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.
As some of you may know, the first week of school has been busier for some than others. It’s recruitment! Specifically for Panhellenic sororities: Alpha Phi, Phi Mu, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Pi Beta Phi and Kappa Alpha Theta.
I think we all know how ridiculously annoying it is for a song to be stuck in our heads for days upon days. There was one song last semester, however — one I hadn’t even heard in years — that implanted itself in my brain and refused to leave for a good long while at what was probably exactly the right time.
Sometimes it’s as simple as wishing that a pair of shoes that are currently sitting in my closet in Singapore were with me in Baltimore, and sometimes it’s wishing my mom could drive to me in three hours when I’m having a crappy mental day instead of having to travel upwards of 20 hours in cars, planes and trains to get to me.
Chinese nationalism has been making the news lately. We’ve all seen it in action, whether in the form of giant military parades in Beijing, the National Basketball Association’s expulsion from China over a single tweet or that big Chinese flag that was hung up in Brody.
An alligator suns on a log. It’s winter, but we’re in South Georgia, so that means it’s 80 degrees, but perfect. My parents and I are lounging on Adirondacks on the deck my dad built to surround our quaint cabin on the lake. I’m reading Becoming, and my dog is playing with her tiny ball. Silence.
Lately I’ve had to give this explanation to a lot of people in my life, so I figured I might as well write it down. If you’ve spoken to me at all recently, you know that I’ve been caught up in a medical whirlwind for the past few months.
Every time I return from a break in the espresso-stained, red sauce–laden part of New Jersey I call home, I feel uneasy. I just spent a week consuming at least three cloves of garlic a day and beginning all conversations at a 7/10, but as I try to settle back into Baltimore, I wonder if I need to tone it down.
I, for as long as I could remember, Christmas was always spent locked in a Chinese restaurant; tasked with scooping rice into take-out boxes, I dreamt of escaping that small storage room through the glass window, entering the parallel universe of snow outside.
Once upon a time in a flyover town, an only child slept in her wooden castle and was tucked away in her princess-themed tower, which overlooked the splatter-shaped moat with a swirling slide attached. Her blinds were drawn, and under the covers, she read with her flashlight because the anticipation of Christmas morning was overwhelming. The cookies were iced and were waiting downstairs for Santa Claus. Carrots and nuts for the hardworking reindeer occupied an extra dog bowl on the brick front step.
I have never been a very independent person. It’s not simply that I enjoy the company of others, but the idea of doing certain things alone fills me with debilitating dread. This kind of thinking used to limit so much of what I could do, whether it be going to a restaurant, taking a trip or even riding the metro alone. I make my friends do everything with me, even if it is something as mundane as buying groceries.
The first article I wrote for this column was called “Investing more in my relationships with others.” In it, I discussed my desire to be a better son, brother and friend by putting my all into my interactions with others.
I’ve never really thought myself as a rebel. Stubborn? Sometimes. Difficult? It depends on the person and the situation. But a rebel? Not really.
I am Laís. I am Latinx, I am Hispanic, I am Brazilian, I am a woman. These are all my “identities,” and I accept these identities now, but that wasn’t always the case. I know in my heart I’m apart of the Latinx community, but why do I feel like because I have white skin and European heritage, that I’m not a valid member, even when it’s the identity I fit into the most?
I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m 100 percent that b—. Well, not quite, but love you Lizzo. I took a DNA test in January, got the results a month later and found out that I’m not 100 percent anything. Don’t worry, it wasn’t some shocking turn of results — I knew my DNA would prove to be a multicolored pie chart.
There is a cemetery in Korea whose name I do not know, far away from Seoul and deep in the mountains, where my maternal ancestors are buried. Apart from my grandfather who passed when I was eight, I do not know their names or faces.
What does it mean to go home? What, and where, is home? To most, physical roots are important to our identities: where we were born, where we live and where we come from. Sometimes, I’ve seen people get offended when someone from just outside of New York City say that they are from New York. I understand the indignation; I also have the urge to call out people who claim they are from Seoul when they aren’t. But why do we have this urge? Why does it bother us when someone who is not “really” from your hometown claims to be from there?
Unlike Macklemore, when I was in the third grade, I didn’t think that I was gay. During my childhood, I was instead a mouthpiece of heteronormativity. While in kindergarten, a friend declared that she would one day marry a woman. I argued to her that this was impossible. Even earlier, when a boy in my preschool class showed me his navy-blue fingernails, I insisted that his hands resembled a girl’s.
It’s been over a year since I first arrived at Hopkins, full of hopes, fears and vague expectations for my college experience. That arrival entailed much fanfare from overenthusiastic FYMs and even more awkward introductions and icebreakers between me and my classmates. I expected that, and I’ll even admit I loved it in its cringyness.