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 The Graduate influenced me to embrace the unknown

December 6, 2018

It is incredibly easy to feel trapped when you're a senior in college. With graduation looming, family members curiously prodding and the huge anxious cloud of the future hanging over everything, the sense of being boxed in is almost impossible to avoid. ...

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Dustin Hoffman starred as Ben Braddock in the 1967 film The Graduate.

 COURTESY OF ROLLIN HU
Hu, age 9 in the photograph, never imagined that he would attend Hopkins.

Reflecting on my time here before I graduate

December 5, 2018

About a year and a half ago, I had a column in this newspaper called Irrelevant History where I wrote about weird individuals or events from the past. I graduate this semester, so I thought I might revisit this column as my final article for The News-Letter. Out of a delusional sense of self-grandeur or an in ill-advised attempt at closure, this week’s Irrelevant History topic is me.


Finding gratitude and peace in familiar spaces

December 5, 2018

There are certain places that offer tranquility and repose. I was reminded of one such location recently when my mom sent me a photo of Our Lady of Victory National Shrine & Basilica decorated for Christmas. This church, first opened in 1926, is stationed mere blocks away from the home my grandfather currently lives in, which also happens to be where he and his two sisters were raised. 

 COURTESY OF RON CORBO.
The alter at Our Lady of Victory Basilica in Buffalo decorated for Christmas.

Why I'm vowing to support my female peers

December 5, 2018

We’ve all watched Mean Girls, and while it’s understandable that we would like to relate most to Cady Heron, even she did some pretty catty and immature things. In high school, for most of us girls, “gossip” was synonymous with “hanging out.” Seemingly harmless yet vindictive and downright bitchy comments were ubiquitous.


Beyond the stereotypes: dispelling myths about mental illness

November 29, 2018

Myth: People with mental illnesses tend to be violent Those being effectively treated for psychotic illnesses are no more likely to be violent. Still, a 2006 survey found that 60 percent of people thought that those with schizophrenia were likely to act violently. Emma McGinty, deputy director for the Center for Mental Health and Addiction Policy Research at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, wrote in an email to The News-Letter that this belief is not true.


[ Deleted ]

November 29, 2018

I wrote a piece. I was forced to throw it away, to delete it from my hard drive, to delete it from my mind.

COURTESY OF SHEFALI VIJAY

COURTESY OF ARIELLA SHUA

What we miss by classifying autism as a mental illness

November 29, 2018

Writing about mental health is a touchy subject for me. That’s not because I am dealing with anxiety, or depression or another form of mental illness myself. I am extremely fortunate in that I don’t, to my knowledge, have a mental health issue or disability.


Growing up and learning to live with my evolving OCD

November 29, 2018

When most TV shows or movies portray a character with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), that character can usually be found washing their hands for 15 minutes straight or flipping a light switch on and off five times before leaving a room. And to most of the world, that’s what OCD is. 

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Finding relief in a cookie: How baking alleviates my stress

November 29, 2018

The latest pop smash echoes through the room, shots of grapefruit-flavored vodka line the worn table and the scent of cinnamon wafts from a tray of snickerdoodles in the corner. One of these things is not like the others. What is a plate of freshly baked cookies doing at a college party? 

KIMBERLY VARDEMAN / CC BY 2.0

Being a bystander: How can I help someone I know who is struggling?

November 29, 2018

The quick answer: It depends. It depends on the struggle. The enormity of this question paired with the spectrum of mental health issues, possibilities and struggles, makes this answer near impossible to tackle in a mere 1,000 words. My experiences as an A Place to Talk (APTT) trainer, QPR-certified member, Sexual Assault Resource Unit (SARU) hotline respondent, psychology major and hospice volunteer will hopefully prove useful, though.

THE GETTY CENTER

When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it. (72).png

Why I’m not going to forgive my abusers, and that’s okay

December 3, 2018

Forgiveness is a complicated thing. It is touted as the one path to inner peace. Bitter people are never happy; angry people are never at peace. Accepting this was hard for me, because I am angry, and I am bitter, and I don’t think I want to let go of that. I think my anger is what drives me, and some may say that is no way to live your life, but I think it has been the only way to live mine.


Navigating dating and relationships with mental illness

November 29, 2018

I usually don’t like to tell people I’m dating about my struggles with mental health for a couple of reasons. For one, it’s something that I’ve learned to cope with mostly on my own. With obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and attention-deficit Disorder (ADD), difficulties mostly pop up on a brief, day-to-day basis, and I’ve adapted to handling small anxiety flare-ups and focus issues without too much help (though there is no downplaying the amount of help from family and friends I needed in order to get to this place of daily comfort with my disorders). 

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Self-care tips from The News-Letter editors

November 29, 2018

Sometimes it helps to set everything down and stare into space for a few minutes. If I’m at home, I like to open the window, sit on my bed and focus on something aesthetically pleasing in my room, like my succulent, Luna. I’d listen to something instrumental to slow down my heart rate and breathing: Studio Ghibli soundtracks, Hilary Hahn’s Bach recordings, Schumann and the “Peaceful Piano” playlist on Spotify are always helpful. Afterward, I always feel more grounded, alert and focused. 


Using Google Maps to keep homesickness at bay

November 28, 2018

Humans, by nature, love to measure things. Throughout history, civilizations and individuals alike have consistently created systems of measurement: Ancient Maya charted the skies and compiled a calendar to measure time; physicists work to calculate the scale of our universe; English bishop John Wilkins invented the metric system in the 17th century.


COURTESY OF VAGUEONTHEHOW
Grant Gustin plays Barry Allen, the protagonist, on The CW’s The Flash.

Taking in the wisdom of accomplished people

November 28, 2018

Twist the burette, open the tap with your non-dominant hand, swirl the flask and voila! A quick and easy titration,” my chemistry lab professor said. He had been watching me do the lab and stepped up to teach me his titration technique. I observed with awe as he transformed a 10-second process into a one-second feat. 


Explore what your local food scene has to offer

November 28, 2018

The moment my bus pulled away from the curb of Newark’s Penn Station — only late by a modest 12 minutes, impressively enough — I felt it. With only half a cup of coffee to assuage its relentless appetite, my stomach began to rumble in longing for the hometown staples I’d savored over Thanksgiving break.

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A go-to dish from home is the arancini at his uncle’s deli in Fairfield.

COURTESY OF ADDY PERLMAN
Pledges bobbing for apples as part of their quest to become sisters.

A tradition passed down through generations

November 28, 2018

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I thought I would give you a story to be thankful for.  A long time ago, two mortal enemies formed rival sororities for their high schools. They were each going to take 50 girls from their grades to form pledge classes. Who would recruit whom? Which would be more popular? Who would win?