Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
May 7, 2021

Rapid-fire joy: a quick survey of N-L editors’ joyful happenings

By SOPHIA LOLA | November 17, 2020

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The editors of The News-Letter have found joy in numerous ways.

In big things and small. In our day-to-day routines and more special moments. In old memories and new experiences. In songs and books. In the things we do for ourselves, the things we do for others and the things others do for us. These are just a few of the ways in which we can find joy in our lives. 

Here’s how some News-Letter editors have found it:

To the people in our lives who bring us joy:

  • Thanks for living life with me — no one else I’d rather spend all day with slamming mimosas, getting lost in the woods and bothering the rest of our friends.
  • My roommate brings me great joy because of her contagious positivity and smiles. She is a wonderful friend.
  • I never would have guessed that you would become a person that I cannot go a day without talking to. You bring me joy, even when I don’t know that I need it. You are simply golden.
  • Calling my mom always brings me joy. I miss being home and watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer with her.
  • My grandma is 80 something — I still have to “fight” her to let me, a 20-year-old, do the heavy lifting and carry groceries.
  • When my roommate and I act like total goofs together, I’m happy to be where I am.
  • My grandma brings me a lot of joy, just by being herself, and also by sending me inspirational quotes every Monday.
  • You’re my friend, peer, mentor and my enabler lol. I’m so happy we managed to get closer during quarantine and if I’ve got the SEVENTEEN brain-rot because of you, well! It is what it is.


Some of our happiest childhood memories:

  • My younger brother and I would spend carefree summer days running around the woods barefoot and cooling off by jumping in the lake.
  • When I was in elementary school, my parents finally conceded in getting me a dog, and that brought me great joy!
  • My happiest memory is of when my siblings and I begged my mom to take us to Build-A-Bear on a random school night, and then she did. She told us we had to take a shower first, though. For our shower we ran around in the backyard, and she hosed us down. It was a good day.
  • Every fall, my mom would use one of the giant cardboard boxes at Costco to give me a “sled ride” on leaves.
  • Writing stories with friends about which of us would end up with which One Direction boy (I'm currently single, Zayn).


What we’ve done recently to spread joy in other people’s lives:

  • I baked cookies for my roommates!
  • I would do my friends favors or surprise them with a treat when I knew they were stressed about work.
  • I don’t know if a plant counts as a person, but I think I spread joy to my ficus by finally watering it.
  • I had a surprise birthday party for a friend, featuring personalized Kahoot!.
  • Over the summer, I volunteered for Cards for Courage and made a bunch of thank-you cards for health workers at a local hospital! I hope the puns made them smile.
  • During class we were all worried about our oral presentations, so I made sure to always make a comment about how much I enjoyed their research topic (and was excited to hear more)! I, too, am an anxious college student.


Hobbies and activities that bring us joy:

  • Basketball
  • Cooking
  • Eating
  • Listening to my favorite podcast
  • Going on walks
  • Painting
  • Playing guitar
  • Painting my nails
  • Working out
  • Yoga
  • Writing for The News-Letter ;)


Some of our comfort foods:

  • Mashed potatoes
  • Mashed potatoes — specifically from the FFC
  • Grilled cheese
  • Grilled cheese and tomato soup
  • Chicken tikka masala
  • Chocolate chip cookies
  • Not to be that guy, but New York pizza
  • Lasagna
  • Sushi
  • Anything that’s 99% carbs
  • Salted caramel chocolate
  • Beyond Burger with cheese
  • Pasta of any kind
  • Korean soup of any kind
  • Hot chocolate
  • Arroz con leche


Songs that spark joy:

  • “Mind Over Matter” by Anthony Ramos
  • “We Are Your Friends” by Justice
  • “Sine from Above” by Lady Gaga and Elton John
  • “Mamma Mia” by ABBA
  • “Bye Bye Bye” by *NSYNC
  • “Dancing Queen” by ABBA
  • “Dancing in the Moonlight” by Toploader
  • “Dance Monkey” by Tones and I
  • “3 Nights” by Dominic Fike
  • “BANG!” by AJR
  • “Love Never Felt So Good” by Michael Jackson
  • "Mr. Blue Sky" by Electric Light Orchestra
  • "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" by Otis Redding
  • “Spirit in the Sky” by KEiiNO
  • “Swing Life Away” by Rise Against
  • “Man to Man” by Dorian Electra


Our go-to happy shows and movies:

  • 30 Rock
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine
  • Clue
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm
  • Friends
  • Jane the Virgin
  • New Girl
  • Scrubs
  • Seinfeld
  • Superbad
  • The Great British Baking Show
  • The Grinch
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender
  • When Harry Met Sally


Books, stories and poems that make us happy:

  • “Pet Milk” by Stuart Dybek
  • Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  • Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
  • The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
  • Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
  • “The More Loving One” by W.H. Auden


Our happy places:

  • The Bahamas
  • Any room at 2 p.m. with soft afternoon light streaming through the windows
  • Prospect Park
  • Stony Run Trail
  • Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • The beach
  • My bed, 300%
  • My trampoline in my backyard
  • Montauk, N.Y.
  • Under my weighted blanket
  • A car packed with friends and the music playing
  • My apartment
  • Watching the sunrise on my armchair with a cup of coffee


An assortment of other happy things:

  • My roommates and I made a really good pumpkin bread recipe recently!
  • Trader Joe’s kale gnocchi has brought me infinite joy.
  • I finished the last few episodes of The Good Place — one of the most heartwarming television shows out there.
  • The results of the U.S. presidential election and the subsequent TikToks that accompanied it.
  • The transition between seasons is always exciting to me, and I’ve enjoyed watching the trees outside my window change color, listening to vintage fall playlists and burning hazardous amounts of candles.
  • The fact that Brian David Gilbert is a Hopkins alum has me REELING.
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