Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
May 26, 2024

Magazine



COURTESY OF ZAK EKINCI
Ekinci reflects on his highs and lows of his time at Hopkins.

Four years at Hopkins

Before going into the nitty gritty of my time at Hopkins, I just want to say that I’m grateful for both the hard and good times I’ve had here. These experiences are what have shaped me into the man I am today. I came to Hopkins as a teenager right in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, and I leave a full grown adult ready to swim through the challenges of life. 


COURTESY OF GABRIEL LESSER
Lesser reflects on his time working as a tour guide at Hopkins and what “Why Hopkins?” means to him. 

Why Hopkins?

During these last four years, I’ve worked as a tour guide for the admissions office. When we reach the last tour stop at Decker Quad, I always wrap up by answering the question, “Why Hopkins?” For me, the answer is simple: the people. 


CURTESY OF CHISOM UWAKWE
Uwakwe reflects on what she thought her college experience would be like.

Everything I incorrectly predicted about my college experience

If I had a nickel for every incorrect prediction I made about my college experience, I would have…a lot of nickels. On March 14, 2020, I let out a breath I didn’t realize I had been holding. Staring back at me and my parents was the long-anticipated email from Johns Hopkins University congratulating me on my admission to the class of 2024. I vividly remember spending the rest of that evening daydreaming about the four years ahead of me.


COURTESY OF MADELYN KYE
Kye reflects on what it means to have no plans for after graduation and return to Long Island.  

Looking ahead to my Long Island interlude

Much like the last day of a vacation, my excessive awareness of the fact that my time at Hopkins is coming to a close has made it difficult to fully enjoy myself. Instead, whenever I check my calendar, I find myself counting the number of weeks left until graduation u2014 and, six days later, my flight home.


Harar shares her recommendations of classes and extracurriculars. 

Recommendations from a Hopkins senior

My time at THE Johns Hopkins University can only be described as hectic, bustling and ever-moving. From signing myself up for as many clubs as possible to taking 18-credit semesters, I would like to think that I have contributed (quite well) to campus — and Baltimore — during my undergrad. Though I have been involved in many things, I would like to take the time to highlight one class, one organization and one experience that meant so much to me.


COURTESY OF KOBI KHONG
Khong reflects on how his favorite moments at Hopkins have been unplanned.

Copy of Copy of PLAN BUT I DROP PREMED

“Copy of Copy of PLAN BUT I DROP PREMED”  That is the title of the final iteration of my four-year plan. As I sit down to reflect on the last four years of my life at Hopkins, those are the words that echo in my mind. It’s a simple yet poignant summary of the twists and turns, ups and downs, As and “unsatisfactory”s, that have characterized my university experience.


COURTESY OF ABIGAIL TUSCHMAN
Tuschman looks back on her time with The News-Letter. 

An attempted goodbye to the Gatehouse

I’ve started saying my goodbyes to Homewood Campus. As I conclude my last year of college and my third year in Baltimore, I think back to the places where I passed my time. The dorms, the library, the stuffy classrooms. It is easier to grieve brick and mortar than the people I may never see again. 


COURTESY OF ELAINE YANG
Yang on a solo walk around the Homewood Campus in January 2021.

Confidence is that thing with feathers

Everyone comes to college an outsider. New to Baltimore, I remember jangling with the nervous desire to belong. I looked for a way in through writing for The News-Letter, and one of my first stories was about a new restaurant opening in Charles Village called Busboys and Poets. Busboys is gone now, which goes to show how a person and a place can change in less than four years.


COURTESY OF FRANK MENG
After a long day of fieldwork in Arkansas, the PIRL team gathers for dinner at one of Memphis’s top BBQ spots.

From Arkansas to Baltimore: Fieldwork and Growth

I joined the Poverty and Inequality Research Lab intending not only to gain research skills but also to become a better listener and advocate. During winter break, we traveled to a small town in Arkansas to map out the decision-making processes of families there. This experience helped us learn more about the voices of marginalized communities.


COURTESY OF ESTELLE YEUNG
Yeung visiting Baltimore as a child. 

