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For the past few months, I’ve really enjoyed writing this column. Being able to engage in open conversations about the things and moments that have impacted me most these past four years has been a very fulfilling experience. But unfortunately, as we get closer to the end of the semester and I prepare to graduate and head off to get my MFA, I’ve decided to bring this column to a close.
Since childhood, art museums were my safe space. They were hushed and contemplative, a place for solitary reflection as well as interesting (murmured) discussion. It started with encouragement from my parents. My dad is an artist and my mother an avid art lover, so they made it a priority to expose me to art as early as possible.
For the past four years, I have been a part of the student-written, student-directed theater group on campus, Witness Theater. It was the first activity that I participated in my freshman year, and I have written, acted, and directed for them, sometimes all at the same time, ever since. I was even elected the Workshop Coordinator this past year, which means I got to help other students edit and polish their short plays.
People have lots of different words for it, all with slightly different implications. “Situationship,” “seeing each other” and “hanging out” are just a few. Ultimately though, they refer to the same vague thing: two people who like each other enough to act like a couple, but who, for some reason or other, won’t commit. Though there is some overlap in terminology, I’ve found these pseudo-relationships aren’t quite a part of “hookup culture,” really. Instead, they exist in a strange gray area somewhere between “friends with benefits” and an official relationship.
For a lot of people, Valentine’s Day is less a holiday and more a 24-hour block of dodging obnoxiously googly-eyed social media posts and couples feeling each other up in the middle of the quad. And, as always, it’s coming around again. In a week, every store will be plastered with red heart-shaped decorations and every decent restaurant will be booking up fast.
It is incredibly easy to feel trapped when you're a senior in college. With graduation looming, family members curiously prodding and the huge anxious cloud of the future hanging over everything, the sense of being boxed in is almost impossible to avoid. This is especially true when you’ve already chosen your post-graduation life plan.
I usually don’t like to tell people I’m dating about my struggles with mental health for a couple of reasons. For one, it’s something that I’ve learned to cope with mostly on my own. With obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and attention-deficit Disorder (ADD), difficulties mostly pop up on a brief, day-to-day basis, and I’ve adapted to handling small anxiety flare-ups and focus issues without too much help (though there is no downplaying the amount of help from family and friends I needed in order to get to this place of daily comfort with my disorders).
As Halloween season comes to a close and people begin to swap out their spooky decorations for more gluttonous ones, I’ve been thinking a lot about horror movies. I spent a good chunk of the last month and a half dedicated to watching scary movies, a couple of which I was able to see as revival screenings at local theaters.
When I was a kid, I prided myself on liking things that other girls my age did not. I liked skateboarding and playing in the dirt, gross-out gags and whoopee cushions. While I indulged in the occasional feminine pastime, like playing with Bratz dolls, I even turned that into something more aggressive and masculine, acting out elaborate murder scenes with my friend and filming them on the handheld video camera I got for Christmas.
A few years ago, I went to a concert with two of my close friends. It was a punk festival at Ottobar that featured a few different performers, but we were most excited to see the local band Snail Mail, who only had one EP out at the time. After some bizarre sets during which we all almost got punched in the face by a flailing guitarist and listened to a woman remix her screams on an electric keyboard (my one friend still jokes that I was the only person able to dance to the rhythmic screeching), Snail Mail came out.
My junior year, I decided to try birth control.
It’s been many a year — about five — since we’ve heard anything from the iconic D.C. punk band Bad Brains. Time and personal problems have prevented the band from getting together for studio work since their 2012 album Into the Future and a suspected upcoming album has yet to materialize. Thankfully, punk fans can look to the Maryland Film Festival in their time of need.