I feel like I’m treading water in the middle of the ocean during a storm, and my arms are getting mighty tired. I’m stressed. I’m scared, and I don’t want to graduate. I mean I do, but I don’t. The last four years have been transformative. All during middle school and high school, I told myself that I just needed to get to college and then my life would be exactly what I wanted. I was so wrong. It hasn’t been like the movies; it’s been better.
I’m not going to pretend that I didn’t laugh hysterically until crying in the printing room on M level at 4 a.m. because I hadn’t started my notes sheet for my Foundations of Brain, Behavior and Cognition exam at 9 a.m. that morning. I’m not going to act like I never failed a test (shoutout to Intro Chemistry 1), and I won’t shy away from the fact that I’ve had tough times with friends and been involved in drama we all try to avoid.
But with these moments have come nights on the beach with friends laughing and talking, sitting on M-level (yes, I spend a lot of time there) distracting each other endlessly, and making the kind of memories I had always hoped for. I know I’ve talked about memory lane before, but this semester has really showed me how sentimental I am. Most of my friends would laugh at that because I think I’ve cried 10 times in the last four years. But even if I don’t always display emotion, I am really sad about leaving.
I don’t want to say goodbye to my friends, and I’m not ready to say goodbye to Hopkins. I know a lot of the Hopkins spirit is saying how awful Hopkins is, and yes, there are days I never want to see campus again, but Hopkins has given me people who I will love forever, memories I will smile about for the rest of my life and an education I will always treasure. The times I wanted to transfer or withdraw from all my classes have been overshadowed by the fun days and nights.
At the risk of getting too sappy, I’m going to do a little scroll through those memories because I want to write them down and remember them. Maybe someone will see this and be reminded of their college experience, or maybe a freshman will read it and see what they can look forward to once campus opens up fully and COVID-19 has caught the redeye out of here.
I’ll start at the very beginning, so you can get the full picture. I was living with someone who has become one of my closest friends on campus, and one of my favorite nights was when we tried to blow up this inflatable couch/cushion. In order to inflate it, you have to hold open a gap and then run to collect air inside the tube. We attempted to run in our miniature hallway in our Wolman suite. Failure after failure occurred, and then my roommate had the brilliant idea of blowing it up with her hairdryer. Did it work? Yes. Was it worth it? Probably not, but we still laugh about it to this day.
Not too long after, I joined Alpha Phi, and I met some really amazing friends. One new friend and I sat in the library to “do work,” but we ended up talking for three hours without a single break, and to this day, we can talk for ages, and every conversation we have makes me realize how lucky I am to have her friendship. I also met who would be my future roommate, and freshman year was just the beginning of our antics. She has become someone who knows me better than I know myself, and we tend to say the same thing at the same time a lot. All I’ll say is St. Paul Street. She’ll get the reference.
From there, I got my heart broken and witnessed heartbreak. I opened up to people for the first time, and they stuck around even after they saw how strange I could be. They joined in on the random dance breaks, the assorted food item tossing, the overwhelming basement adventures, the pranks and so much more.
I found friends that ended up taped together so we didn’t have to separate. I found friends who would noodle out with me, climb trees with me in the wee hours of the night, and propose to me and eat chicken tendies and mocha mocha java javas with me in Brody. Two of my best friends are people I’m going to leave behind. I can’t imagine my experience without hours in the library, the endless nicknames, the eggs and mimosa cart on my 21st, the golf cart adventures in Georgia and the “agtd” nights.
They laugh at my jokes, and they let me be weird. Better yet, they are weird with me. I’ll just be extra sappy and say I love them. I wish I could go on and on because there is so much I want to share, and I’m so thankful to every person who helped make my college experience what it has been.
I feel that we often wish for college to end, and while I know it’s time to graduate even if I don’t think I’m ready, I do know that I will graduate with so many memories and with friends I’ll talk to and text (even if I sound like a grandma) for the rest of my life. I will come back to Hopkins for Young Alumni Weekend to see them and to create more memories or just relive some of our happiest times. The all-nighters in Brody, the failed tests and the teary nights were all worth it for me. Thank goodness for Snapchat memories because there are some days and nights I’ll never want to forget.
Addy Perlman is a senior from Valdosta, Ga. studying Writing Seminars and Medicine, Science & the Humanities. Her column is a collection of anecdotes and personal revelations with a hint of social commentary.