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So this is it — the last week of college. And yes, my last article. Goodbye, Perls of Wisdom. It’s been fun. I’ve taken the trip down memory lane a few times this semester. I’m more sentimental than I expected. Until this week, I had the false idea that school was ending for the summer and I’d be sitting on the beach with my friends in three short months. Obviously, that’s not what’s happening.
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.
The day after Thanksgiving, I heard the first Christmas song. On Nov. 27, “Frosty the Snowman” played in South Georgia. There was no frost, and there were no snowmen. It was almost 70 degrees, and people were eating their way through leftovers. Why does it start so early?
I watched as the USPS truck sped out of our sleepy cul-de-sac. I scurried up to the mailbox, flung open the lid and ripped open the letter. It was finally here, and I was in. I had been accepted to Duke University’s Talent Identification Program (TIP). I would get to spend three weeks of the summer on a college campus with other seventh graders. The only caveat was it was an educational camp, but that was the part I was most excited to experience: learning at a college with other kids my age.
My roommate Kinsey and I had been counting the days until fall break. For the first time, we had two days off school, and we had an increasing desperation to escape from the four walls we live and work in. As the semester neared its midpoint, our work ethic declined so rapidly that it was practically a resident of the Underworld. We decided we needed to get away, and we picked Philadelphia as our destination.
On Thursday, Sept. 24, my alarm blared at 5:30 a.m. Today I was going to pay my respects to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
So I thought I’d have my life all figured out by now. I would be a legal drinker and one step closer to a mortgage. I was positive I would have every step planned from graduation to grave by the time senior fall came around. Oh, how I was wrong.
My mind feels like a graffitied wall. Emotions are scribbled diagonally and circularly in curlicue font and bold typeface. The neon colors are the random FaceTime calls from friends I miss. Black ramblings are the moments right before I go to sleep and right after I wake up and I remember why I’m in the room I left behind three years ago. Why is it that when it is mandated to stay home I want to leave the most?
We’re catchin’ gators, whatcha y’all doin? Perched on a red Kawasaki, my mom and I watched as two young guys baited their lines to catch more gators.
If your student organization has a retreat, go. Many are scheduled for all day, and at Hopkins, an all-day activity during the weekend immediately induces a heart attack. But you should go. Spending a whole day with people helps you bond with them.
An alligator suns on a log. It’s winter, but we’re in South Georgia, so that means it’s 80 degrees, but perfect.
Once upon a time in a flyover town, an only child slept in her wooden castle and was tucked away in her princess-themed tower, which overlooked the splatter-shaped moat with a swirling slide attached. Her blinds were drawn, and under the covers, she read with her flashlight because the anticipation of Christmas morning was overwhelming. The cookies were iced and were waiting downstairs for Santa Claus. Carrots and nuts for the hardworking reindeer occupied an extra dog bowl on the brick front step.
“This old heart of mine been broke a thousand times” plays from the speaker on my desk as I finish up my homework for the night. I fall down a wormhole, and I’m back in the passenger seat of my dad’s Ford F150. The heat is blasting, and the “heater seat,” as we call it, is on level three. It’s the middle of winter in Valdosta, Georgia, so it’s about 45 degrees. We hot-blooded country folk can’t handle it.
This week I held a document from 1976. What did you do?
I watched from the circular window as the fields of corn and the old courthouse shrunk to figurines. I left Valdosta. And I had been dreaming of this day since I was a kid. I always craved a life in a bustling city up north or out west, and it was finally my time. Baltimore needed to get ready for the country girl coming to town.
Circumscribed by hundreds of books, Ronald Walters leans back in his chair and prepares to tell his story. From Stanford to Berkeley, where he received his PhD, Walters moved across the country to join the Hopkins staff in 1970, and he is currently a professor of history.
So it’s junior year, and it sucks. I thought the transition would be easier because I’ve been doing this whole thing for two years now.
After writing about hook-up culture on campus for Valentine’s Day, I didn’t think twice about it being published... at first. Then I had some people tell me they really enjoyed it, and then it dawned on me that people had actually read it. I started to think of my parents and of my hometown.
Growing up in a Southern town, I was used to sororities and to seeing Greek letters on every Instagram bio, so I wasn’t concerned about going to a conference filled with Southern girls. What I was nervous about was how my friends would react to my home. I’ve told them stories about my upbringing, but for the first time, they were going to experience it for themselves.
It’s 9 a.m., and you’re trying to rush home before anyone sees you in oversized sweatpants and a T-shirt, carrying your clothes from last night. The infamous walk of shame. But why do we label it as shameful? Why do we consider sex shameful?