Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
February 26, 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.



COURTESY OF ADDY PERLMAN
Perlman, a senior, is grateful for the friends who have shaped her college experience.

Reminiscing on the last four years of college

I feel like I’m treading water in the middle of the ocean during a storm, and my arms are getting mighty tired. I’m stressed. I’m scared, and I don’t want to graduate. I mean I do, but I don’t. The last four years have been transformative. All during middle school and high school, I told myself that I just needed to get to college and then my life would be exactly what I wanted. I was so wrong. It hasn’t been like the movies; it’s been better. 



SLOWKING4/CC BY-SA 3.0
Linda Pastan’s poem “Why Are Your Poems So Dark?” strongly resonated with Tuschman as a child.

The ups and downs in my journey with poetry

My love for poetry started in sixth grade. I think, before then, I believed I was too good for it. I thought poetry was the cheesy, sappy stuff of valentines and love letters. But that was the only kind I had been exposed to — the kind with red roses, blue violets and plenty of predictability.


PIXABAY LICENSE 
Li enjoys submitting to and reading pieces from literary journals.

Recognizing the value of literary journals

The first literary journal I ever submitted to was a student-run magazine called Aerie International, based in a high school in Missoula. Perusing through lists of student writing competitions and publications, I picked out Aerie because they published in print, and I was infatuated with the idea of seeing my work in physical form.


COURTESY OF ROSIE JANG 
Jang enjoys the company of her Squishmallows.

Self-love is so important

With Valentine’s Day coming up, I want to reiterate to all the singles, the not-single-but-not-takens and the couples that the best form of love is self-love. You can’t expect to find love in another person when you can’t find it in yourself.


COURTESY OF SANIYA RAMCHANDANI
Ramchandani will be taking time for herself this Valentine's Day.

Treating myself on Valentine's Day

I haven’t been alone on a Valentine’s Day in six years. From traditional dinners to dorm rooms creatively turned into makeshift restaurants, I’ve always had the most wonderful experiences being in relationships on this day. But this year is going to be a little different, and I’m really excited about that.



COURTESY OF MICHELLE LIMPE
Limpe writes about love and friendship in honor of her parents' 21st wedding anniversary. 

Cheers to 21 years

The earliest thing I remember about my parents is that they never missed their Tuesday movie date. No matter what, they always made it to the cinema; my dad would choose the movie and my mom would buy the popcorn and chips. It was their “Tuesdate” tradition, one that my brother and I would only occasionally join if we were free that day. 



COURTESY OF RYAN AGHAMOHAMMADI
Aghamohammadi reflects on the difficulty of talking about himself.

I don't know what to say

Glass breaking. A pebble in a pond. The hiss of an espresso machine. Scattered salts and lavender floating in the bath. A brisk walk home from the grocery store. The early morning. The moments as you wait for someone to respond to your text. The split second after someone tells a joke and before you laugh. Red flowers in the garden. Reading through a letter someone has written to you, investigating every loop and curve of each word. 


Letting go of the perfect life in college

Between 8 and 9 p.m. every evening, I begin my nightly routine. Those who know me know that texting me during this time almost certainly yields a response of “I’m about to go to bed, but...” I change into a big T-shirt, make a cup of tea and get under the covers, positioning my laptop, mug and phone all within reach.


PUBLIC DOMAIN 
Im explores what it means to be living life.

Stop waiting for the big "it"

Outside, someone bellows at the top of their lungs. I can’t make out what they are saying. Perhaps they are not voicing words at all. What is going on? It takes me a moment to process the reality as I emerge from my dreamless slumber: the yet unfamiliar sheets, walls, doors. I sit up in my bed. Right, I’m back at school, in Baltimore. The room looks bright, or I hope that it is bright enough for it to be morning. My hands reach out to my phone, and it disappoints me. It’s only 1:18 in the morning.


PUBLIC DOMAIN 
Cassandra of Troy was cursed with knowing prophecies that no one would believe.

The truth is everywhere and cannot be ignored

In January, I leave the woods where I live for the first time in 10 months. I settle into a new apartment, spending days memorizing its layout and cutting down big cardboard boxes with all my old possessions. I breathe in the golden-syrup sun from my new windows (a stark contrast from the eternal night of my sophomore dorm) and enjoy tea while reading. The truth is that it is quiet, and it is empty. If this were a fairytale, the story would be over; the danger would have passed, marriages would have happened and the entire kingdom would live in peace, happily ever after.


COURTESY OF JAE CHOI
Choi discusses the joys of walking and connecting to nature.

Experiencing "quarantine walking" in Baltimore

Like most everyone else, I’ve picked up a quarantine hobby or two over the past few months. I re-engaged with my childhood love for painting. I started to cook for fun, not just for sustenance. I’ve also recently made it a point to be more physically active. I’ve been going on runs with my roommates, and just this past Friday, we finished a “30 days of yoga” program. But I think the most meaningful hobby I’ve picked up is taking walks.


COURTESY OF MICHELLE LIMPE
Limpe discusses her new experiences with journaling.

Writing my way into the new year

Right after New Year’s, I picked up a pen to start journaling for the first time in months. Writing with a pen seems like a trivial act. But to me the sensations of holding a pen felt strange after becoming so used to typing articles and essays and accomplishing tasks instantly on my laptop. 


COURTESY OF SOPHIA LOLA 
Lola explores where she envisions her future.

Holding onto Baltimore

This past weekend, my pod and I went downtown to Fort McHenry. We ordered takeout at an Indian joint in Locust Point called Himalayan House, went to the playground and dog park across the street while we waited for our food, ate some awesome chicken vindaloo (it was spicy enough to make my nose run, which is weirdly the best sensation), and walked around the fort before heading back to Charles Village. It was freezing, and we were only out for a couple hours, but it was a ton of fun.


COURTESY OF ABIGAIL TUSCHMAN 
Tuschman reaffirms her decision to stay at home this semester. 

The "FOMO" can wait

When freshmen started moving to campus this month, I tried to avoid social media. I didn’t want to see them posing on the marble steps of Gilman Hall or browsing the quirky shops of Hampden. I didn’t want to see the tapestries on their dorm room walls or the way the winter cold turned their cheeks pink. 


COURTESY OF GABRIEL LESSER
Lesser, who recently moved into his first-ever college dorm, relates a Portuguese word to his feelings of nostalgia.

Keeping my “saudades” close to my heart

I’ve been living on campus for a little over a week, and I already feel excited for the semester ahead. Yet I would be lying to myself if I did not also admit that moving to college has made me feel an indescribable dose of nostalgia. In Portuguese, we refer to this as saudades. 


COURTESY OF SANIYA RAMCHANDANI
Ramchandani emphasizes how much she has relied on her family and friends in the past few months. 

Seeking comfort in my support system

When I say I miss being able to travel, I don’t mean exploring new cultures or backpacking through cities. I mean I miss knowing that if my family needed me or I needed them, either of us would hop on a plane, no questions asked, and be there in a heartbeat. It’s no easy feat going to and from home these days. Each journey is almost 30 hours of paranoia, requiring constant sanitizing, continuous mask-wearing and cutting off and throwing away protective clothing at every destination. And then, of course, there is the collective month and a half of hard quarantine I will have completed in the 12 months alone. 


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