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.


Taking concrete action to support abortion rights

February 13, 2019

For years now, I have proudly identified myself as an intersectional feminist. I’m minoring in Women, Gender and Sexuality (WGS) Studies and am currently working on an Honors Thesis project related to the history of fairy-tales and the implicit, gendered messages that they often contain. 

COURTESY OF LORIE SHAULL/CC-BY SA 2.0
The organization Planned Parenthood provides women with health care.

COURTESY OF TRACHEOTOMY BOB/ CC-BY SA 2.0
Girls are socialized in many ways, including through the toys they play with, from a young age.

Embracing abrasions: the inherent risks of being female in America

February 13, 2019

In introducing my column for this upcoming semester, I want to transition between the positive relationships I wrote about last semester to focusing on more politically-charged experiences. I would like to provide a content warning to anyone who cannot read about sexuality and sexual violence. 


My experience at a Subtle Asian Dating event

February 14, 2019

It was a brisk December night in the Big Apple when I stood under the Washington Square Arch, as the greens and yellows and purples of the skyline glowed in the background. I was already exhausted from walking across Manhattan, having visited the National Museum of Mathematics and walked the High Line, but I also felt excited as I stood in the park waiting for our group of Subtle Asian Daters to form.

COURTESY OF JEAN-CHRISTOPHE BENOIST/CC BY-3.0  
The Subtle Asian Daters meet-up took place at NYC’s Washington Square.

M01229/ CC BY SA 2.0
You can choose to make Valentine’s Day about self-love this year. 

How to make Valentine’s Day less stressful this year

February 6, 2019

For a lot of people, Valentine’s Day is less a holiday and more a 24-hour block of dodging obnoxiously googly-eyed social media posts and couples feeling each other up in the middle of the quad. And, as always, it’s coming around again. In a week, every store will be plastered with red heart-shaped decorations and every decent restaurant will be booking up fast.


Embracing the label ‘fat’ and all its extra weight

February 12, 2019

Growing up, I always hated my body. I was fat, and I was not happy about it. I hated eating in public because I felt embarrassed. Shopping for clothes was a nightmare, and whatever I ended up with would still be too tight in some places and too baggy in others. I worried that I’d never be able to get girls.

COURTESY OF JACOB TOOK
A photo taken during a pageant at the weight loss camp Took attended. 

COURTESY OF KATHERINE LOGAN
Ice cream is a great way to celebrate moving forward from a mistake. 

Mistakes are part of life, not something to be feared

February 6, 2019

Sometimes I feel as though I might be a naturally self-destructive person; in hindsight, some of the decisions I’ve made in the past appear completely discombobulated. In these moments, I end up simply wondering how a person could be so stupid. We all have our moments of failure big and small. 


COURTESY OF KATHERINE LOGAN. 
A photo from her first day of running, training for the Rock N’ Roll half-marathon in D.C.. 

The sense of empowerment I gain from running

February 6, 2019

My first experience with long-distance running came in the seventh grade. At my first practice, our coach nonchalantly told us that we would be running six miles without stopping to walk or drink water. I was astonished; sure, I’d run a 5K before but never anywhere close to that length. 


Why Andy Kim’s election to Congress is so important to me

January 31, 2019

I was sleeping in my car as we traveled through the town of Mount Laurel, N.J., going from the I-295 onto the New Jersey Turnpike. We made this transfer every time I traveled between home and Hopkins, and on the surface, nothing has changed. The same hotels and stores by the same roads basked in the glow of the same sun.

Public domain
New Jersey native Andy Kim was sworn into the 116th Congress.

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How football brings my whole family together

February 3, 2019

Whether or not I get the same rush that the rest of my family does out of watching sports (don’t even get me started on how long the NHL season is), I was born into the inescapable clutches of football fandom. Come Sunday, I’ll be ardently cheering on the Patriots, swearing and cheering alongside the best of them, and, while it’s taken me years to admit it, I wouldn’t have it any other way. 


Finding meaning through existential crises and loss

January 31, 2019

I’m 22 years old, and I still think that one of the most heartbreaking sounds is hearing your parents cry. Last week, I was on the phone with my dad, and he started to choke up. He was calling to tell me that Jamie, our family friend, has about two weeks left until her organs fail. She has been struggling with terminal cancer for a few months now. 

aitchisons/cc by 2.0
Ted Danson plays Michael, an architect of afterlife neighborhoods, in The Good Place.

Courtesy of Rudy Malcom
Malcom and sophomore Sabrina Sussman on a camel near the Kfar Hanokdim oasis.

After going on Birthright, reflecting on what makes me proud to be Jewish

January 30, 2019

Have you had the distinct pleasure of making small talk with me recently? If so, you may recall (or you may not — what else is there to do during Intersession besides black out every night?) my joking, probably in poor taste, that going on Birthright Israel this winter converted me into an ultra-Orthodox rabbi. (Birthright is a free 10-day trip to the Holy Land for young Jewish adults around the world meant to strengthen their Jewish identities and relationship with the State and people of Israel.)


My fascination with Ian McEwan’s complex works

January 30, 2019

For as long as I can remember, I have loved reading. But, just like everyone else in my classes, I never really enjoyed the books we were required to read. I never understood why the only books we could supposedly learn something from were dusty pieces of literature that I found boring or irrelevant. That is, until I took AP Lit in my senior year of high school, when my teacher gave us all a summer reading assignment that I could not put down.

Courtesy of Luiz Munhoz/ CC BY-SA 2.0
Ian McEwan is the award-winning novelist behind The Children Act.

PUBLIC DOMAIN
Among those sworn into the 166th Congress on January 3 was Andy Kim

Why Andy Kim’s election to Congress is so important to me

January 31, 2019

I was sleeping in my car as we traveled through the town of Mount Laurel, N.J., going from the I-295 onto the New Jersey Turnpike. We made this transfer every time I traveled between home and Hopkins, and on the surface, nothing has changed. The same hotels and stores by the same roads basked in the glow of the same sun.


How The Graduate influenced me to embrace the unknown

December 6, 2018

It is incredibly easy to feel trapped when you're a senior in college. With graduation looming, family members curiously prodding and the huge anxious cloud of the future hanging over everything, the sense of being boxed in is almost impossible to avoid. This is especially true when you’ve already chosen your post-graduation life plan. 

 PUBLIC DOMAIN
Dustin Hoffman starred as Ben Braddock in the 1967 film The Graduate.

 COURTESY OF ROLLIN HU
Hu, age 9 in the photograph, never imagined that he would attend Hopkins.

Reflecting on my time here before I graduate

December 5, 2018

About a year and a half ago, I had a column in this newspaper called Irrelevant History where I wrote about weird individuals or events from the past. I graduate this semester, so I thought I might revisit this column as my final article for The News-Letter. Out of a delusional sense of self-grandeur or an in ill-advised attempt at closure, this week’s Irrelevant History topic is me.


Finding gratitude and peace in familiar spaces

December 5, 2018

There are certain places that offer tranquility and repose. I was reminded of one such location recently when my mom sent me a photo of Our Lady of Victory National Shrine & Basilica decorated for Christmas. This church, first opened in 1926, is stationed mere blocks away from the home my grandfather currently lives in, which also happens to be where he and his two sisters were raised. 

 COURTESY OF RON CORBO.
The alter at Our Lady of Victory Basilica in Buffalo decorated for Christmas.