Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
May 8, 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 MUHAMMAD ABIDI 
Abidi emphasizes how much one can learn from reading.

Reading is a powerful tool for self-actualization

If you are reading this piece, then you are already on the path to self-actualization. This is not necessarily because reading it will create newfound value in your life but because reading it reflects your willingness to learn from the experiences of others. 


COURTESY OF ADDY PERLMAN 
For fall break Perlman took a trip to Philadelphia with her roommate Kinsey Tyler.

Spending fall break in Philadelphia

My roommate Kinsey and I had been counting the days until fall break. For the first time, we had two days off school, and we had an increasing desperation to escape from the four walls we live and work in. As the semester neared its midpoint, our work ethic declined so rapidly that it was practically a resident of the Underworld. We decided we needed to get away, and we picked Philadelphia as our destination.


Setting goals during a pandemic

 I turned 22 on Monday, and a friend casually asked me what my three goals are for the next year. This probably shouldn’t have caught me so off guard — Jan. 1, the first day of school and your birthday are the only three acceptable times in the year to set goals, after all. But eight months into the pandemic, I haven’t thought about long-term goals all that much.


COURTESY OF GABRIEL LESSER
Lesser reflects on a favorite childhood activity.

When life gives you apples, make apple pie

I loved apple picking as a child. Whether it was juggling the apples, playing hide-and-seek between the bushes or just spending quality time with family and friends, it was always an activity near and dear to my heart. However, my family sadly stopped going after one year when three of my family friends, my sister and I all got severe poison ivy from an apple tree we had climbed. 


PUBLIC DOMAIN 
Aghamohammadi considers representations of vampires through the lens of the pandemic.

In the company of vampires

There are vampires at this party — plastered in black garments, hair spiked with gel, mascara running down their cheeks like black tears. No one wanted them here, but they are, so someone must have invited them. By this point, it’s too late to kick them out, and I know better than to be rude to party guests, so I am letting them stay for now. And yet, they’re taking up all the space on the sofa and eating all the raspberry tarts and finishing what’s left of the sparkling apple cider, and I am getting sick of it.


Will46and2 / CC BY-SA 3.0 
Li shares her favorite Greek myths, including the one of Eros and Psyche.

Greek myths offer captivating and moving stories

I finished The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller yesterday. I began the book unsure of what to expect from a Greek myth adaptation, but by the end, I was in tears. In addition to evoking a sense of sadness, this beautiful and poignant story has reawakened my long term interest in Greek mythology. 


Keeping up with the online timeline

“Sometimes, when you've a very long street ahead of you, you think how terribly long it is and feel sure you'll never get it swept.” I am drowning in the virtual world. 


Struggling in my search for silver linings

I have been trying to practice gratitude. Throughout the day I tick off on my fingers all the benefits of being home and taking college classes remotely. I don’t have to be away from my family or pets for months at a time. I get to have my mom’s cooking. I can attend all my classes while wearing pajama pants. Tick, tick, tick. 


COURTESY OF SANIYA RAMCHANDANI
Ramchandani highlights what she values in a friendship.

What makes a true friend

 What makes you feel at home? I’ve been asking myself this question a lot. I’ve never felt as homesick as I do now, and I couldn’t put my finger on what exactly changed to make me feel this way.


COURTESY OF JAE CHOI

Choi finds a unique balance of necessity and pleasure in cooking.

Cooking as a labor of love

As soon as the canola oil and butter begin to sizzle at the bottom of the pot, I add half a cup of flour and feverishly stir the mixture with a wooden spatula. I keep the flame on high and wrestle with the resulting roux to keep it from burning. As it begins to change hue from bright blonde to dark chocolate, the green pepper, onion, celery and garlic — all finely diced — make their triumphant entrance. I then add the chicken and sausage, which I preemptively cooked brown on a neighboring stove with salt and pepper. This is followed by cajun seasoning, paprika, thyme and a few bay leaves. 


COURTESY OF ZUBIA HASAN
Hasan details the beauty she sees in physics, specifically in Maxwell’s equation.

The beauty in physics

In pop culture, we see a physicist surrounded by boards, with a handful of integrals scattered everywhere and math operations we have never seen in our entire life. Perhaps this is true of some physicists but certainly not all. I think a major reason why physics seems like an unapproachable subject, studied only by a few presumed to be smart(er?), is precisely because of this pop culture approach to physics. Physics is not a subject that only a few should enjoy. Physics is certainly not a subject that only a few should understand. Instead, physics should be for everyone.


COURTESY OF SOPHIA LOLA
Lola expresses her feelings of homesickness. 

Missing my other home

According to my mother, I was not a very difficult child, but I had my moments of being difficult. The story she always gives as an example of one of those moments is from when I was two years old and spent the night away from my parents for the first time.


We must prioritize our mental health

On Sunday I attended an event hosted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) called “Hear Our Voices: Personal Stories of Mental Health.” The event was part of NAMI’s campaign, #IWillListen, for Mental Health Awareness Week. I wanted to share my experience to hopefully encourage you to attend a future event like this and get involved in the conversation around mental health awareness, a topic very close to my heart. 


John Mathew Smith / CC BY-SA
Perlman honors Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her commitment to gender equality.

To my hero

On Thursday, Sept. 24, my alarm blared at 5:30 a.m. Today I was going to pay my respects to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.


PUBLIC DOMAIN

Li discusses her love of riddles.

A love letter to riddles

From an early age, I have always loved riddles. I used to come home from elementary school and go straight to the family computer where I would spend hours searching for puzzles.



COURTESY OF ISHAN KALBURGE
Kalburge suggests ways to improve the online freshman experience.

Socializing virtually as a freshman

It’s hard to believe that a month of college has passed. In my first article, I wrote that keeping track of time during quarantine had become a hobby; certainly in this first month, that hobby has become a sport.  


COURTESY OF MUHAMMAD ABIDI
Abidi shares his tips for maximizing productivity.

Tips for maximizing productivity

What a year it has been so far, and we still have three months to go. One thing that the added time from quarantine has allowed me to do is binge-watch pretty much every show ever made. But it also has given me the opportunity to learn about various productivity methods.


COURTESY OF MICHELLE LIMPE 
Limpe discusses what it’s like to follow a nocturnal schedule for school.

The sunset's signal of a new day

I will shamelessly admit that I am one of those people whose camera roll and Instagram stories are filled with sunset photos. The beautiful blend of warm and cool palettes against the city landscape never fails to give me a sense of peace and a reminder of how beautiful the Earth can be, especially after being stuck inside for so long.


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