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.
Though people always tell you to think positively, this is often a hard thing to do in practice. In the past, when people — typically my mom — would tell me this, I would roll my eyes or ignore them. To me, negativity has always felt much larger, making it considerably easier to focus on.
It’s my last fall semester at Hopkins, which is a bit surreal. It’s exciting, yet daunting because once this school year is over, I have to be a real adult. In an attempt to cross over into the real adult world, like many others in their last year at school, I am applying to graduate programs and jobs. This process is immensely reflective.
I spent the beginning of my sophomore year in a bit of a tizzy. As an international student coming in only a day before classes started, there was the beast of jet lag to contend with. But I'd come to expect a couple of 3 a.m. wake-ups with the 12-hour time difference from home. Sure, there was all the chaos that came with unpacking and move-in, but who wasn’t dealing with that?
It’s my third year as a First-Year Mentor, and this year, my mentees — unintentionally, I’m sure — made me feel ancient. Over lunch at Nolan’s on 33rd during Orientation Week, I gave my mentees my perspective on the social scene at Hopkins, and one made a comment to the others about how I have years of experience here. As in, “We should listen to what she has to say.”
Moving to a new country is a popular ambition — one that comes up often, whether during a holiday when a friend insists that they “could totally live here” or in the midst of the dreaded “post-college” talk with your parents as you attempt to plan out the rest of your life.
I have always had a hard time saying goodbye to things. Moving from country to country throughout my life — from Korea to Japan, Japan to Scotland, Scotland to Hong Kong and Hong Kong back to Korea — I was constantly forced to leave my friends and memories behind. With no time left to process the change fully, I have had to cling to the memories of the past.
And, as quickly as ever, a new year at Hopkins has begun. It feels as if summer never happened — the Hopkins Student Center construction looks the same as it did in April, the sun still shines relentlessly (maybe too relentlessly) and the campus bustles with new and familiar faces.
I’ve never been a very superstitious person myself, but I look back fondly at this story as a reminder that even when a loved one is not physically with us anymore, they still remain a part of us. Whether that be through the memories we carry, the signs we see or the emotions we feel, we hold onto our loved ones eternally.
Adjusting to college seems, to me, like becoming an adult. Now, this over-simplified view of college might also have to do with the fact that I’m not an adult yet — not legally anyway — and I never really had to live independently up until now. But perhaps because of this, these first few weeks of freshman year seem like an entirely different lifetime. Or, in less dramatic terms, a new era of my life.
When I was younger, I was always known as someone with a “quiet voice.” I tended to be shy and let others speak for me, preferring to hang in the background and let my achievements shine through. However, this was not an attribute that I particularly liked about myself.
Growing up on the outskirts of Washington D.C., one of my favorite spots as a child was a bridge near my house that overlooked the trains rushing to and from our nation’s capital. Watching them with my grandparents was exciting for a five-year-old whose television habits involved Thomas the Tank Engine, Cars and other animated shows starring transportation.
One of my goals for my semester abroad was to take a solo trip. I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go, but I knew that the experience would be crucial to learning more about myself. After sitting on the idea for some time, I decided to go to Kraków, Poland.
This academic year felt like the real beginning of the “new normal” after many false starts. During the pandemic, the paper shifted from a primarily print publication to operating online. As restrictions lessened, elements of old traditions returned. Last year’s Editors-in-Chief Leela Gebo and Laura Wadsten initiated the process of returning the paper to its normal operating status, as they brought back print magazines and welcomed masked staff back into the Gatehouse.
Before every high school track meet, my coach used to give us pep talks on the bus. The whole team was drowsy, waking up from naps where our necks ached from sitting three to a row. We used to gaze up at him as he stood in the front of the bus, gesturing enthusiastically.
While walking through the hospital hallway at work the other day, I heard three, middle-aged women discuss in Mandarin one of the women’s new pair of brown leather boots and what shoe styles are currently “in.” A pang of nostalgia hit me, and I felt my eyes tear up, a familiar tingle rising in my nose that I suppressed by scrunching my face.
Located just a few miles from the France-Germany border, Strasbourg was at the top of my list of places to visit within France. I was curious about the French and German cultural influences in the city and was excited to learn more about France’s Alsace region.