Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
January 26, 2023

Magazine



COURTESY OF STEPHANIE LEE

What I learned from painting my fingernails

Unlike Macklemore, when I was in the third grade, I didn’t think that I was gay. During my childhood, I was instead a mouthpiece of heteronormativity. While in kindergarten, a friend declared that she would one day marry a woman. I argued to her that this was impossible. Even earlier, when a boy in my preschool class showed me his navy-blue fingernails, I insisted that his hands resembled a girl’s.


COURTESY OF STEPHANIE LEE

Queerness, closets and coming out in college

It’s been over a year since I first arrived at Hopkins, full of hopes, fears and vague expectations for my college experience. That arrival entailed much fanfare from overenthusiastic FYMs and even more awkward introductions and icebreakers between me and my classmates. I expected that, and I’ll even admit I loved it in its cringyness.


COURTESY OF STEPHANIE LEE

On whether I should identify as white

“Well, you know, you look... different.” So said one of my friends during a casual dinner conversation one night. We noted that we were the only non-Asian people in the Japanese restaurant. The talk turned to race and how we ourselves identified. Both of us are Jewish, and both of us identified as white.


COURTESY OF STEPHANIE LEE

Moving to a city from rural middle America

Since moving to Baltimore and being at Hopkins, I’ve realized more and more the ways in which my upbringing in essentially the middle of nowhere influenced me. I spent as much time as possible during my childhood years outside, running through the woods and jumping in the lake with my little brother. The gravel road we lived on had virtually no traffic and we knew our neighbors well, so we had free reign to explore the acres of forest surrounding our log home. This may sound incredibly primitive, but one of the favorite activities of my siblings and I was to patrol the woods for dead trees and knock them down. Yep, it was a blast.


How my family shaped who I am today

“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. 


How college has changed how I've viewed myself

Aug. 11, 2016 was the first day I stepped on the Homewood Campus as a student. Like many 18-year-olds, I thought I had a good grasp on who I was and who I wanted to be, and I was so excited for what this new journey would bring me. I was coming to a top university to play football and to study to become a doctor. College was going to be the best years of my life, right?  


How to not graduate “on time”

For most of my life, I thought I was dumb. Or at least, incompetent. It felt like nothing I did was good enough, and the bureaucracy of semi-decent public high schools didn’t help much. Additionally, as I was finishing up high school, I saw how expensive college was, and so I couldn’t take the idea of college seriously. I didn’t understand financial aid, and my non-English-speaking parents certainly did not either. It wasn’t like I felt like I was learning much in high school anyways – how could college be any better? I was always just so tired all the time. What was the point? Was I just doing it all for a piece of paper? 


COURTESY OF STEPHANIE LEE

My relationship with God and physics

Sometimes the things I say sound like the babbling of a romantic idealist. My motivations for physics are too far removed from reality, my reasons for loving the subject too “soft,” and so I don’t know if I have ever really fit into the straight-back mold of an algorithmic physicist. 


Your place is here too: Adjusting to Hopkins as a limited income student

No matter where you go, or who you are, the beginning of a college career is always filled with anxiety. Am I smart enough to be here? Will people like me here? Did I make the right choice? These are ideas going through everyone’s heads, and for the most part, we are all aware of how they can shape our acclimation to Hopkins. 


Surviving the FFC: How to navigate the central dining hall

I cannot pretend to have been an FFC aficionado as a freshman. I actively avoided eating there in favor of a combination of Levering Kitchens, CharMar sandwiches and veggie burgers from Brody Cafe. However, there’s still a lot to be said about having the freshman year dining hall experience and how you can make the most out of it. 



B'more's Neighborhoods: Highlights of some neighborhoods of Charm City

If you never step foot off of Homewood campus or leave the Hopkins bubble, then you will never really take advantage of all your opportunities here at Hopkins. All students should get to know the city that they’ll be calling home for the next four years, but it can be intimidating to know where to start in a new place. 



Sophomores reflect on the best parts of freshman year

“I really liked spring semester as a whole. You’ll hear a lot of older students telling you that second semester is better than the first. They’re right. First semester is cool because you get introduced to a bunch of new and amazing people, but it’s also difficult because of all the adjusting."



Study hard, study smart

Of all of the things that can overwhelm incoming freshmen, the academic rigor of Johns Hopkins is one of the more common ones. Even though the students here are among the best and brightest that high schools have to offer, it’s no secret that a prestigious university like Hopkins is a challenge for everyone. Grades are a popular fixation among students everywhere, and there’s really only one way to get the ones you want: studying. Whether you’re a student who studied well in high school or a student who hasn’t had to study in their life, preparing for tests in college can be intimidating. So, to hopefully make studying less scary, I’ll share some of my tips for more effective test prep. 


COURTESY OF RUDY MALCOM

Malcom reflects on what he's learned from some of his most embarrassing freshman year moments

Mistakes and regrets from freshman year

Whether you’re still wearing your lanyard (please take her off), vomiting illegal liquids into the communal bathroom sink, or facing newfound commitment issues with romantic partners and extracurriculars, this year is sure to bring a multitude of missteps and debacles. But fret not! How else will you mature from a collegiate fetus into a wise Blue Jay?


A guide to Baltimore transport

As someone from a small town (as in, I can’t get groceries without running into half of my graduating class), one of the things I was most excited about when I started college was getting to live in a bigger city like Baltimore. 


Reflecting on choosing a major at Hopkins

“Are you planning on going to medical school?”  This question has plagued me since my decision to attend Hopkins. The University is known primarily as a science, technology, engineering and mathematics — or STEM — school. We have an outstanding, world-renowned medical school, fantastic research opportunities at various labs around campus and no shortage of a multitude of science and engineering advances made by Hopkins researchers. 


Podcast
Leisure Interactive Food Map
The News-Letter Print Locations
News-Letter Special Editions