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.
I have been trying to practice gratitude. Throughout the day I tick off on my fingers all the benefits of being home and taking college classes remotely. I don’t have to be away from my family or pets for months at a time. I get to have my mom’s cooking. I can attend all my classes while wearing pajama pants. Tick, tick, tick.
As soon as the canola oil and butter begin to sizzle at the bottom of the pot, I add half a cup of flour and feverishly stir the mixture with a wooden spatula. I keep the flame on high and wrestle with the resulting roux to keep it from burning. As it begins to change hue from bright blonde to dark chocolate, the green pepper, onion, celery and garlic — all finely diced — make their triumphant entrance. I then add the chicken and sausage, which I preemptively cooked brown on a neighboring stove with salt and pepper. This is followed by cajun seasoning, paprika, thyme and a few bay leaves.
In pop culture, we see a physicist surrounded by boards, with a handful of integrals scattered everywhere and math operations we have never seen in our entire life. Perhaps this is true of some physicists but certainly not all. I think a major reason why physics seems like an unapproachable subject, studied only by a few presumed to be smart(er?), is precisely because of this pop culture approach to physics. Physics is not a subject that only a few should enjoy. Physics is certainly not a subject that only a few should understand. Instead, physics should be for everyone.
According to my mother, I was not a very difficult child, but I had my moments of being difficult. The story she always gives as an example of one of those moments is from when I was two years old and spent the night away from my parents for the first time.
On Sunday I attended an event hosted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) called “Hear Our Voices: Personal Stories of Mental Health.” The event was part of NAMI’s campaign, #IWillListen, for Mental Health Awareness Week. I wanted to share my experience to hopefully encourage you to attend a future event like this and get involved in the conversation around mental health awareness, a topic very close to my heart.
What a year it has been so far, and we still have three months to go. One thing that the added time from quarantine has allowed me to do is binge-watch pretty much every show ever made. But it also has given me the opportunity to learn about various productivity methods.
I will shamelessly admit that I am one of those people whose camera roll and Instagram stories are filled with sunset photos. The beautiful blend of warm and cool palettes against the city landscape never fails to give me a sense of peace and a reminder of how beautiful the Earth can be, especially after being stuck inside for so long.
On the afternoon of March 13, I got my admissions decision from Hopkins. I opened it in my car, parked in the mostly deserted senior parking lot of my high school. Some track athletes were talking a little ways off. When I read “You’ve been admitted,” I hoped they couldn’t hear the screams coming from inside my Mazda. I double- and triple-checked my portal, and when I was partly convinced my acceptance wasn’t a mistake, I drove home floating.
It is hard to sit still enough to write. It is hard to be still. There is some nervous energy that runs through my body, making my heart beat faster than it should, my mind race faster than it should, and making me unable to write in a manner that would be of any value.
Each night around 8:00 p.m. this past summer, I would walk out into the backyard with my mom to water the plants in our garden. I usually started around the squash plants and then worked my way over to the lavender and rosemary before misting the flowers at the right edge of the bed. This was often my favorite part of the day. There is something ineffably comforting about providing nourishment to flowers and herbs after long hours of studying and running errands.
Over the past few years, I’ve become something resembling an extrovert. I was more of a homebody during middle and early high school, but my social life got more active toward the end of high school. When I got to Hopkins two years ago, I moved into a double in AMR II and quickly became close friends with my roommate and other people in the dorm.
The past few weeks have been challenging, to say the least. The difficulties presented by the already fluid schedule of college life have only been exacerbated by the fact that I never technically have to leave my bedroom if I don’t want to. This flexibility makes it easier to procrastinate, shortens my attention span and all but kills my motivation.