Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
November 29, 2023


Harar provides advice on how to decorate and maintain a home that feels like your own.

Making your living space feel like home

As a core experience of college life, decorating your dorm room for the first time is both new and exciting. However, while many of us look forward to it, planning your room can also be daunting.  Although having a cute, aesthetic room is a priority for some, the most important thing is having a space you feel comfortable in — a space to call home. To ease some of the anxiety you may be having or to simply help your room “glow up,”  here are a few tips on making your dorm (or apartment) feel like home. 

Liu offers tips on starting and staying committed to journaling.

Tips to kickstart or revitalize your journal

I've been journaling for over a decade now. My first journal was a shoddy thing I glued together from construction paper, notebook paper and cardboard back in fourth grade. I was big on crafts back then. 

Savani discusses the importance of daily mindfulness.

Making space for yourself

Taking time for yourself is highly recommended to integrate into your daily routine. These moments help us process our thoughts, emotions and surroundings, allowing our brain to take on the needed break from stress. Whether you spend one hour or 15 minutes, this time will help you recharge, reflect and prevent future burnout. 

Mattoon recommends five books that have inspired and empowered her.

Five books hot girls working on themselves read

Grab your tote bags and head down to Bird in Hand for an iced oat chai, because it’s time to sit down for some reading. No, not the desert-dry PDF scan your professor uploaded to Canvas. And no, the #fitspo Instagram captions that make you feel horrible about yourself don’t count either. When is the last time you sat down to a book that felt like it fed your soul? A book that inspired you to be the best version of yourself? While I myself do not read as much as I would like to, here is a roundup of some of the books that have made me feel like an empowered main character by the time I was done with them. 

Song shares tips on developing a healthy sleep schedule in college.

The importance of getting a good night's sleep

Everyone has heard the same old advice about getting eight hours of sleep every night. Parents say it. Teachers say it. Thousands of YouTubers say it. But as college students, we find that school and life naturally get in the way, whether it’s a few midterms, a big essay or a friend's birthday. Some of us celebrate getting even six hours of sleep, but getting a consistent seven to eight hours of sleep provides more benefits than you would think. 

Veloso encourages others to be their own biggest supporters.

Self-confidence: stan yourself

After years of seeing these phrases online, I started saying these things to myself about myself. At first, it just made me laugh. I am the kind of person who has an internal monologue at all times, so if I made scrambled eggs correctly, I would say something like “maybe I’m a domestic goddess” in my head. If I got a physics problem right, I would (silently) claim that I had invented physics. This sort of self-dialogue went unnoticed for a while, but I really began to understand its effect when I studied for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) this past summer.

Gonzales discusses why movies and other entertainment heavily focus on physical transformations. 

Why are we obsessed with makeovers?

A makeover doesn’t give you success. You earn that on your own. A person’s character, their inner beauty, will always receive the most praise at the end of the day. Inner beauty overpowers the makeover your older sister gave you the same way that inner ugliness will ruin a glow up.

Lacey shares how different forms of meditation have impacted her and lists free resources to Hopkins students.

Meditation 101

This past year, I’ve found that even on days when I feel like I have no spare time, I still need to make time to take care of myself; in fact, it’s especially important that I practice self-care on those days. Meditation has become one of my favorite ways to relax and reenergize for multiple reasons, but the biggest one is that it’s simple. Sometimes I just don’t have the energy to go for a run, to journal or to do a complicated skincare routine. Sometimes all I want to do is close my eyes and rest for 10 minutes, and oftentimes that’s enough to help me unwind.

Kye discusses why she returned to ice skating.

Returning to a childhood hobby: full figure eight

I quit figure skating when I was 10 years old, and though I regretted having done so throughout middle school and high school, I never actually imagined that I would return to skating. The more time that passed, the more distant that former hobby of mine seemed. Still, when I found myself craving the comfort I had found in skating as a child now as a freshman in college, I decided it was worth picking it up again.

Limpe asserts the importance of a skincare routine and details her own.

How to step up your skincare routine

When I was younger, my grandmother would always give me skincare products to subtly remind me of the importance of taking care of my skin. Of course, as a child, I never took her advice seriously until I reached puberty and began to see the consequences of my ignorance. Through testing different products, receiving regular facials and conducting research, I soon developed a skincare routine that not only keeps my skin healthy and clear but boosts my self-confidence and soothes my mind for the day. 

Park gives her best answers to some of the most commonly asked questions from freshmen.

How to survive Hopkins 101 (Q&A)

Hello new Jays! First off, welcome to Hopkins. I know you are all probably bursting with excitement and anticipation to begin your newfound college careers. You have also probably scoured YouTube, Reddit, Quora and basically every website that can give you an ounce of insight into your next four years here at Hopkins. We have all been there. Well look no further, as I, an aging senior, have compiled some of your questions and have — to the best of my ability — answered them. Here is the 101 on how to survive Hopkins.

Wadsten gives her take on some of the most underrated places in Baltimore.

Baltimore: the offbeat and underrated

I knew next to nothing about Baltimore before I moved here four years ago, but it’s become a place I fondly call home. From a community research job at the hospital, working as a dog walker and sitter, learning about the city in classes, writing and editing for The News-Letter and exploring Baltimore on my own, I’ve gotten to know the city, and I hope you get the chance to burst the Hopkins bubble over your time here too. 

Tuschman shares some helpful lessons she learned throughout her college career.

How to achieve the best college experience

Navigating college involves a lot of trial and error. Whether it’s oversleeping for an exam or switching majors three times, we inevitably have missteps that we can (hopefully) learn from. But there are some lessons I wish I didn’t learn the hard way. Here are a few things you should know in advance in order to have the best college experience:

One way to support fellow Blue Jays is by attending sports games.

An introduction to Hopkins sports

While Hopkins is known for its top-ranked academics, it also boasts some of the best teams in collegiate sports. As sports writers for The News-Letter, we have the privilege of covering Hopkins athletics, and we encourage you to attend their games to have fun and support your peers. Here, we will introduce some of the teams that we have covered in depth.

John describes how she met her first friend at Hopkins.

My first friend at Hopkins

Hi! My name is Shirlene John. I'm from the Bay Area, California, and I’m thinking of majoring in English and maybe Neuroscience. I love running and being outdoors, and I can't wait to explore Baltimore! I love reading pretty much anything, so let me know your favorite book recommendations! I also love trying new foods, so please feel free to reach out to me!

The sports scene in and around Baltimore is unmatched.

Exploring the Baltimore sports scene

With the fall semester just around the corner, Hopkins students are slowly making their way back to campus. Since most venues have opened up, attending sporting events is a great way to enjoy yourself outside the realm of academics. Ranging from top-notch sports leagues like the National Football League (NFL) and Major League Baseball (MLB) to collegiate, minor and local sports leagues, the opportunities are endless. Here are some exciting, in-person sports events that you can witness in Baltimore this fall semester.

Mattoon gives her best tips on how to make it through Baltimore’s cold winter season.

My first winter at Hopkins

You may have sweat your body weight during Move-In, but enjoy feeling hot while it lasts. Soon, we’ll see the first leaves of fall, the first frost of winter and the long wait for springtime. I’m a Texas girl, and my Christmas dress has short sleeves and falls just to my knees. Like most of the Class of 2024, I also moved to Baltimore in the depths of January. When my friends proposed an excursion to The Charmery, I shivered the entire way there and opted for a hot cocoa instead. While in some ways winter never gets easier, I have found some practices that help me get through the season without feeling dead inside.