Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
November 28, 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 ZUBIA HASAN
Hasan details the beauty she sees in physics, specifically in Maxwell’s equation.

The beauty in physics

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.


COURTESY OF SOPHIA LOLA
Lola expresses her feelings of homesickness. 

Missing my other home

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.


We must prioritize our mental health

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. 


John Mathew Smith / CC BY-SA
Perlman honors Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her commitment to gender equality.

To my hero

On Thursday, Sept. 24, my alarm blared at 5:30 a.m. Today I was going to pay my respects to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.


PUBLIC DOMAIN

Li discusses her love of riddles.

A love letter to riddles

From an early age, I have always loved riddles. I used to come home from elementary school and go straight to the family computer where I would spend hours searching for puzzles.



COURTESY OF ISHAN KALBURGE
Kalburge suggests ways to improve the online freshman experience.

Socializing virtually as a freshman

It’s hard to believe that a month of college has passed. In my first article, I wrote that keeping track of time during quarantine had become a hobby; certainly in this first month, that hobby has become a sport.  


COURTESY OF MUHAMMAD ABIDI
Abidi shares his tips for maximizing productivity.

Tips for maximizing productivity

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.


COURTESY OF MICHELLE LIMPE 
Limpe discusses what it’s like to follow a nocturnal schedule for school.

The sunset's signal of a new day

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.


COURTESY OF ABIGAIL TUSCHMAN
Tuschman, a freshman, looks back at the past few months at home.

Living in limbo

 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.



I do not know

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. 


COURTESY OF BONNIE JIN 
Jin discusses the importance of optimism in her life.

Why I still choose optimism over despair

1. I recently found my "Hopkins Bucket List" while cleaning in quarantine. Fourteen theses bulleted on a sticky note, I'd stuck the page in a bright red Leuchtturm 1917 days before O-week.


COURTESY OF JAE CHOI

Choi spent many summer nights gardening with his mother, who taught him several Korean proverbs.

My summer in Korean proverbs

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. 


COURTESY OF SOPHIA LOLA
Lola has come to enjoy living alone. 

Learning to enjoy living alone

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.  


Building meaningful relationships over Zoom

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. 


PUBLIC DOMAIN
Aghamohammadi contemplates the ghosts that haunt him.

What we live in

One night, after we have shut the doors behind us, I dream my home is haunted. In the dream, I lie in my bed in the inkblot dark, twisting my hands through the sheets, when the faintest white glow softens the room. I rummage through the drawers of my nightstand and strike a match.


Reflecting on myself as a senior

So I thought I’d have my life all figured out by now. I would be a legal drinker and one step closer to a mortgage. I was positive I would have every step planned from graduation to grave by the time senior fall came around. Oh, how I was wrong. 


Hequals2henry/CC BY-SA 3.0 
Li discusses her experiences in Houston’s Chinatown and her Asian American identity. 

A love letter to Chinatown

The roast duck at Alan’s deli next to Great Wall supermarket hangs in a neat row, skewered in place by the neck and dripping with oil. My mom half-shouts to be heard over the sound of a chopping knife as she orders duck, char siu, and crispy pork belly from the man behind the counter.


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