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Noah Louis-Ferdinand
Noah Louis-Ferdinand is a freshman from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. He studies Human Biology and Anthropology. Noah is also an avid reader of philosophy and enjoys contemporary fiction. When not studying or writing, he loves to run trail races throughout the United States.

How students fail to address mental health

If we see distress as divorced from social context, we will never help people out of it. This is a simple truth, made all too clear in the fact that we don’t even know how our fellow students are fairing mentally. We talk in circles about stress but either don’t collect or don’t have access to data on student mental health. Let me know if you find it. Otherwise, our discussions on the subject are hollow virtue-signaling since you cannot systematically improve mental health without knowing who is suffering, how badly, and why.

Mental health: Do we practice what we preach?

In hastily pushing these people out of our own lives, we show that there is a low upper limit on how much we care about mental health. We sympathize with those who are anxious or depressed because we recognize it’s unfair to look at them as the sum of their thoughts. Yet when someone who is neurotic or angry offloads their disproportionate emotional difficulty, we cut them off.

Whatever the cost

For most of my life, I’ve felt empowered by rap music. Growing up just outside of Detroit, I was motivated by Michigan rappers like Eminem, Big Sean, and NF, all hard-hitting lyricists. I idolized these people, aspiring to their work ethic. But after one last stretch, I’ve come to seriously doubt what they’re saying.

Play pretend

Noah Louis-Ferdinand discusses the interplay between our self-conceptions and what we present to the world, and the dangers that a distance between the two can create.

Hope for the humanities

Noah Louis-Ferdinand notes several recent pieces critically examining Stanford's climate for the humanities: "Unfortunately, their reactionary nature suggests the protest will be short-lived," he writes. "If humanities students really want change, we need to carry this energy forward."

Better safe than synthetic

American consumerism is currently divided between two extremes. At one end, there is the well-known casual naturalism, which favors all things organic and despises the artificial. I call this casual because because it is part of the otherwise unnatural modern lifestyle. Though commonly mocked, casual naturalism has moved well beyond its marginal status to influence…

The problem with speculation about mental health in the media

The past few weeks or reporting have been fraught with callous speculation about President Trump’s mental health. The New York Times has been especially active in promoting this argument, and several of their regular columnists have done so viciously. Charles Blow, for example, called Trump “mentally small“ and seems to imply that he is a “mentally…

The case for evolution in public health policy

There’s an age-old argument that goes like this: We were never intended to self-isolate with technology, which has lead to social dysfunction, particularly amongst the youth. While I cannot say when this idea originated, it has persisted because it represents a more general sentiment that we’ve overstepped the boundaries of what is naturally good for…

The force of habit

To speak of habits is to imply a certain slightness. Usually, they suggest only a small deviations from normal behavior, and most things we call habitual are ultimately benign. What if, however, we replace the word with a less trivial synonym? Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen, who has written popularly on habits, substitutes “tick, obsession and addiction” to…

At this rate, we’ll never be happy

America is ideologically committed to happiness. Our very founding document specifies a right to its pursuit alongside self-governance and life itself. There are thousands of articles, cliché movie plots and sappy books about how it’s the ultimate individual goal. And of course it is. Of our three founding entitlements, happiness is the only one we…


As I write this, I am overcome by euphoria. Dazed with joy, I can’t do much else besides focus on this experience. This isn’t my first time with this feeling, though, despite my fixation. Its warm, enveloping bliss isn’t the result of any readily available drug, though the effect is much the same. It comes to me only after a…

Like it or not, you’re stuck with me

Often, we speak of anxiety in terms of stress. It’s believed that, like the latter, anxiety ought to come and go with hardship but is still totally and necessarily manageable. Flyers, emails and other announcements, even occasionally some from Stanford, offer countless solutions to it. In such ads, it’s defined as something we all go…
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