Hopkins is a diverse university where an incredible mix of cultures, academic interests and personalities coexist and thrive. Here is the section where you can publish your unique thoughts, ideas and perspectives on life at Hopkins and beyond.
I am preparing to study abroad next semester. So far, this has mainly consisted of curating a new wardrobe on Pinterest, applying for a visa and — on a sadder note — grappling with the knowledge that this would be my last semester with many of my best friends at Hopkins.
When I interviewed at a medical school earlier this year, I felt the interview had gone ok. In preparation I practiced my answers with multiple mock interviewers, watched countless videos from past applicants and researched extensively on the school.
My mom was younger than I am now when she moved from Brazil to the United States. She met my dad, who is from New York, while they were both studying abroad at Tel Aviv University. At the age of 19, she left her home in Rio de Janeiro and transferred to college in New York to be with my dad.
These past few weeks have felt like an ensemble coming-of-age miniseries. For most of this semester, I have been practically living in some of my closest friends’ dorms and apartments.
One of the most obvious things that we notice in our everyday lives is that people are distinctly different. There are 7 billion people sharing the earth. But how many are considered normal? When are people considered abnormal?
Before the pandemic, I was a freshman still trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my time at Hopkins. I was preoccupied with my grades, my resume and being the best I could be. By the start of spring of 2020, I began to volunteer with the Baltimore chapter of the International Refugee Committee (IRC). I thought it was an excellent activity to get involved in, since I wanted to work with international organizations or the State Department in the future.
June 6 was the day my summer truly began. At 6:30 I woke up, put on my bathing suit and sweats and drove to my favorite place: work. My coworkers and I greeted each other in the parking lot, blinking away the mist of the early morning as we started our trek down the hill to the beach.
I have an on-again, off-again relationship with running. The cycle began when I joined the track and field team in seventh grade. I already played a fall sport and was looking for a way to stay active in the spring. That year I tried out sprinting, hurdles and triple jump; I found myself extremely motivated by the prospect of progress in these various events.
When I first landed at the airport in Sevilla this past August to study abroad, I felt an overwhelming weight on my shoulders. In addition to the sweltering heat and my exhaustion from travel, I felt immensely unfamiliar with my surroundings and didn’t know how I’d fit into the city.
The return to “normal” has been gradual for all, The News-Letter included. The pandemic forced us to move our print publication, a tradition on campus for over 120 years, to a fully online, daily production with our last print edition published on March 12, 2020.
Our first fully in-person year at college has not been without its ups and downs (or else, would we even be true to this column?). Anytime we enter a new experience, it’s most likely not done properly, thus leading to our current predicament: lecture halls.
This past summer, I watched a matinee with my mom every Monday at our local AMC Theater. We picked our movies almost arbitrarily. One week an indie film about a slow-burn romance set in foggy London. The next a major action blockbuster (think: Yakuza and locomotives) upon which my mother — who usually prefers drama over action — awarded the glowing review of not bad.
Looking back at 21-year-old Sudha, I always used to be in so much of a rush. With everything I did — whether it was academics, research or even hobbies — I wanted to be the best. But now that I’m in graduate school, with almost the exact same schedule every day, I have begun to feel like my progress is plateauing.
The struggle is real. I never thought I’d find myself in a situation where I would be “a returning student.” But here I am, proud of the leap of faith I took to come back but also feeling wildly out of place. No one would be able to tell what kind of student I am, and frankly no one should care, but my own intrusive thoughts tell me that I stick out like a sore thumb.
At the beginning of my summer, this is what I had attributed my opportunity to live and intern in California to — luck. My experiences over the past summer were never something that I had considered for my personal plan nor were they a possibility that I thought could be on my radar. But when I received the call from my recruiter during spring break, I knew it was something that I had to take.