Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
June 23, 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.



FILE PHOTO
Hasan reflects on her time at the University.

My goodbye to Hopkins

As a writer, I started off wanting to explore the cool things, the unusual things, the macabre things — murders and betrayals, lies and promises, abuses of power, grossly violent crimes and what leads people to such dramatic actions. In my freshman year, the first story I wrote was about a man who got caught in a grocery store shooting. 



COURTESY OF SANIYA RAMCHANDANI
Ramchandani discusses her father’s support for her.

Appreciating my father's feminism

My mother has always been my icon. She’s a strong, career-driven woman; I grew up watching her get dressed at 7 a.m. every morning and have been an audience member at countless panels where people attentively listened to advice I cribbed about receiving on a daily basis. There is no question that my feminist ideologies largely stem from living with a powerhouse, but many equally important teachings have come from my father.


COURTESY OF KATY WILNER
Aghamohammadi delves into memories of who he once was.

Recognizing how I have changed in the past year

I can’t escape them, flowers — snowdrops, daffodils, tulips, dogwoods, other ones with sheaths of pink or jade. Walking to campus, to the grocery store, to the park — they’re ubiquitous, the shape of blooms worldwide. I can’t help but pay attention. 


PUBLIC DOMAIN
Li explores the significance of impermanent objects like stationery.

My love for ephemera

In my old house, above the cabinet with plastic bags and a large sack of rice was a drawer with a stack of used printer paper. Every time my parents no longer needed a printed document or form, they added it to the stack in the drawer rather than throwing it away. This scrap paper stack was available for anyone in my family to use, but it was primarily meant for me.



COURTESY OF SHELBY YORK
York is both excited and nervous about leaving her small town next year.

Reflecting on my imminent move from home

The recent announcement that campus should return to near normal in the fall provided me with a sense of hope that has been unfamiliar to me in the past year. The fog finally seems to be lifting as people get vaccinated and things open up again. I’ve been thinking about all the things I’m looking forward to doing once restrictions have eased up.



COURTESY OF GABRIEL LESSER
Lesser explains his relationship with his name.

G is for Gabi: finding my name and language

I recently stumbled upon a video of my 3-year-old self lying in bed, holding up a Fodor’s Washington, D.C. travel book with a confused look on my face. At the time, I couldn’t read yet, and I most definitely had not developed my passion for making travel itineraries, but I could pinpoint certain words and pictures that interested me. In the video, you can hear me excitedly yell, “I found the letter G! G is for Gabi...” in a barely coherent mix of English and Portuguese.


FILE PHOTO
Tuschman, a freshman, is excited to finally be on campus in the fall.

Looking forward to change

Tomorrow I get my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Since Florida expanded eligibility to all residents 18 years and older on April 5, I’ve been obsessively checking the Walgreens and CVS websites for appointments. I know my vaccination won’t change anything immediately except cause soreness in my arm and maybe some cold symptoms, but the moment feels significant. 


COURTESY OF ZUBIA HASAN
In recent years, Ramadan has fallen at the most opportune time for Hasan.

Reflecting on what Ramadan means to me

I looked at my phone and realized it was April 11, which meant it would soon be April 12. That meant the most important month of the year was just around the corner for me: Ramadan (or Ramzan, the debate is kind of annoying at this point), and I was not prepared. Once a year, millions of Muslims (and some non-Muslims too) fast from sunrise to sunset, and yes, the fast means not even water.


FILE PHOTO
Choi reflects on the impact of Zoom.

My year on Zoom

Tuesday, March 10, 2020. 7:34 p.m. I sat slouched in my A-level cubicle, poring over Lineweaver-Burk plots and peptide-bond hydrolysis mechanisms, when I got the email. 


COURTESY OF MICHELLE LIMPE 
Limpe discusses what traveling has meant to her. 

Wanderlust: reflecting on my travels

Lately my dreams have been very vivid, filled with sites of past travels and visions of ones to explore once the world is safe again. My sleep has allowed me to escape from the current world, transporting me to a life where the virus has ceased to exist and we are no longer confined to our houses. However, this is sadly not the reality. 


COURTESY OF SOPHIA LOLA
Lola recently tried making Vietnamese egg coffee.

I’m obsessed with a food YouTuber, and that’s okay

Expanding my cooking skills has been one of my highlights of the pandemic. But, like many aspects of my life this semester, my cooking habits have become haphazard, and I haven’t dedicated as much time to making new dishes as I would’ve liked. I’ve certainly made some really good stuff, like spaghetti and meatballs, curry and spicy peanut noodles.


Learning to take care of myself

Let’s talk about priorities today. This topic came to mind because, unfortunately, I was plagued by a particularly terrible case of food poisoning yesterday. Not to be too graphic, but I spent half the day on the floor of my bathroom, unable to keep even water down. Pale, dehydrated and flustered, I hobbled across campus to take a PCR test to rule out the possibility of COVID-19. By the end of the day, I could barely stomach half a banana and a whole piece of toast. 



SIMONSTERG/CC BY-SA 2.0
One of Li's favorite poems as a child was "The Road Not Taken."

Revisiting the poems important to me

The first poem I ever loved was a monologue from William Shakespeare’s As You Like It, delivered by the character Jacques and known by its opening line, “All the world’s a stage.” The poem explains the seven stages of a man’s life from birth to death, framed in a performative and lively manner meant for the theater.


COURTESY OF KATY WILNER
York discusses adjusting to the workload in her first year at Hopkins.

Challenging my perfectionism

Like many others at Hopkins, I was the student in high school who was a perfectionist to a fault. I couldn't handle getting a grade below an A, and I tied my worth to how many mistakes I made. Getting into college had always been my end goal. I didn’t know what to do for a career, but I knew that I needed to get into a great school. As a first-generation student, I felt a lot of pressure to excel. 


PIXABAY LICENSE
Lu discusses being productive and positive.

Learning how to think positive

We’ve all been there. Sitting slumped in a chair, feeling exhausted, drained and devoid of any emotion besides something that can only be described as “I’m so tired.”


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