've watched as Oakland’s largest homeless encampment grew from a collection of tents to a massive, bustling community. In April, the city finished clearing out Wood Street ... I’ve volunteered at the encampment for the majority of my life, so watching the people vanish was shocking."
By Shriya Dharmapurikar
"Here’s the hardest thing about this red underline. Growing up, it only added on to the fear that I didn’t belong. When my name becomes underlined, it feels like it’s a mistake — like it doesn’t belong on the page, or it should be different."