Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
December 6, 2023


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.

Tuschman explores how she has changed throughout her time at Hopkins.

It starts with Kalamata olives

It’s my third year as a First-Year Mentor, and this year, my mentees — unintentionally, I’m sure — made me feel ancient. Over lunch at Nolan’s on 33rd during Orientation Week, I gave my mentees my perspective on the social scene at Hopkins, and one made a comment to the others about how I have years of experience here. As in, “We should listen to what she has to say.” 

Mendes Queiroz reflects on moving from Rio de Janeiro to Baltimore. 

An introduction to moving abroad

Moving to a new country is a popular ambition — one that comes up often, whether during a holiday when a friend insists that they “could totally live here” or in the midst of the dreaded “post-college” talk with your parents as you attempt to plan out the rest of your life.

Um reflects on how she has grown more comfortable with saying goodbye and embracing change.  

Learning how to greet goodbye

I have always had a hard time saying goodbye to things. Moving from country to country throughout my life — from Korea to Japan, Japan to Scotland, Scotland to Hong Kong and Hong Kong back to Korea — I was constantly forced to leave my friends and memories behind. With no time left to process the change fully, I have had to cling to the memories of the past.

Here's to a new year at Hop

And, as quickly as ever, a new year at Hopkins has begun. It feels as if summer never happened  — the Hopkins Student Center construction looks the same as it did in April, the sun still shines relentlessly (maybe too relentlessly) and the campus bustles with new and familiar faces. 

Lesser reflects on feeling inspired by and learning from his grandma’s joyful approach to life.

Learning from my grandma’s positive outlook

I’ve never been a very superstitious person myself, but I look back fondly at this story as a reminder that even when a loved one is not physically with us anymore, they still remain a part of us. Whether that be through the memories we carry, the signs we see or the emotions we feel, we hold onto our loved ones eternally.

Inspired by William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience, Yousif explores how campus life differs during the summer. 

Songs of innocence: The campus summer

A cruel irony that is only understood after your second year: The best time to be at college is when you’re not there. Such is the tyranny of the academic calendar. The nicer it is outside, the less time you spend there.

Swindle describes the process of adjusting to campus.

Name, major, hometown

Adjusting to college seems, to me, like becoming an adult. Now, this over-simplified view of college might also have to do with the fact that I’m not an adult yet — not legally anyway — and I never really had to live independently up until now. But perhaps because of this, these first few weeks of freshman year seem like an entirely different lifetime. Or, in less dramatic terms, a new era of my life.

Limpe reflects on personal growth and finding peace in life’s silver linings.

Finding my voice through the silver linings of life

When I was younger, I was always known as someone with a “quiet voice.” I tended to be shy and let others speak for me, preferring to hang in the background and let my achievements shine through. However, this was not an attribute that I particularly liked about myself.

Young expresses how growing up in the Washington D.C. area influenced his relationship with public transportation. 

My journey with transportation infrastructure

Growing up on the outskirts of Washington D.C., one of my favorite spots as a child was a bridge near my house that overlooked the trains rushing to and from our nation’s capital. Watching them with my grandparents was exciting for a five-year-old whose television habits involved Thomas the Tank Engine, Cars and other animated shows starring transportation. 

Kye reflects on her solo trip to Kraków and how it connected her to her heritage. 

Solo trip to Kraków

One of my goals for my semester abroad was to take a solo trip. I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go, but I knew that the experience would be crucial to learning more about myself. After sitting on the idea for some time, I decided to go to Kraków, Poland.

Reflecting on their year as Chiefs, Limpe and Gahagen discuss ongoing traditions and new changes.

Our year as Editors-in-Chief: Honoring old traditions and establishing new ones

This academic year felt like the real beginning of the “new normal” after many false starts. During the pandemic, the paper shifted from a primarily print publication to operating online. As restrictions lessened, elements of old traditions returned. Last year’s Editors-in-Chief Leela Gebo and Laura Wadsten initiated the process of returning the paper to its normal operating status, as they brought back print magazines and welcomed masked staff back into the Gatehouse.

Uprooting myself again for next semester

Before every high school track meet, my coach used to give us pep talks on the bus. The whole team was drowsy, waking up from naps where our necks ached from sitting three to a row. We used to gaze up at him as he stood in the front of the bus, gesturing enthusiastically. 

Young describes how political science and engineering led him to enjoy writing.

Coming to enjoy writing

“Your English teacher said your writing skills are poor and that you need to work on them. We signed you up for these literature clubs and camps for you to improve.” 

As an Asian American, Chen wrestles with her identity and the question of authenticity.

Am I Chinese enough?

While walking through the hospital hallway at work the other day, I heard three, middle-aged women discuss in Mandarin one of the women’s new pair of brown leather boots and what shoe styles are currently “in.” A pang of nostalgia hit me, and I felt my eyes tear up, a familiar tingle rising in my nose that I suppressed by scrunching my face.

Despite initial reservations, Kye expresses gratitude for her choice to go on a trip to Strasbourg.

Leaving my comfort zone on a trip to Strasbourg

Located just a few miles from the France-Germany border, Strasbourg was at the top of my list of places to visit within France. I was curious about the French and German cultural influences in the city and was excited to learn more about France’s Alsace region. 

Young reflects on his journey learning to code and how it brought him to Hopkins.

Don’t learn to program, learn math

“You don’t need to learn how to code.” That’s what I told a cousin of mine who visited from China this past winter break. His interests were in computer science, and he remarked how he felt behind because his peers were doing all sorts of programming projects and competitions while he still didn’t know how to program. 

How minimalism helped me in college

At the beginning of my sophomore year, when I got off my taxi after 24 hours in airports and on flights, I discovered that my dorm had burned and the water damage from the firefighting rendered my room unlivable. 

Recalling how much her childhood home has changed, Rittenhouse considers a new perspective on home.

Reimagining home

This past semester, my senior fall felt simultaneously like one of my longest and shortest semesters at Hopkins. I took more academic credits than I ever had during my time as an undergraduate, yet my workload felt somewhat lighter than in previous semesters.