Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
December 2, 2021

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
In recent years, Ramadan has fallen at the most opportune time for Hasan.

Reflecting on what Ramadan means to me

I looked at my phone and realized it was April 11, which meant it would soon be April 12. That meant the most important month of the year was just around the corner for me: Ramadan (or Ramzan, the debate is kind of annoying at this point), and I was not prepared. Once a year, millions of Muslims (and some non-Muslims too) fast from sunrise to sunset, and yes, the fast means not even water.


FILE PHOTO
Choi reflects on the impact of Zoom.

My year on Zoom

Tuesday, March 10, 2020. 7:34 p.m. I sat slouched in my A-level cubicle, poring over Lineweaver-Burk plots and peptide-bond hydrolysis mechanisms, when I got the email. 


COURTESY OF MICHELLE LIMPE 
Limpe discusses what traveling has meant to her. 

Wanderlust: reflecting on my travels

Lately my dreams have been very vivid, filled with sites of past travels and visions of ones to explore once the world is safe again. My sleep has allowed me to escape from the current world, transporting me to a life where the virus has ceased to exist and we are no longer confined to our houses. However, this is sadly not the reality. 


COURTESY OF SOPHIA LOLA
Lola recently tried making Vietnamese egg coffee.

I’m obsessed with a food YouTuber, and that’s okay

Expanding my cooking skills has been one of my highlights of the pandemic. But, like many aspects of my life this semester, my cooking habits have become haphazard, and I haven’t dedicated as much time to making new dishes as I would’ve liked. I’ve certainly made some really good stuff, like spaghetti and meatballs, curry and spicy peanut noodles.


Learning to take care of myself

Let’s talk about priorities today. This topic came to mind because, unfortunately, I was plagued by a particularly terrible case of food poisoning yesterday. Not to be too graphic, but I spent half the day on the floor of my bathroom, unable to keep even water down. Pale, dehydrated and flustered, I hobbled across campus to take a PCR test to rule out the possibility of COVID-19. By the end of the day, I could barely stomach half a banana and a whole piece of toast. 



SIMONSTERG/CC BY-SA 2.0
One of Li's favorite poems as a child was "The Road Not Taken."

Revisiting the poems important to me

The first poem I ever loved was a monologue from William Shakespeare’s As You Like It, delivered by the character Jacques and known by its opening line, “All the world’s a stage.” The poem explains the seven stages of a man’s life from birth to death, framed in a performative and lively manner meant for the theater.


COURTESY OF KATY WILNER
York discusses adjusting to the workload in her first year at Hopkins.

Challenging my perfectionism

Like many others at Hopkins, I was the student in high school who was a perfectionist to a fault. I couldn't handle getting a grade below an A, and I tied my worth to how many mistakes I made. Getting into college had always been my end goal. I didn’t know what to do for a career, but I knew that I needed to get into a great school. As a first-generation student, I felt a lot of pressure to excel. 


PIXABAY LICENSE
Lu discusses being productive and positive.

Learning how to think positive

We’ve all been there. Sitting slumped in a chair, feeling exhausted, drained and devoid of any emotion besides something that can only be described as “I’m so tired.”



COURTESY OF SANIYA RAMCHANDANI
As a 21-year-old, Ramchandani learned the importance of having a balanced, nutritious diet.

What I wish I could tell my 21-year-old self

I guess I’m officially an adult. As a huge Taylor Swift fan, I’ve waited for the year I turn 22 since the year I turned 15, but I didn’t think, “happy, free, confused and lonely at the same time,” would resonate as much as it currently does. Up until this moment, I’ve always known where I have to be and what I have to be doing; the next step was always right there. Now, I am responsible for no one but myself, and technically speaking, I can do whatever I want. 


COURTESY OF MICHELLE LIMPE
Limpe reflects on the impacts of COVID-19 in the past year.

How the pandemic ended and then restored my faith in humanity

I still remember the whispers of a novel disease and the potential onset of a pandemic that crept through the quads of Hopkins a year ago. Among them was the speculation that all of us students might be sent home, which gradually became more likely as other universities announced that they were closing.



COURTESY OF GABRIEL LESSER
Lesser learned a challah recipe through the Hopkins Hillel community.

Exploring my passion for cooking during quarantine

I’ve never considered myself much of a chef. Growing up, I only knew how to prepare the basics. From making Bisquick pancakes with my dad on Sunday mornings to rolling Brazilian brigadeiro chocolates with my mom in the middle of the night, I learned to cherish the time I spent cooking with my family, even if we were making the simplest of items. 


The class every pre-med should take

Since the start of high school, I thought the idea of college was alluring, for more reasons than the picturesque red brick and the independence it promised. I wanted a space to grow intellectually rather than regurgitate facts about U.S. history. I wanted classes where my beliefs would be challenged and where I would learn from peers with backgrounds different from my own. What I sought in college, I have found in one of my classes this semester. 


COURTESY OF AMELIA ISAACS
In her first year of high school, Isaacs went on an exchange trip to Washington, D.C.

The enigmas of American and British culture

When I was in what my secondary school called the Vth and all of America calls freshman year of high school, I took part in an exchange program with a school in D.C. When our plane landed, we were shuttled to the school in yellow school buses. We passed the Watergate Hotel on the way. My friends bought hoodies and coffee cups with the school’s name on them to take home to London.


Baby steps and missteps on the path to well-being

Last week I did a couple things I’m proud of. I updated my resume, which I’d been telling myself I would do for months. I also called the Counseling Center for drop-in hours, after finally accepting that I could probably benefit from therapy, which is something I’ve been working toward for years.


COURTESY OF JAE CHOI
Playing the violin has been an important pastime for Choi.

Dusting off my violin, Emmanuel

I’ve been playing the violin for as long as I can remember. I first picked it up around the time I was 7 years old, when my parents forced me to take lessons. These lessons continued through middle and high school, and daily practice was a mandate. 



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