The happiest time of my life was probably my senior year of high school. There was the usual stuff — no more college apps, more free time, an end to high school in sight. But most significant to me was the fact that I could see myself grow. The way I thought about my life, the people around me, and the future changed over the course of the year. I felt more mature and understanding, and it made me feel proud of myself.

While that fleeting, vibrant joy has faded, and while times of stress and despair have sometimes deeply…


Over quarantine, I’ve watched the world become increasingly politically charged. Trump Era, chock full of fake news and licentious insults, was a game-changer when it came to the rapid polarization of our bipartisan nation. Then, once COVID19 hit, things began spiraling further as the right and the left became increasingly belligerent and unwilling to compromise or even understand one another. It got to a point where Democrats became equivalent to ANTIFA in conservative eyes, whereas Republicans became synonymous to the Proud Boys in liberal eyes.

In such a divided political environment, communication, compromise, and joint action has almost become a…


If I were to ask you what you need to be productive, I’d probably get a wide variety of answers. Maybe you need a to-do list, a timer, or an app to streamline the process. Or maybe, you just need a lot of willpower. It’s a popular idea, but the willpower fallacy is actually one of the most insidious productivity myths you’ll encounter.

Why Willpower Isn’t the Answer

Willpower is your ability to focus and avoid getting distracted or tired by sheer will. In the context of productivity, the willpower fallacy implies that your ability to do something is based on how much you want…


On my last post, I discussed the value of religion and spirituality in our modern world, when science takes on the role of explaining physical phenomena. Not only does religion serve as an explanation of the spiritual world, but it also holds cultural and community-based value while simultaneously providing peace of mind and emotional support for followers. Despite all of this, I am an agnostic. When religion holds so much value in our everyday lives, why do I choose not to believe in a god?

In order to understand what I, as a scientist, believe in, we need to look…


Recently, I had a conversation with a friend where she brought up her deep belief in manifestation. I didn’t know very much about manifestation other than that it was some sort of spirituality mechanism where you “think things into existence” and that it had recently become very popular.

With further research, I found that manifesting is more of a collaborative process — an individual asks something of the universe and works towards it while believing the universe is helping them. At its core, manifestation motivates people by consistently reminding them of their goals and encouraging them to actually take steps…

Ashwathi Nair

Hi, I'm Ash. I’m a college sophomore and aspiring scientist who loves discussing science, the brain, and our ever-changing society.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store