Recently, it seems as if teens and college students have had to grow up quickly. Facing a deluge of global and local crises, Gen-Z is past any “age of innocence,” when worries were relatively low stakes (e.g. wondering whether to skip the prom because it’s lame vs. wondering whether to skip the prom because it could get your family sick, provided you’re lucky enough to have a prom at all).

In her essay, “May We Please Just Date Without the Hate?” Joyce Juhee Chung, a finalist in our most recent Modern Love college essay contest, writes movingly about her desire to have a carefree first romance in New York City, but how she is robbed of that opportunity after a series of racist incidents.

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Correction: Last week’s newsletter misstated the surname of the Modern Love essay writer. They are August Singer, not August Wilson.

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