Embracing the unexpected

I will never forget the day I was accepted into Hopkins. Not because it was rosy and life-changing. Antithetically, it seemed that everyone thought the world would end that day. It was Friday, March 13, 2020, which became our last day of “normal” school before everything shut down due to the pandemic. Now, my graduation gown stares at me from my closet, a self-imposed reminder that my time at Hopkins is almost over. How did we get here already?


COURTESY OF ISABELLA MADRUGA
Madruga reassures her freshman year self that they will be okay. 

A letter to my freshman self: Isabella Madruga

Dear Isabella, You’ve probably just gotten the news that your first semester at Hopkins, your dream university, will be entirely online — right before your wisdom teeth removal surgery. It sucks, I know. And these restrictions will stay in place for a while. But the pandemic doesn’t last forever. You will get to dance the night away, see your friends’ faces and experience all the unique offerings Baltimore has — eventually. 


COURTESY OF ALIZA LI
Photo of my friends and I.

A letter to my freshman self: Aliza Li

Really, this letter to my freshman self might also be a letter to my current self. Although I’ve definitely changed in these past four years, I’ve stayed the same in many ways. I’m still anxious, neurotic and a people pleaser. I still worry. I still have many fears. I’m still learning to accept who I am as a person, to love myself and to grow as a friend to others.


BookTok: Trends and community

During and following the pandemic, reading has been on the rise. This has been evident among online communities, like and including TikTok’s “BookTok.” There, readers share book reviews, talk about their reading habits and recommend books to other TikTok users. 


ARANTZA GARCIA/LAYOUT AND DESIGN EDITOR
Daum discusses the limitations of the court cases against Donald Trump.

Trump’s legal challenges: Too little, too late

Donald Trump’s legal woes have become something of a spectacle, with a new case or arraignment seemingly arriving every week. However, it seems that these felonies are having practically no impact on his presidential ambitions.


ARANTZA GARCIA/LAYOUT AND DESIGN EDITOR
Koo discusses international elections occurring in 2024.

Elections around the globe in 2024

National and regional elections are taking place in more than 50 countries around the world in 2024, including 7 of the 10 most populous countries. The presidential and legislative elections put to test human rights, economies, international relations, and prospects for peace in at least 64 countries. Among these, the spotlight is placed on five nations standing at critical crossroads: Taiwan, facing an existential threat from Beijing; the United States, navigating a divided nation; Russia, under the unrelenting grip of Putin; and India and Pakistan, enduring democratic hurdles amid regional pressures.


American policy trends: Foreign and domestic

The global political order is seeing an unprecedented level of conflict with the United States being a key actor in most of them. If you think of most prominent conflicts or humanitarian crises going on today, our country, for better or for worse, has played a role. Given the current tumultuous nature of U.S. policy, both foreign and domestic, understanding why and how these policies came about is crucial and a key factor in this year’s upcoming elections.


An incel’s fantasy: Into the world of tradwives

TikTok, which started as a platform to share dance and lip-sync videos, has now become a hotbed for political and social movements, subcultures and ideologies — one of which is the “tradwife” movement. Tradwife videos often show conventionally attractive white women in picture-perfect homes (or aesthetically “messy” farmhouses) wearing ironed sundresses covered with an apron, tending to their brood of children, making food from scratch and speaking in a feminine lilt.


ARANTZA GARCIA/LAYOUT AND DESIGN EDITOR
Fahmy discusses the current revival of Y2K fashion.

Why is Y2K so popular again?

From animal print to baby tees and low-rise jeans, fashion styles from the early 2000s are trending amongst Gen Z. Many people know this as “Y2K” style, giving new meaning to the shorthand term for “the year 2000” which was used to describe a number of potential programming errors that were anticipated when computer systems switched from the year 1999 to 2000.


The rise of athletes as political figures

Nowadays, it seems like politics is absolutely everywhere (we are in an election year, after all), but one of the most controversial collaborations often comes when our elected leaders leave the swamp and step into the turf; or vice versa, when our favorite athletes exit the court and stand at the pulpit. 


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