I saw a beautiful thing Saturday night at 8pm. A crammed auditorium full of Hopkins students, all getting loud and proud for our very own acappella group, the JHU Mental Notes. The Mental Notes absolutely killed it Saturday, as they sang across a wide range of genres, mixing in everything from Jay-Z to Ed Sheeran. But without a doubt my favorite songs were the ones written by the Mental Notes themselves. These songs melded the key features of being a student at Hopkins into poetic lyrics, accompanied the entire time by the vocal talent of the Mental Notes. To see a packed audience wildly cheering and laughing to the soaring notes of “F*** this Final” practically brought tears to my eyes.
Hopkins has always had a reputation for being filled with weird students, and lets face it, that’s probably because Hopkins is filled with weird students. But why on earth should we be ashamed of that? After all, you know deep down in your heart that you are just as weird as the rest of the kids here, else you wouldn’t have been crazy enough to come here. But too often we choose to present our strangeness as being a negative character trait of Hopkins. We crack jokes about the library being our student center (okay that’s true…) or that we just named our mascot Jay the Blue Jay (still can’t believe that happened), and act as if those are bad things. The fact is that is part of what makes us Hopkins.
Of course I would love a place besides the library to hang out my friends on campus, and yes it would be awesome to have a raging tailgate with Jay the Blue Jay. But for now those pipe dreams have yet to materialize. And that’s not so bad, because on Saturday night I saw a student body that fully embraced who we are, flaws and all. When we did that you could feel the energy in the room. For at least that hour and half performance no one cared about how weird we are, and it was beautiful.
I left the performance Saturday thinking to myself about what it means to have school spirit at Hopkins. It is certainly not what you see on your newsfeed every weekend, stadiums filled with Michigan yellow or Syracuse orange. Having pride in Hopkins is something that you don’t hear people mention aloud, to do so would somehow violate the concept of Hopkins pride. That’s why perhaps you really only understand what this school is about once you’re here. You have to meet your fellow weirdos before you really get a grasp on what makes this place unique.
Hopkins is those kids who went streaking through the library last year, or that cute girl you met who also happens to do the best damn yoda impersonation you’ve ever heard. Hopkins is a strange place, and I guess why that makes our version of school spirit a strange one. But at the end of the day I am glad I decided not to go to State U.
James Cameron is a sophomore biology major from Boston, MA. He is a Staff Writer for the News-Letter Opinions section.