Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
June 2, 2020

Voices

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.



NEHA SANGANA/PHOTOGRAPHY STAFF
Isaacs and Kim reflect on their accomplishments this year at The News-Letter. 

Our time as Editors-in-Chief in a year of firsts

On Wednesday, March 11, we sat together in our Gatehouse office for the last time. It was the day that the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, the day after the University had suspended in-person classes. Otherwise, March 11 was like any other production night. 


Learning to accept life's shades of gray

In my college essay, I had proudly proclaimed that I was not afraid of uncertainty, that I was not scared of complexity, that shades of gray only inspired me. I have to confess that it does not hold true today after three years of college.


COURTESY OF DIVA PAREKH

Almost done with her master's, Parekh reflects on the friendships she's made along the way.

Saying goodbye to Hopkins after five years

In two hours, I’m going to be logging in to my last class, which is going to be the last class I ever attend. It feels like a milestone in my life — leaving the comfort of academia to finally venture out into the unknown. 


COURTESY OF SANIYA RAMCHANDANI
Ramchandani made the difficult decision to go home to Singapore.

Deciding to go home

Our semesters were cut short almost five weeks ago. Since we received that first email announcing that classes wouldn’t resume until April 12, I had been struggling with the decision to go home to Singapore. The uncertainty surrounding when the University would reopen and the perils of airports and airplanes at a time like this were some of the reasons that this decision was extremely difficult.  


This week’s “Ask Arden” column answers how to get over a breakup.

Ask Arden: How do I get over my ex-boyfriend?

I want to start by saying that this is completely natural to feel after a breakup. Your ex-boyfriend was at one point a significant part of your life and someone you cared for, so it’s natural to wonder what he’s up to now. Sometimes even years after we sever a relationship with someone, we wonder what or how they’re doing. This is common, but that doesn’t make it any easier; it’s a tough temptation to get over. 


COURTESY OF ADDY PERLMAN
Perlman relates her quarantine experience to the famous graffiti wall in the Elephant House.

The Elephant House in Georgia

My mind feels like a graffitied wall. Emotions are scribbled diagonally and circularly in curlicue font and bold typeface. The neon colors are the random FaceTime calls from friends I miss. Black ramblings are the moments right before I go to sleep and right after I wake up and I remember why I’m in the room I left behind three years ago. Why is it that when it is mandated to stay home I want to leave the most? 


Recovering from my sexual assault: what I’ve learned

I’ve communicated with one friend since the shutdown. He’s my only friend. The roads outside are barren, the blossoming flowers and warm rays of sunshine an insult. Beyond our neighborhood, soccer fields and playgrounds are plastered with apocalyptic signs that read, “Indefinitely closed for COVID-19. KEEP OUT!” coupled with a marginally more romantic, “Practice social distancing and wash your hands :).” These days I have so much time to write and reflect upon my life.


COURTESY OF VICKY CHEN
Baking has been one of Chen’s favorite leisure activities during her time social distancing.

Reflecting on an "extended weekend" and what's to come

I have, like the rest of us, been feeling a mushy amalgamation of lethargy and unease. Each endless Sunday I wake up anytime between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., eat whatever meal feels the most appropriate, and weave in and out of Zoom meetings, naps, Netflix binge sessions and schoolwork. 


Navigating my relationship with Hindi

My French has faltered many times, especially in rather unforgiving environments like Paris. Yet I have always felt more confident speaking it than Hindi, the language I grew up hearing. My parents, who are Indian immigrants, have always spoken it at home, but never pushed me to when I was growing up.


How to not hate yourself during quarantine

It can be difficult to practice self-love while in quarantine. Despite what Instagram and TikTok will have you believe, most of us are not doing daily high intensity interval training, baking bread or cleaning our rooms. Many of us are actually just sitting at home losing academic motivation, panicking about summer internships and contemplating whether or not to go outside that day. 


The luckiest class on the face of the earth

Senior set. Many dance groups do it — Eclectics, Korean Pop Motion, SLAM — as one of those college traditions filled with pride and mystery. At each annual dance showcase, the seniors of the club perform a special set of their own, the result of months of practicing in secret and a capstone to our four years at Hopkins.


The utter comfort of bad TV Shows

In this tumultuous yet simultaneously tedious time at home, I have to keep reminding myself that there is a light at the end of tunnel. Though we sadly do not know when we will see the light, how bright it will be, if it is actually there or not, whether or not it will reschedule graduation, if our government is really doing all they can, whether we will even get to vote this year or... 


PUBLIC DOMAIN
In tarot, The Devil represents not only the harm others do to us, but the harm we do to ourselves

The Devil: Gaslighting and the long healing process

Gaslighting, coined from the 1938 play Gas Light, is defined as the psychological manipulation of someone such that they begin to doubt their own sanity and beliefs. In doing so, the “gaslighter” can more easily control and influence their victim. ] This isn’t a story about how I was gaslighted. This is a story of what happens after. 




Learning how to cope in a pandemic

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind rollercoaster of emotions. I’ve felt everything from ecstatic to guilty to so upset that I found myself sobbing uncontrollably on the floor. 


Going back home: From Stockholm to Korea

March 11 (the day before) 1 p.m.:  I struggled through Mythos, a mystery board game based on H.P. Lovecraft’s writings, with my Storytelling Workshop: How a Narrative Works classmates. It was pretty scary; or maybe I’m just easily scared by horror stories. 




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