As students return to campus and this year’s Synapse staff expands, I am struck by the diversity in our student population.

What do I do if I have a friend who I feel is often taking me for granted? I don’t want to confront her because I don’t want to hurt her feelings, and I don’t want to make a big deal out of it or risk losing the friendship. Maybe I am wrong for feeling this way, but it does make me feel bad much of the time, and I don’t really know what to do. Any advice?
There’s all this talk about how the biomedical workforce is shifting, and there are not enough academic jobs to accommodate all the PhD students currently being trained. PIs, however, are not traditionally supportive of students who want “alternative careers,” partly because they don’t know how to support our career development in these directions, and they don’t want these pursuits to take time away from lab. I don’t even want to do research after I graduate, but I’m afraid to tell my thesis committee. On the one hand, I want to tell them because I don’t want to waste my time in pursuit of high-profile publications that I don’t need. But what if this changes how they view me, and they don’t want to waste their time guiding a student who doesn’t want to do research?

There has been a fair amount of attention paid to UCSF’s new policy that a staff or faculty member must be present at campus events that will be serving alcohol.

As I have navigated through medical school, I have witnessed that some know the “unspoken secrets” of excelling in medical school more than others.As a first-generation college—and now medical—student, I sometimes find that I do not know the hidden curriculum behind professional schools. What is your advice on how to excel during professional school as someone who might not come from the pomp and glamour of an educated family and the breeding for academia that it seems to provide?

The UCSF administration has decided to institute a new alcohol policy for student clubs, where alcohol can be consumed during club meetings only if a faculty or staff membe

I was a senior in high school in 1999 when Jon Stewart took over The Daily Show from Craig Kilborn, and I am a little embarrassed to admit I was initially skeptical of the transition.

What do these have in common? Prejudice. Hate. Fear. At best, they lead to comments like, “Oh, he only got into UCSF because he’s black,” as shared with me by an anonymous student. At worst, beautiful lives are senselessly lost. These are not uncommon or particularly new themes, but we can do better. We have to do better. This Black History Month, I find myself profoundly troubled by this violent bigotry that has long pervaded and continues to pervade our society, even in progressive cities and college towns like New York or Chapel Hill. At the heart of it is deeply rooted miscommunication—people don’t understand each other as human beings, and in dehumanizing someone, a life is devalued and viewed as expendable.
I don't know why, but I keep dating people who "aren't good for me." That's what my friends and family tell me. I don't even know really what they mean, but I am starting to wonder about it as I get older. In general, I just know we are attracted to be together a lot, and we enjoy each other's company most of the time. What should I be asking myself, to know if I am choosing the right person to date, and even maybe to commit to, someday?
I am early into my third year med-school clinical rotations now, and I am embarrassed to say that I am still so much more than overwhelmed. There is so much to know, and it is not all just “medicine.” That’s hard enough, but no one really prepared us for the rest of “real life” getting things done on the wards: I am always getting lost in the hospital. There are always new forms for everything you order. I am supposed to text-page certain people and numeric-page others. Some forms you have to hand-carry to radiology or the lab, others you have to get in by 11 a.m. or else forget about it. Some consults that I call can be very rude and intimidating and make me feel terrible for my ignorance.