Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
October 7, 2022

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 DIKSHA IYER
Iyer and Salem look back on their first year at Hopkins and the first year of their friendship.

As it starts, it must end

One thing we can say we have always done together are the firsts. What firsts, you may ask? Well, most recently, making fried eggs in the Fresh Food Café (FFC). In typical Laura-and-Diksha fashion, we managed to score a first experience even during the final stretch of our freshman year. It would not be a typical column from Laura and Diksha if we didn’t share it with you. 


COURTESY OF MICHELLE LIMPE
After reconnecting with an old friend over spring break, Limpe reflects on her evolving relationships with her hometown and college friends.

Keeping friendships from home and across the world

It always feels like one of those crossover episodes when my friends in college meet my friends from high school. The friendships, though all very special to me, still feel somewhat unique and separate from one another since they represent very different parts of my life. 


NEHA SANGANA/PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR
Though he enjoys the change in scenery from winter, Paulisich experiences allergies during the spring season.

Migraines and magnolias

I have a complicated relationship with spring. I love it when the tulips shoot like rockets between rowhouses and mansions alike. When the perfumed magnolias scatter around campus, only opening once in their delicate surrender, just to fall to the cobblestones like late March snow. I most love the sunny days when the temperature breaks 60 degrees and everyone’s sprawled out on the Beach. 


COURTESY OF MADELYN KYE
Kye’s family adopts a senior German Shepherd named Aspen.

Adopting Aspen

When my plane landed on Long Island, it felt like spring break had officially commenced. I was experiencing an immense craving for Rosa’s Pizza, a staple of my hometown, but the pizza was going to have to wait. My mother had been hinting at “making a stop” on the way home from the airport.


COURTESY OF AASHI MENDPARA
Mendpara describes the charm of her favorite cafe at home in Orlando.

The magic of Stardust

It’s been a long semester and, apart from sleeping, there was one main thing I looked forward to during our glorious week off: Stardust Video & Coffee. 


COURTESY OF GABRIEL LESSER
Lesser considers the importance of a bedroom and the feeling of home.

Finding a home wherever I go

I’m sleeping on a narrow twin-size bed with one mattress stacked on top of another, holding two thin polyester pillows and a singular bed sheet. The fan above me spins slowly, creating the slightest breeze to ease the humidity, and the morning sun begins to creep in through the reflective windows.


COURTESY OF MIN-SEO KIM
Kim reconnects with high school friends in New York City over spring break.

To dearest friends, past, present and future

I have a confession to make. I’ve been truly awful at maintaining contact with my high school friends. Other than a month in the summer when I worked out at Crunch Fitness with a few of them (spoiler alert: I am horrendously out of shape), I have barely talked with any of my old compatriots since graduation.


Learning to love through vulnerability

Over a plate of too-salty fried rice and oily bún bò huế, my friend watches me cry. We’re getting lunch at a little Vietnamese eatery after church on a particularly muggy day. The waiter comes by every once in a while, awkwardly refilling our glasses with lukewarm tap water and avoiding eye contact with me. The couple next to us is trying their best not to listen in.


DARIA SHEVTSOVA/PEXELS LICENSE
Limpe works to bring more positivity into her life through routine and the power of thought.

Becoming my version of “that girl” this new year

This new year, I made a personal commitment to make a change in my life: Be more positive. Even if this seems simple, developing a positive mindset was something that I always struggled with over the years and never made a priority. Upon reflecting on my 2021 and setting goals for the new year, I realized that cultivating positivity does not have to be a drastic change but rather should be incorporated into my everyday actions and outlook on life.



COURTESY OF MADELYN KYE
Kye looks back at her family’s December tradition of gathering at her aunt’s log cabin.

My aunt’s log cabin

The Decembers of my childhood shared one constant: a weekend trip to my aunt Dolores’ log cabin in New Hampshire. Years ago, the house was built by my great-grandfather, grandfather and other relatives of mine, and it has maintained its place in the family ever since, hosting many annual gatherings during which all of my relatives pack into the cozy kitchen and living room. 


COURTESY OF SUDHA YADAV
Yadav looks back on a year of graduate school and the lessons it has taught her.

Flipping the hourglass for another year

After a month-long vacation and my first break since starting graduate school, I am back from India. Last year passed so quickly, I still cannot believe that I am a graduate student. 


COURTESY OF JACKIE RITTENHOUSE
Rittenhouse expresses gratitude for the friends who have shaped her life.

Ode to my friends

For the very first time in my life, I am living on a different continent than everyone I have ever known. The more than 5,000 miles between myself and all my loved ones have definitely proven that saying Distance makes the heart grow fonder.


COURTESY OF JACKIE RITTENHOUSE
Rittenhouse describes her hopes for her semester abroad in Amsterdam. 

Dear future me

Dear Me, You’ve just finished a semester abroad in the Netherlands. Congratulations! It finally happened despite the continued global pandemic and unprecedented times. 


COURTESY OF ABIGAIL TUSCHMAN
Tuschman explores her mixed feelings about growing older.

Birthday cake is bittersweet

This year I blew out my birthday candles a week early. It’s the first time I’ve been away from my family for the big day, so before I left for Baltimore, we sang around a Publix cake on the kitchen island. 


KELLY SIKKEMA/UNSPLASH LICENSE
Paulisich learns to love despite the potential for pain.

Construction paper hearts

On a morning walk with two of my best friends, bundled in our winter coats like pigs in a blanket, we realize that this year, we all have Valentines. It’s almost hard to believe. How could we all be happy at the same time? Is there enough space in the atmosphere for all our smiles? 


COURTESY OF AASHI MENDPARA
Mendpara details how she found contentment after a breakup.

What my first relationship taught me about self-love

My first boyfriend was an interesting man. He was a phenomenal cellist that never really practiced, a swimmer that hated the way chlorine made his fingers feel and the biggest foodie I had ever met (that has very much changed since getting to Hopkins). We were very similar; everyone made it a point to tell us and we knew it, too. 


COURTESY OF MADELYN KYE
Kye looks back fondly on the French classes she took before coming to Hopkins.

My high school French class

As an International Studies major, I am required to take a foreign language. For freshman fall, I signed up for Intermediate French I, feeling excited for what was ahead in college but nostalgic for my experiences with French before college. Namely, the six years of French I took in Huntington, N.Y.


COURTESY OF MICHELLE LIMPE
Limpe describes her unconventional Christmas, made special by her parents’ surprise visit to the U.S.

(Not) home for the holidays

Among the many things in life that have been affected by the pandemic, my Christmases are one of them. Rather than whisking away to the winters of China to spend Christmas Day with family there, our first pandemic holiday last year was spent at home under the Philippines’ heat due to travel restrictions and COVID-19 surges. At that time, I was still taking online classes on a nocturnal schedule. 


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