Blog spurs recognition for LSU sophomore’s views on the world

She calls herself a “girl from everywhere” who was “raised nowhere.”

An LSU student who writes a blog about south Louisiana and college life for the national news website The Huffington Post, Aryanna Prasad feels like a citizen of the world — an unlikely viewpoint for a girl raised in Opelousas.

The daughter of Irish and Indian parents from New York, the 20-year-old Prasad owes much of her personal development to her diverse family and her travels.

“It’s an interesting thing to be from a small town like that and have so many other influences,” Prasad said.

A sophomore political communications major, Prasad was chosen to write for The Huffington Post last year after she applied for a college student editor position. She wasn’t chosen, but was asked to write for the online publication. Prasad said she enjoys writing blogs because they allow her to whittle down her own thoughts on a matter.

“I can come at both sides of it,” Prasad said. “You can come at it with a nuanced point of view. That’s something you can do with a blog post. I don’t know what to think, but that’s OK.

Her blog has touched on international relations, such as Russian’s annexation of Crimea, and local controversies. When the proposed city of St. George spawned national news, she attended an informational meeting to understand the proponents’ true motivations.

“St. George is a complicated situation, which is why there are mixed feelings in the Capitol,” she wrote. “It’s easy to look at them and call them greedy white racists, but that statement is as ignorant as the accused group.”

Many of her writings generally include a personal insight or story — chopping off her long hair, watching friends pair off romantically or deciding whether to have children.

In a post inspired by studying a play featuring a biracial protagonist in school, Prasad examined her own feelings growing up both Irish and Indian.

“When I visited India as a young woman, I hoped that I would finally find the home I’d desired since childhood,” Prasad wrote. “I reasoned if being Indian was what set me apart, then it was India where I would belong. My hope diminished with every foreign interaction and Hindi word.”

Readers have been respectful of her views, she said.

“I’m giving my opinion, but I’m still trying to show both sides,” she said. “I can think the way I do and you can think the way you do.”

Aside from her blog, Prasad writes for Legacy, a student-written magazine, and is completing a documentary film on the issues behind poverty in her hometown of Opelousas, a project for the Honors College’s Roger Hadfield Ogden Leaders Program.

Growing up in Opelousas, Prasad attended private school until she started boarding school her junior year in high school at the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts in Natchitoches. As a result, Prasad said, she had many misconceptions about her hometown.

Interviewing clergy, community activists and even the homeless for the film, she has learned about other sides of Opelousas.

“It’s hard to talk about poverty, and it’s hard to talk about race,” she said. “It’s been a challenge.”

However, those challenges have helped her grow.

“I’m just really glad I’ve had these experiences,” she said.