Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
October 7, 2022

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 SUDHA YADAV
Feeling the effects of burnout, Yadav adjusts her mindset on breaks and takes life one day at a time.

Breaking the habit of not taking a break

Looking back at 21-year-old Sudha, I always used to be in so much of a rush. With everything I did — whether it was academics, research or even hobbies — I wanted to be the best. But now that I’m in graduate school, with almost the exact same schedule every day, I have begun to feel like my progress is plateauing. 


COURTESY OF JAMIE KIM
Recounting her decision to take a break from school, Kim emphasizes the importance of healthy, restful living.

Letter to myself: surviving as a returning student

The struggle is real. I never thought I’d find myself in a situation where I would be “a returning student.” But here I am, proud of the leap of faith I took to come back but also feeling wildly out of place. No one would be able to tell what kind of student I am, and frankly no one should care, but my own intrusive thoughts tell me that I stick out like a sore thumb. 


COURTESY OF MICHELLE LIMPE
Limpe emphasizes the importance of trying new things as she reminisces on her summer in California.

A summer spent chasing sunsets and changing mindsets

At the beginning of my summer, this is what I had attributed my opportunity to live and intern in California to — luck. My experiences over the past summer were never something that I had considered for my personal plan nor were they a possibility that I thought could be on my radar. But when I received the call from my recruiter during spring break, I knew it was something that I had to take. 


COURTESY OF JULIA ZACHARSKI
After spending her first summer away from home, Zacharski reflects on the memories of her time exploring Baltimore.

My summer away from home

Somehow, summer is yet again gone and a new school year has begun. By the end of every August, I am typically itching to return to school. Although I cherish the long summer nights and new daily adventures, I always end up missing the structured routine I have at school. But this summer was a little different.


COURTESY OF AASHI MENDPARA
Encouraged by a social media campaign supporting diverse beauty, Mendpara learns to be comfortable in her own skin.

Unfair and lovely and everything in between

My absolute favorite ‘first day of school' activity was drawing self-portraits. Nothing beats the freedom to scrub down crayons to the stub and draw your favorite outfits and accessories, all for the teacher to hang them up in the hallway. 


DUSTIN HUMES / UNSPLASH
As he enters senior year, Paulisich reflects on his choice to pursue his passions, regardless of the risk.

Renegade bee

Have you ever heard song lyrics so true you felt like the artist stole them from your soul? I feel this when I hear Taylor Swift’s “Nothing New.” The lyrics, “How can a person know everything at 18 / and nothing at 22?” an anthem for my college career. 


Why I need to space out

Recently, I have been faced with a heavy onset of self-doubt. The excitement that typically precedes the beginning of a new semester has been replaced with worry. Although I have always been somewhat of a worry-wart — the easily stressed out, Type A kind of person — this time my anxiety seems rooted in someplace entirely new.


COURTESY OF MADELYN KYE
Despite a shaky start to their friendship, Kye and her foster cat, Tippy, have grown close.

Fostering Tippy Montana

I picked up my first foster cat, Tippy Montana, from the Maryland Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) nearly three weeks ago. I didn’t know much about Tippy when I agreed to foster him, just that he was thirteen years old, a tabby cat and that he was extremely depressed in the shelter.


COURTESY OF MIN-SEO KIM
After reconsidering his true feelings for being a pre-med student, Kim takes a leap of faith and explores new paths.

Confessions of a former Hopkins pre-med

Like many Hopkins students, I entered as a pre-med student, with visions of myself as a great and famous doctor captivating my eyes and echoes of accolades ringing in my ears. I thought for sure that medicine was the career path for me and that no obstacle or setback would stop me. 


COURTESY OF GABRIEL LESSER
Lesser considers his nostalgia for campus life as he prepares for a semester abroad.

Saying goodbye to Hopkins for now

Three hours and 36 minutes. Three hours and 36 minutes, that is, with no traffic, no stops for gas and no wrong turns. That’s the amount of time it takes for me to drive from my home in New York to campus, or at least that’s what the GPS tells me.


COURTESY OF DIKSHA IYER
The loss of a beloved flatbread shop is just one of the many changes Iyer and Salem are navigating as they enter sophomore year.

Mourning the Mediterranean flatbread

Upon arriving on campus, we have not been able to ignore the void where the Crepe Studio once stood. Our favorite triple threat Daniel with his delicious crepes, flatbreads and sandwiches is missing from our campus. The Crepe Studio’s absence tugs at our heartstrings. 


COURTESY OF JACKIE RITTENHOUSE
Through her experiences leading a pre-orientation program, Rittenhouse looks back on the changes and constants of her past four years at college.

Three years later...

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed numerous things since it first shut down Hopkins in March 2020. One of those many things has been the outdoors program at Hopkins, a program I am proud to be a member of.


WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / CC BY-SA 3.0
Maury discusses the discrimination and mistreatment she faced from professors and University administration.

Professors and deans can do what they like to disabled students

One professor almost succeeded in having me kicked out of Hopkins. He denied me disability accommodations, ostracized me, violated my privacy under federal law and bullied me. And I believe he was still given the power to make a decision that nearly resulted in my dismissal.


COURTESY OF MOLLY GAHAGEN
After unexpected changes to her summer plans, Molly learns to embrace the small joys of restful living.

My summer of rest and relaxation

Throughout my childhood, I spent every summer at home in Key Largo, Florida, save for a few weeks spent on vacation. Summers at home have several constants: oppressive heat and humidity that necessitates cooling off in the water, swarms of mosquitoes and a town overflowing with tourists.



COURTESY OF SUDHA YADAV
Exploring the contradictions of life, Yadav reflects on the lessons she has learned growing older.

Life, you (oxy)moron!

It’s almost spring in Baltimore, and the sun has started to ward away the chill winds. Now, I can sit in Keyser Quad and read my favorite books on the weekends.


COURTESY OF CLAIRE GOUDREAU
Wadsten and Geebo look back at the challenges and highlights of leading The News-Letter this past year.

Being Editors-in-Chief during a year of transitions

It’s crazy how much changes in a year. Last April in a Zoom breakout room, we found out that we would be leading The News-Letter through its next chapter. After over a year of pandemic life, things were looking up — businesses were re-opening, masking restrictions were loosening and we were #vaxxed and ready. 



COURTESY OF TORY HU
Hu recounts a trip to Tanzania that helped her to understand parental love.

How I found healing in a distant land

Darkness, solitude and the echoes of hyenas shrouded me, trapping me inside the tent where I sat, overwhelmed by the past events of my trip to the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. It was 3 a.m., and I could not stop scratching my head. I was wearing three pounds of hair extensions that had not been washed in almost half a week.  


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