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.

Unpacking the influence of Western beauty standards

November 8, 2018

Growing up, my family visited China twice a year. If you have ever turned on a television in China, then you’re most likely familiar with the skin care commercials: Glowing women with pearl-like complexions, basking in the whitening magic of Olay.

adam jones/ CC BY-SA 2.0
Western beauty standards have influenced aesthetics in other cultures.

Guerriero explores how food became a language of self-love after a breakup.

Post-breakup, relearning the love language of food

November 8, 2018

It’s strange to date seriously in college. To emotionally commit yourself to another person — or just to spend so much of your time with them — seems risky, almost inadvisable in such a formative moment in your life. It follows, then, that it’s even stranger to break up.

Finding common ground beyond microaggressions

November 12, 2018

It is said that familiarity breeds contempt. Eating, studying, hanging out and maybe even sleeping with the same people makes you pretty familiar, I would say. And regardless of the fact that you may only have known them for a couple of months, constant close quarters may mean that they have granted themselves explicit permission to comment and advise you — without being prompted — on matters ranging from the trivial to the all-too personal.

When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it. (59).png

Before the midterms, Hopkins rolled out many voter engagement initiatives.

How does the U.S. help young voters?

November 7, 2018

In the weeks leading up to the 2018 midterm elections, Hopkins has been surprisingly full of “get out the vote” energy. But do the courts and legislatures care as much about our vote as we do? In the midst of the midterms, I look at how America’s voter policies support — or suppress — the youngest voters.

Learning to redefine success on my own terms

November 7, 2018

When I was young, I wanted to be a “dump truck man.” Maybe my five-year-old brain wasn’t taking the negatives of the job into account, but the appeals are obvious. First, I wouldn’t have to go to school anymore, that would be pretty sick. Adults always say they want to travel more, and on the truck I’d be traveling all day long! And do you realize how fun it would be to ride on the back of the truck? It’s like you’re getting paid to ride a roller coaster; a very stinky roller coaster. I went to the dump with my dad sometimes, so I had all the qualifications. I was ready to start immediately.

AlejandroLinaresGarcia/ CC BY-SA 4.0
When he was young, Farrar saw appeal in a career as a dump truck man.

How to be an absolutely drop-dead gorgeous girl

November 8, 2018

Wake up, workout. Take your weight and a photo for your app, Diet Diary, everyday. To make sure you’re losing weight. Workout as much as you can. Start with P90X, not enough. Get into POP Pilates. Everyday, do at least a two-hour workout. 

Embracing a changing definition of being home

October 31, 2018

I went home to visit my family this past weekend. We went out to dinner Saturday night, and I ordered a chicken enchilada and a chocolate milk. Before ordering, I debated in my head whether or not to get my favorite drink. I’m 19. I’m an adult. Adults don’t typically order sweetened dairy products in restaurants, but I figured that, since I was with my family, I might as well be a kid. 

USDA/cc BY-SA 2.0
Home is where you can have chocolate milk at dinner without shame.

A building at Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, capital of the Netherlands.

The emotional ups and downs of studying abroad

October 31, 2018

I am now writing to you all from Geneva, Switzerland (not Amsterdam) as I enjoy a few days at home. It is the end of the first half of my semester abroad and this has made me want to reflect a little on the time I have spent away from Hopkins so far.

Reflecting on my fear of losing my family ties

November 5, 2018

“Aren’t you afraid that I’ll forget?” I asked.  “You can’t really forget how to drive. It’s like riding a bike. You can’t forget how to ride a bike. You do need to get readjusted to the car, so start driving slow.”

When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it. (56).png

Wendy/ cc by-sa 2.0 
Bruce Campbell stars as Ash in Sam Raimi’s 1987 horror film Evil Dead II.

How horror films help me cope with my anxiety

November 1, 2018

As Halloween season comes to a close and people begin to swap out their spooky decorations for more gluttonous ones, I’ve been thinking a lot about horror movies. I spent a good chunk of the last month and a half dedicated to watching scary movies, a couple of which I was able to see as revival screenings at local theaters. 

Why the language we use when talking about food is important

October 25, 2018

The last few years have been a time of admirable improvement in the world of cultural awareness around food. More writers of repute, as well as chefs, diners and others, are thinking about how the words they choose can evoke certain sentiments that degrade the foods they’re discussing. However, there’s still plenty of room for growth.

Cooking any dish, including the perfect roasted chicken, is an art. 

How is Baltimore City preparing to address the effects of climate change?

October 24, 2018

The latest publication from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world’s leading body on climate science, made an urgent point: Climate change is rapidly occurring, and its consequences are dire. As a coastal, flood-prone city, Baltimore will most definitely feel the ramifications of rising sea levels and more intense weather events. Has City policy prepared us for the impacts of climate change?

In addition to providing relief, FEMA helps cities prepare for climate-related disasters.

Low-income families and ethical consumption

October 25, 2018

Earlier this month, the United Nations (UN) released a report that claimed we could be facing a major, climatic crisis in fewer than 25 years. It paints a dire picture, stating that in order to avoid catastrophe, a complete transformation of the world economy is required — at a speed and scale unlike any other in recorded history. Without change, hundreds of millions of people will be put directly in harm’s way.

Goodwill is both a wallet and climate-friendly option. 

Here are a few conditions for living in my hometown

October 18, 2018

1. Your first pair of boots must be Justin Cowboy Boots or a worn-looking pair of brown hunting boots with a gold buckle from Muck Boots. You must wear them at least four times a week with light wash denim jeans marked with small holes in the back pockets to show that you help out on the farm or work in the woods.

This is the Instagram photo from last year’s National Coming Out Day. 

Coming out of the closet put me in another box

October 18, 2018

Last Thursday I literally tagged myself with a label. For National Coming Out Day, I wore extra-long, half-rainbow, half-purple socks that had the word “GAY” sewn on them in white letters. Having no particular desire to wake up early for breakfast at the Office of LGBTQ Life, I felt obligated to celebrate queer awareness in another way. Wearing socks that I had borrowed from a friend for New York City Pride in June seemed like the move.