Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
October 26, 2020

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 KATHERINE LOGAN. 
A photo from her first day of running, training for the Rock N’ Roll half-marathon in D.C.. 

The sense of empowerment I gain from running

My first experience with long-distance running came in the seventh grade. At my first practice, our coach nonchalantly told us that we would be running six miles without stopping to walk or drink water. I was astonished; sure, I’d run a 5K before but never anywhere close to that length. 


Public domain
New Jersey native Andy Kim was sworn into the 116th Congress.

Why Andy Kim’s election to Congress is so important to me

I was sleeping in my car as we traveled through the town of Mount Laurel, N.J., going from the I-295 onto the New Jersey Turnpike. We made this transfer every time I traveled between home and Hopkins, and on the surface, nothing has changed. The same hotels and stores by the same roads basked in the glow of the same sun.


How football brings my whole family together

Whether or not I get the same rush that the rest of my family does out of watching sports (don’t even get me started on how long the NHL season is), I was born into the inescapable clutches of football fandom. Come Sunday, I’ll be ardently cheering on the Patriots, swearing and cheering alongside the best of them, and, while it’s taken me years to admit it, I wouldn’t have it any other way. 


aitchisons/cc by 2.0
Ted Danson plays Michael, an architect of afterlife neighborhoods, in The Good Place.

Finding meaning through existential crises and loss

I’m 22 years old, and I still think that one of the most heartbreaking sounds is hearing your parents cry. Last week, I was on the phone with my dad, and he started to choke up. He was calling to tell me that Jamie, our family friend, has about two weeks left until her organs fail. She has been struggling with terminal cancer for a few months now. 


Courtesy of Rudy Malcom
Malcom and sophomore Sabrina Sussman on a camel near the Kfar Hanokdim oasis.

After going on Birthright, reflecting on what makes me proud to be Jewish

Have you had the distinct pleasure of making small talk with me recently? If so, you may recall (or you may not — what else is there to do during Intersession besides black out every night?) my joking, probably in poor taste, that going on Birthright Israel this winter converted me into an ultra-Orthodox rabbi. (Birthright is a free 10-day trip to the Holy Land for young Jewish adults around the world meant to strengthen their Jewish identities and relationship with the State and people of Israel.)


Courtesy of Luiz Munhoz/ CC BY-SA 2.0
Ian McEwan is the award-winning novelist behind The Children Act.

My fascination with Ian McEwan’s complex works

For as long as I can remember, I have loved reading. But, just like everyone else in my classes, I never really enjoyed the books we were required to read. I never understood why the only books we could supposedly learn something from were dusty pieces of literature that I found boring or irrelevant. That is, until I took AP Lit in my senior year of high school, when my teacher gave us all a summer reading assignment that I could not put down.


PUBLIC DOMAIN
Among those sworn into the 166th Congress on January 3 was Andy Kim

Why Andy Kim’s election to Congress is so important to me

I was sleeping in my car as we traveled through the town of Mount Laurel, N.J., going from the I-295 onto the New Jersey Turnpike. We made this transfer every time I traveled between home and Hopkins, and on the surface, nothing has changed. The same hotels and stores by the same roads basked in the glow of the same sun.


 PUBLIC DOMAIN
Dustin Hoffman starred as Ben Braddock in the 1967 film The Graduate.

How The Graduate influenced me to embrace the unknown

It is incredibly easy to feel trapped when you're a senior in college. With graduation looming, family members curiously prodding and the huge anxious cloud of the future hanging over everything, the sense of being boxed in is almost impossible to avoid. This is especially true when you’ve already chosen your post-graduation life plan. 


 COURTESY OF ROLLIN HU
Hu, age 9 in the photograph, never imagined that he would attend Hopkins.

Reflecting on my time here before I graduate

About a year and a half ago, I had a column in this newspaper called Irrelevant History where I wrote about weird individuals or events from the past. I graduate this semester, so I thought I might revisit this column as my final article for The News-Letter. Out of a delusional sense of self-grandeur or an in ill-advised attempt at closure, this week’s Irrelevant History topic is me.


 COURTESY OF RON CORBO.
The alter at Our Lady of Victory Basilica in Buffalo decorated for Christmas.

Finding gratitude and peace in familiar spaces

There are certain places that offer tranquility and repose. I was reminded of one such location recently when my mom sent me a photo of Our Lady of Victory National Shrine & Basilica decorated for Christmas. This church, first opened in 1926, is stationed mere blocks away from the home my grandfather currently lives in, which also happens to be where he and his two sisters were raised. 



Why I'm vowing to support my female peers

We’ve all watched Mean Girls, and while it’s understandable that we would like to relate most to Cady Heron, even she did some pretty catty and immature things. In high school, for most of us girls, “gossip” was synonymous with “hanging out.” Seemingly harmless yet vindictive and downright bitchy comments were ubiquitous.


Beyond the stereotypes: dispelling myths about mental illness

Myth: People with mental illnesses tend to be violent Those being effectively treated for psychotic illnesses are no more likely to be violent. Still, a 2006 survey found that 60 percent of people thought that those with schizophrenia were likely to act violently. Emma McGinty, deputy director for the Center for Mental Health and Addiction Policy Research at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, wrote in an email to The News-Letter that this belief is not true.


COURTESY OF SHEFALI VIJAY

[ Deleted ]

I wrote a piece. I was forced to throw it away, to delete it from my hard drive, to delete it from my mind.


COURTESY OF ARIELLA SHUA

What we miss by classifying autism as a mental illness

Writing about mental health is a touchy subject for me. That’s not because I am dealing with anxiety, or depression or another form of mental illness myself. I am extremely fortunate in that I don’t, to my knowledge, have a mental health issue or disability.


PUBLIC DOMAIN

Growing up and learning to live with my evolving OCD

When most TV shows or movies portray a character with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), that character can usually be found washing their hands for 15 minutes straight or flipping a light switch on and off five times before leaving a room. And to most of the world, that’s what OCD is. 



KIMBERLY VARDEMAN / CC BY 2.0

Finding relief in a cookie: How baking alleviates my stress

The latest pop smash echoes through the room, shots of grapefruit-flavored vodka line the worn table and the scent of cinnamon wafts from a tray of snickerdoodles in the corner. One of these things is not like the others. What is a plate of freshly baked cookies doing at a college party? 


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