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.


How I have changed as a person in the last year

October 17, 2019

The transition between sophomore and junior year has been far more daunting than the previous year’s experience; moving off campus, realizing CVS isn’t at my doorstep when I run out of toothpaste, having to pack lunch because running home in the ...


Courtesy of Kelvin Qian
Qian often felt as if he was between two worlds in his time abroad.

Living as a foreigner of Chinese descent in China

October 17, 2019

It was over a year ago when I visited the city of Wuxi during my study-abroad program. I was with my roommate, a student at Donghua University, the university in Shanghai that hosted the program. And we were with three of my fellow study-abroad students plus their roommates, who were also local Donghua students.


What a trip abroad to Oktoberfest taught me

October 17, 2019

While many of you were probably downing Natty Bohs at a darty this past weekend, I was in the presence of slightly more tolerable beer at Germany’s Oktoberfest. Somewhat misleadingly, Oktoberfest actually kicks off in September and runs for a few weeks into the next month. What began as a wedding celebration 200 years ago has evolved into a check-box on the travel list of every student studying abroad.

COURTESY OF MANAVI MONGIA
A lack of planning taught Mongia about the value of improvisation.

Examining my anxiety and how I can manage it

October 16, 2019

How would I describe anxiety? Like thoughts but on steroids, on overdrive. Each one hits you like a knife slicing through your brain. Like this blackness that you swim in. You want to come up for air but you can't. It’s like your chest is made of a thousand stones and a rib cage that seems to be rigidly attached to your heart. Like something is itching inside of you. But instead of itching, it’s like someone is ravaging your insides and you can't stop it.


The self-care alphabet: an introduction (part I)

October 16, 2019

After writing my first piece for The News-Letter about self care, I heard so much positive feedback about it that I was inspired to write on self care again. I had just come back from a large group meeting at A Place To Talk Large, and we had explored the different objects, people, memories and places that are the most important to us in our lives. It really made me reflect on the things that make my life so great. I do love my life, and I think this love is due to my many ways for taking care of myself. I believe that you are capable of loving your life when you take good care of yourself.

COURTESY OF CECILIA VORFELD
For Vorfeld, self-care can be as simple as taking a break outside with friends.

EDA INCEKARA / PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR
Beaver weighs in on Netflix’s latest original movie Tall Girl, directed by Nzingha Stewart.

I watched all of Netflix’s Tall Girl and it was awful

October 9, 2019

This week I watched Netflix’s newest original movie, Tall Girl. This movie starts with a guy starting to ask out our titular tall girl, Jodi (played by Ava Michelle), until she stands up. She is a tall, blonde model-type, which is obviously a fat “no” for little boys in high school. And she follows up with, “You know that really, really tall girl you go to school with?” Eye-roll.


Be impulsive­­: You might learn something new about yourself

October 9, 2019

The bathtub itself took 30 minutes to clean and another 10 to fill. For a quick 20-minute dip, it resulted in quite a long series of catastrophes, including my almost dropping my laptop and my copy of Jonathan Spence’s The Search for Modern China into the disappointingly soapy water. It was stress-inducing rather than stress-relieving.

COURTESY OF STEPHANIE LEE
While it can cause problems, being impulsive plays a large role in how Lee experiences the world.

COURTESY OF GABI SWISTARA
Swistara explains why she won’t take her brother’s love for granted.

Reflecting on my experiences as a younger sister

October 9, 2019

This is for my older brother. It is a life-changing experience to be a little sister, and it was a surprisingly emotional moment for me to see him get married. I shut down. I got defensive to hide the feeling of losing my big brother. 


Electability is a concept I can’t support in 2020

October 9, 2019

Over the past few months, I’ve heard a refrain from my peers when talking about Democratic hopefuls for President: “I like X candidate, but I should probably vote for Biden because he’s the most electable.” Voters in the Democratic Party (disclaimer: I’m one of them) like to throw around the word “electability,” but what exactly does this mean? As a young person excited about civic participation, I’ve taken a more critical look at the claim that former Vice President Joe Biden is our most electable — and only —  option. 

GAGE SKIDMORE CC BY-SA 2.0
Biden is often seen as the most electable Democratic candidate for 2020.

Chicken noodle soup is the perfect sick-day meal

October 9, 2019

Last week, I was morbidly ill (read: I had a cold) and all I wanted was some soup. As my sinuses revolted against the benevolent patron who regularly treats them to ginger tea and essential oil diffusers, I writhed about in bed pining for nothing more than a steaming bowl of broth into which I could plunge my face and dissolve my affliction.


Courtesy of Addy Perlman
Perlman talked to Professor Walters about his experience at Hopkins.

Learning about the legacy of women at Hopkins

October 2, 2019

Circumscribed by hundreds of books, Ronald Walters leans back in his chair and prepares to tell his story. From Stanford to Berkeley, where he received his PhD, Walters moved across the country to join the Hopkins staff in 1970, and he is currently a professor of history.


Figuring out both sides of ‘Chinese-American’

September 25, 2019

“Do you feel more Chinese or American?” We were studying abroad in China, enjoying the best that Shanghai bar life has to offer, when one of my classmates asked me this. She asked the question to a fellow Chinese American student, who sat tall next to me. His answer? “American, through and through.”

COURTESY OF KELVIN QIAN
While abroad in China, Kelvin questions the nature of his dual heritage.

COURTESY OF BONNIE JIN
Jin says that our hard work matters more than the prestige of our schools.

The ways we perpetuate academic elitism

September 25, 2019

I. I sat as the youngest between seven cousins and countless relatives, eating our own version of a belated Thanksgiving. Between mouthfuls of dumplings and rice cakes, I saw my aunt’s eyes crinkling into a smile.