Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
December 2, 2021

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.



A sacred name or a deadname?

A pain surged in my chest when I saw the pictures side-by-side on the wall. Even though I transitioned years ago, I tend to be very protective of that old self because of the backlash that I experienced at Hopkins in going from one state of being to another. 


COURTESY OF MADELYN KYE
Kye reminisces on the vibrant Thanksgivings of her childhood in Asharoken, N.Y.

Thanksgiving on the beach

It’s been several years since my grandparents left Asharoken, but I cannot stop imagining Thanksgivings on the beach. 


PHOTO EDITOR/MIRI CAZES
Iyer and Salem express their frustration with the University’s waste disposal process.

Are we trash or is the system trash?

Hopkins presents the unified aim of managing waste and reducing any harmful release of chemicals into the environment. The University encourages all members of the faculty and student body to participate in this goal in the name of sustainability. 


COURTESY OF MICHELLE LIMPE
After dancing in the SLAM Showcase, Limpe reflects on her experiences with Eclectics Dance Group.

Dance like nobody’s watching

5, 6, 7, 8... Step here... Spin... Wait, shoot, I missed a beat. It’s okay. As the choreo chairs like to tell us, the audience won’t know you messed up if you exude confidence in your movements. 


Reflecting on my indecisiveness

I’m an indecisive person. Deciding where to eat for lunch is as difficult a choice for me to make as deciding my majors was. I go over the options relentlessly until I feel (mostly) confident I’m making the right choice. I find it nearly impossible to act spontaneously.



FILE PHOTO
With fall in full swing, Paulisich uses this time to explore his attitudes toward change.

Reflections on change: fall

It’s fall again, but this year is a little different. To me, fall is the time to reflect, to daydream about summer beach days and the tide rising to fill its vacancy, to remember the sunny shirtless days I spent on the roof reading The Alchemist and Where the Crawdads Sing.


COURTESY OF KEIDAI LEE
In honor of National FLI Day, Lee reflects on his family, upbringing and experiences as a transfer student at Hopkins.

What money can’t buy

“We can buy that for you,” my mom told 4-year-old me, “but your dad will have to sweat a whole wok full of sweat for us. Do you still want it?”



COURTESY OF JACKIE RITTENHOUSE
Rittenhouse reflects on the way her pets have shaped her life and how she has had to adapt after losing them.

Eminently adaptable

If you asked 8-year-old me to share a fun fact about herself, she’d tell you that she has so many pets she basically lives on a farm. She would probably even count them off for you, only exaggerating a little bit for dramatic effect, of course. 


COURTESY OF AASHI MENDPARA
Mendpara reviews how her passion for playing cello was realized, forgotten and recently remembered.

Rediscovering my love for my cello

Mrs. Rogers was my first and only cello instructor, and she was, and still is, the sweetest lady. Lessons started with eating strawberry bonbons — a tradition I carry to every audition, concert and recital — and ended with three octave scales


COURTESY OF MICHELLE LIMPE
Limpe adjusted to living in Baltimore again after spending a year of college at home in the Philippines.

The sunrise’s signal of a new day

August 16: the day I finally returned to Hopkins after the pandemic unpredictably stole a year from many college students. As I sat in the rental car with my parents and drove down the oh-so-familiar N. Charles Street, memories from freshman year flooded my mind, and I couldn’t help but feel teary-eyed at the sentiments from the past. 



COURTESY OF MADELYN KYE
Kye learned more about herself through being a First-Year Mentor.

Lessons from being an FYM

I applied to be a First-Year Mentor (FYM) on a whim, not expecting to actually be hired. Mostly, I applied so I could tell myself (and my parents) that I had at least attempted to get an on-campus job.



COURTESY OF GABRIEL LESSER
Lesser compares his childhood memories of the beach to his current appreciation for the Beach on campus.

The Beach: growing up and looking back

Sitting on campus in between classes the other day, I looked out and saw a toddler chasing after soap bubbles. His grandma was sitting in a chair a few feet away, blowing these bubbles out of a circular wand, and there he was, running after them.


COURTESY OF JOHN D’CRUZ
York addresses the unfair expectations placed on women and their bodies from a young age.

Learning how to “be a girl”

When I was 10 years old, I was standing in the hallway at school talking with a friend. I was wearing shorts. Sometime during our conversation, my friend looked down at my legs, then back up at me, and said, “You haven’t started shaving your legs yet? Doesn’t your mom let you?” The answer to both questions was “no,” but I didn’t know what to say.


COURTESY OF SUDHA YADAV
Yadav learned to accept herself and stopped changing her personality for others.

My evolving self

It’s a friends’ night, my mind is racing with all kinds of thoughts, my heartbeat is fast and I am trying to calm myself down after reading my current favorite book, A Century is Not Enough: My Roller-coaster Ride to Success. I am thinking about what completely transformed me from the most extroverted kid to a socially awkward girl who overthinks whenever meeting a new person. 


COURTESY OF AASHI MENDPARA
Mendpara recounts the frequent mispronunciation of her name throughout childhood and the meaning her name holds for her today.

No, it’s not 'Ashy'

My daily nightmare as a child stemmed from the classroom roster. I remember my first day of seventh grade; I sat in homeroom waiting for Mrs. Mitchell to say “Aashi.” I had made a bet with my friends earlier that day: She would be able to pronounce my name. 


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