Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
February 26, 2024

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 SANIYA RAMCHANDANI
As a 21-year-old, Ramchandani learned the importance of having a balanced, nutritious diet.

What I wish I could tell my 21-year-old self

I guess I’m officially an adult. As a huge Taylor Swift fan, I’ve waited for the year I turn 22 since the year I turned 15, but I didn’t think, “happy, free, confused and lonely at the same time,” would resonate as much as it currently does. Up until this moment, I’ve always known where I have to be and what I have to be doing; the next step was always right there. Now, I am responsible for no one but myself, and technically speaking, I can do whatever I want. 


COURTESY OF MICHELLE LIMPE
Limpe reflects on the impacts of COVID-19 in the past year.

How the pandemic ended and then restored my faith in humanity

I still remember the whispers of a novel disease and the potential onset of a pandemic that crept through the quads of Hopkins a year ago. Among them was the speculation that all of us students might be sent home, which gradually became more likely as other universities announced that they were closing.



COURTESY OF GABRIEL LESSER
Lesser learned a challah recipe through the Hopkins Hillel community.

Exploring my passion for cooking during quarantine

I’ve never considered myself much of a chef. Growing up, I only knew how to prepare the basics. From making Bisquick pancakes with my dad on Sunday mornings to rolling Brazilian brigadeiro chocolates with my mom in the middle of the night, I learned to cherish the time I spent cooking with my family, even if we were making the simplest of items. 


The class every pre-med should take

Since the start of high school, I thought the idea of college was alluring, for more reasons than the picturesque red brick and the independence it promised. I wanted a space to grow intellectually rather than regurgitate facts about U.S. history. I wanted classes where my beliefs would be challenged and where I would learn from peers with backgrounds different from my own. What I sought in college, I have found in one of my classes this semester. 


COURTESY OF AMELIA ISAACS
In her first year of high school, Isaacs went on an exchange trip to Washington, D.C.

The enigmas of American and British culture

When I was in what my secondary school called the Vth and all of America calls freshman year of high school, I took part in an exchange program with a school in D.C. When our plane landed, we were shuttled to the school in yellow school buses. We passed the Watergate Hotel on the way. My friends bought hoodies and coffee cups with the school’s name on them to take home to London.


Baby steps and missteps on the path to well-being

Last week I did a couple things I’m proud of. I updated my resume, which I’d been telling myself I would do for months. I also called the Counseling Center for drop-in hours, after finally accepting that I could probably benefit from therapy, which is something I’ve been working toward for years.


COURTESY OF JAE CHOI
Playing the violin has been an important pastime for Choi.

Dusting off my violin, Emmanuel

I’ve been playing the violin for as long as I can remember. I first picked it up around the time I was 7 years old, when my parents forced me to take lessons. These lessons continued through middle and high school, and daily practice was a mandate. 



COURTESY OF GABRIEL LESSER 
For Lesser, March 2020 began with Parasite and ice cream.

Remembering the movie theater

My March 2020 began at midnight on the steps of a movie theater. My friends and I had just gone to see Parasite. The five of us sat huddled side-by-side with enormous bags of popcorn and candy, enthralled by every twist and turn the movie had to offer. We even chuckled when one of our friends pulled out a disinfectant wipe to clean her theater seat. 



COURTESY OF ZUBIA HASAN
Hasan discusses her journey with the places around her.

Exploring my love for Karachi and Baltimore

I am a collector of stories, and Karachi was always the greatest love story of my life. I constructed a narrative in my head, a running script. I was a girl so entangled in the streets of my city that every time I left, it was as if the film reel was paused. It would only play when I came back to my city streets again. For the longest time Karachi felt real; everything else was just an imitation.


COURTESY OF JAE CHOI
Choi explores his relationship with Korean food and culture.

Reclaiming my "lunchbox" moment

In celebration of Lunar New Year, I helped one of my roommates prepare a hotpot dinner. When the pot began to boil, a rich aroma filled every crevice of the apartment. Fish balls and chunks of tofu, glistening with crimson streaks of fat, bobbed up and down in the beef tallow soup base. After allowing the soup to boil for a few minutes, we added beef and pork slices to the broth and waited. 


Reflecting on the arrogance of a recent encounter

Only five weeks ago, I was at a birthday dinner, sitting opposite a gentleman who was berating me endlessly about how useless coding and data science are. “In 10 years, we won’t even need humans because there won’t be computers. The computers will just run themselves,” he proclaimed. If anyone can make any sense of that sentence, do let me know. I’ll buy you a cookie.


Reconciling the past with the present

How do I stop present cruelty from marring the untouchable beauty of the past? There is something so romantic about the past. Something so beautiful, so untouchable, so untainted about past memories. They drift into your head like clouds and bring with it fuzzy thoughts of love, maybe a muted pain, perhaps even an enchanted sadness. It really is impossible to think about the past without some or all of these feelings because, as always, the past is gone, not belonging to us but to an approximation, an imitation of thoughts, a re-enactment of memories like a vintage film reel.


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.