Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
September 25, 2022
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COURTESY OF DIKSHA IYER

The loss of a beloved flatbread shop is just one of the many changes Iyer and Salem are navigating as they enter sophomore year.


Upon arriving on campus, we have not been able to ignore the void where the Crepe Studio once stood. Our favorite triple threat Daniel with his delicious crepes, flatbreads and sandwiches is missing from our campus. The Crepe Studio’s absence tugs at our heartstrings. 

We used to venture to the Crepe Studio for our weekly Mediterranean flatbread -- the only thing that kept us going every week. Despite being appalled by Diksha’s inclusion of pineapple toppings, Laura couldn’t help but respect Diksha’s dedication to the craft of flatbreads. 

Now, there are no more flatbreads, no more crepes and no more happiness. This is just one of the changes that we have witnessed upon returning to campus this year, and it’s made us feel both out of place and curious about what’s next.

Moving into our dorms this year felt surreal. Being back on campus brought up a myriad of feelings: ones of anxiety, trepidation and happiness. We now live farther away from each other this year than we did last year. While Diksha is in Homewood, Laura is in Scott-Bates Commons (formerly Charles Commons). 

The walk is more than two blocks, which has greatly changed the landscape of our friendship. It may seem like a small, minuscule thing to obsess over. However, since our first meetings were based on the proximity of our dorms (Laura was in AMR II, and Diksha was in AMR III), it feels weird to have to make a trek or schedule meetings just to see each other. 

To circumvent this distance, we have to be creative. So far, we have come up with some ideas, like making dinner together on Fridays/Saturdays, going to concerts for artists that we both love and watching documentaries. 

While our methods of staying in contact and our commitments have changed, it’s comforting to know that our relationship with this column has stayed strong. It’s a unique opportunity to track our thought processes from small freshmen to moderately confident sophomores. Our path was completely unpaved when we started this column, and now it’s taking on the forms of a dirt road. There are new anxieties we feel about being here but also familiar ones. 

As freshmen, we felt that we had more “wiggle room” or more space to try out classes that had no relation to our major or path of study. We felt more comfortable about experimenting with our interests (academic and social) without feeling like we were disappointing ourselves or falling short of large expectations. 

Returning to campus as sophomores has come with a wave of anxiety: we suddenly feel a strong pressure to know exactly what we want to do. Now, having our exact life path planned out seems like a necessity, while before it was only a distant worry. 

It feels like there is no room for mistakes at this point in our academic career. The questions of “What is your major?” or “What do you want to do in the future?” hold so much more weight than they did before. Now, if we don’t have a confident answer to that question, we feel like failures. Having new responsibilities with clubs, research and jobs make us feel more tied to a specific path, which in some regards is comforting, but in others, can make us feel trapped.

In some ways, we feel like we have been too committed to one outcome to accept and follow another (which takes courage that we don’t have). In other ways, it feels like we have grown into a version of ourselves that we didn’t imagine ourselves embodying. 

That’s both comforting and scary — we know what interests us and ignites our passions, but we aren’t ready to turn our majors into identifying characteristics of who we are. That’s a huge step! We don’t feel ready to lose ourselves to what we study — we want to emphasize that we are fully recognized, growing people outside of school. With that perspective in mind, we can see what we have lost as freshmen and the opportunities we have gained as sophomores. 

Despite all these new anxieties, having been on campus already for a year provides us with a new sense of comfort. During our freshman year, we knew nothing about the culture of Hopkins or our new home of Baltimore. Now with a year of experience under our belt, we know where we want to explore, what matters to us and what we want to share with our friends. 

We are more at ease with our place within Hopkins, but we still have steps to take in order to pave our dirt path with stone. 

Though we will miss Daniel dearly, we know that big changes are opportunities for growth. Sometimes you lose a really amazing Mediterranean flatbread (with pineapple), but you gain a mediocre vegetable wrap (just kidding, we have gained a newfound appreciation for cooking and will be making Mediterranean flatbreads of our own together).

Laura Salem is a sophomore from Tolland, Conn., studying Psychology and History. Diksha Iyer is a sophomore from Dearborn, Mich., studying Public Health and Economics. Through their differing perspectives, Laura and Diksha stumble their way through their college experience one step at a time.

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