Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
February 24, 2024

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 YANA MULANI
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. 


LYNN MELCHIORI / PIXABAY
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.” 


COURTESY OF SHIHUA CHEN
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.


COURTESY OF MADELYN KYE
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. 



COURTESY OF JONATHAN YOUNG
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. 


COURTESY OF JACKIE RITTENHOUSE
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. 


COURTESY OF JOCELYN SHAN
Recounting her first summer in Baltimore, Shan reveals her new perspective on the city.

The summer I saw Baltimore

“I’m going to be home for the summer. What about you?” The more people I talked to, the deeper the sinking feeling in my gut grew: I was going to be alone for the summer. 



COURTESY OF ALIZA LI
Li explores how a classic Hong Kong dish parallels the culture and identity of Hong Kong.

What baked pork chop rice means to me

My sister always does the deep frying. Unafraid of the hot oil, she lays two egg-and-flour-covered pork chops into the wok. They sizzle and solidify into crunchy golden pucks after which she stacks them on paper towels to allow the excess oil to drain.


COURTESY OF JOSEPH KANG
Kang reflects on the ever-changing nature of the present, relating it to that of a vinyl record.

The ever-changing record

When you listen to a vinyl, it is both the first and last time you’ll hear it. As the needle traverses the record it creates new grooves, subtle nicks here and there, like a co-producer editing the musical content beyond the control of its original artist. 


COURTESY OF MICHELLE LIMPE
From pandan chicken to Brazilian steak, Limpe reflects on favorite meals and ever-changing traditions.

Traditions around the restaurant table

Whenever my brother and I are back home in Manila, Philippines for break, we have a mission: to eat at all of our favorite restaurants. From the crepes of Café Breton to pasta at La Nuova Pasteleria to steak at Mamou, we have created a formidable list of places to go, always delighting in picking the restaurant of the day every time we eat out. 


COURTESY OF LAURA SALEM
Salem and Iyer share how they’ve learned to embrace their hobbies, regardless of what other people think.

The happiness of hobbies

Attending a college as rigorous as Hopkins requires an extensive amount of time spent going to classes, completing assignments and studying for a never-ending stream of midterms. Because our days are filled with unceasing schoolwork, it can feel as though there is no time to do anything else. 


COURTESY OF MOLLY GREEN
Green describes her love of cooking and its role within the formative experiences of her life.

A love letter to my kitchen

One of my favorite photos of me as a child was taken in the kitchen of the house I was born in — I’m standing at a cabinet that’s taller than me, unopened packages of pasta strewn on the floor, wearing a red onesie that says “Moose!” that was later passed down to both of my sisters. 


COURTESY OF SHIHUA CHEN
After getting accepted to medical school, Chen discusses the challenges she continues to face and reflects on her time as an applicant.

Getting accepted to medical school

At 3:30 p.m., I finally received the phone call. Every Wednesday around three in the afternoon, I anticipated a phone call. I was expecting to hear back from a medical school that I interviewed at. On the day of my interview, they told me I would receive my results within six weeks. 


MATT BANGO / CC0 1.0
Drawing on observations of people around her, Wang considers the importance of boundaries and how to set them.

An empathetic "no": Why and how to set boundaries

As college students, we don’t always think a lot before having sex. We are so excited to explore all possibilities in life that we forget about the consequences of our actions. We go with the flow and do what feels right. 


COURTESY OF GABRIEL LESSER
Lesser reveals how his time abroad in Sevilla has transformed his outlook on life and school.

Saying goodbye to Seville and hello to Hopkins

During my last week of studying abroad in Seville, Spain, I finally had the opportunity to go rowing in the canals of the Plaza de España, something I had been looking forward to for the entire semester. Even though I lived a five-minute walk away from the Plaza, I somehow hadn’t carved out the time to go rowing until the last possible moment.