Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
May 18, 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 ALIZA LI
Li discusses her collection of unfinished notebooks and how they relate to her writing.

Finishing this notebook

I am much better at buying notebooks than I am at finishing them. In fact, I have a sizable collection of half-used notebooks, journals and diaries filling my bookshelf at home and my desk drawer here in Baltimore.



COURTESY OF JONATHAN YOUNG
Reflecting on his journey as a cyclist, Young reveals the ways that cycling has challenged him both physically and mentally.

Cycling the century ride

The century ride. 100 miles, straight. It’s a milestone that many cyclists hit at one point in their lifetime. However, as an amateur cyclist only two years into the sport, I never thought I would hit the milestone so soon. 


COURTESY OF DIKSHA IYER
Iyer discusses what her changing hairstyle represents about herself.

Becoming Brandi Carlile

I cut twelve inches of my hair off a couple of weeks ago. Well, not intentionally. I walked in to the salon, said that I wanted it as short as it could be without my resembling Dora and thought I was going to get a chic Vanessa Hudgens bob out of it.  


COURTESY OF ASHLYN PERALTA
Reflecting on her grievances with the winter season, Peralta reveals her discovery and love of the sensation of apricity.

The beauty of apricity

I dread winter. Snow-covered street lamps and snowflakes are anything but beautiful to me — the snow has always had a habit of dampening my clothes just enough to intensify the bitterness of the air until it is maddening. And, rather than declare the season of joy and fellowship, Christmas lights have only signified a time of frozen extremities and suffocating layers of clothing. 


COURTESY OF JAMIE KIM
As Christmas nears, Kim considers where home really is and what it means to find belonging.

I’ll be home for Christmas

So, where’s your hometown? It’s one of the most typical and easy conversation-starting questions. Yet, it can be a hard stump for someone with a multicultural, multi-regional background. The Merriam-Webster dictionary’s first definition of home is “one’s place of residence.” However, as a college student, I technically have two residences: one where my parents and siblings live and the other here in Baltimore. Plus, my physical home has changed quite a lot growing up.


COURTESY OF CHIDIMMA EZEILO
Ezeilo reflects on her memories of Christmas, both in Nigeria and in Baltimore.

It’s Christmas time already

Can you believe it? It’s that season of the year when we all joyfully sing holiday songs and Christmas carols. The lyrics that come to mind right now are “Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way.” I literally sang those words out loud and did a happy little dance right in the middle of the library!


COURTESY OF SUDHA YADAV
Looking back on 2022, Yadav expresses the need for rest in moments of chaos.

A goodbye letter to 2022

2022: a year that everyone looked forward to after COVID-19. Leading up to this year, I made a list of things I wanted to do, and like most other people, only ended up opening it once or twice throughout the year. Now when I look back, I realize 2022 had totally different plans for me than I originally thought. 


Letting go of leaving a legacy

Rationally I know that “being forgotten” is an inevitability. With over eight billion people on this Earth and millennia of generations past, I am ultimately just another number, another statistic in the world. My studies in Public Health, with its focus on population-level impacts and statistics, serve to strengthen this rationalization.  


COURTESY OF JOCELYN SHAN
Recalling a memory of a trip with her friend, Shan reconciles her intimate view of China from a familial perspective with a more impersonal view from a foreign lens.

What’s not in the picture: the Great Wall

My China is China, and Carson’s China is China. I don’t think that one is better than the other. My China is precious and full of familial ties, but there is yet another version, maybe thousands of versions, that are equally as important. Carson’s foreigner perspective didn’t corrupt this place; it just looked at it from a different angle, seeing walls and mountains that I had never noticed before.


COURTESY OF CHIDIMMA EZEILO
Hailing from Nigeria, Ezeilo expresses her love for the beauty and sights of her new home in Baltimore.

The Nigerian Black beauty in Baltimore

“Hey, you! Can I be your sugar daddy?” This has so far been the most hilarious comment I have heard hooted to me on the streets of Baltimore, the city I have called home for nearly two years. 


COURTESY OF ANNI FAN
Fan discusses how her experiences at Hopkins led her to decide to move on from swim.

Why I decided to quit swim

I spent most of my freshman and sophomore years weighed down by a constant sense of tiredness in my bones. But that was to be expected since I woke up at 5:30 a.m. three times a week to jump into a cold pool. 


COURTESY OF MADELYN KYE
As she prepares to study abroad, Kye discusses her excitement to explore a new culture and her fears in losing time with her friends.

Preparing to study abroad

I am preparing to study abroad next semester. So far, this has mainly consisted of curating a new wardrobe on Pinterest, applying for a visa and — on a sadder note — grappling with the knowledge that this would be my last semester with many of my best friends at Hopkins.


COURTESY OF SHIHUA CHEN
Looking back on her experiences applying to medical school, Chen considers how her culture plays a role in her professional life.

How my culture affects my professional life

When I interviewed at a medical school earlier this year, I felt the interview had gone ok. In preparation I practiced my answers with multiple mock interviewers, watched countless videos from past applicants and researched extensively on the school.


COURTESY OF GABRIEL LESSER
As he adjusts to a new Spanish-speaking environment, Lesser reflects on his family’s different languages and how they have influenced him.

What my family has taught me about language

My mom was younger than I am now when she moved from Brazil to the United States. She met my dad, who is from New York, while they were both studying abroad at Tel Aviv University. At the age of 19, she left her home in Rio de Janeiro and transferred to college in New York to be with my dad.


COURTESY OF ALIZA LI
Li considers the events in her life that led her to major in Writing Seminars at Hopkins.

Why I chose writing

In some sense, I write as a form of embodiment, a way for me to make real the things I cannot express outwardly. Writing is no longer something I want but something I need. I need it, just as much as I need water or shoes. 




Dear extroverts, introverts are normal too

One of the most obvious things that we notice in our everyday lives is that people are distinctly different. There are 7 billion people sharing the earth. But how many are considered normal? When are people considered abnormal? 


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