Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
December 1, 2023


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.

Mendpara describes the charm of her favorite cafe at home in Orlando.

The magic of Stardust

It’s been a long semester and, apart from sleeping, there was one main thing I looked forward to during our glorious week off: Stardust Video & Coffee. 

Lesser considers the importance of a bedroom and the feeling of home.

Finding a home wherever I go

I’m sleeping on a narrow twin-size bed with one mattress stacked on top of another, holding two thin polyester pillows and a singular bed sheet. The fan above me spins slowly, creating the slightest breeze to ease the humidity, and the morning sun begins to creep in through the reflective windows.

Kim reconnects with high school friends in New York City over spring break.

To dearest friends, past, present and future

I have a confession to make. I’ve been truly awful at maintaining contact with my high school friends. Other than a month in the summer when I worked out at Crunch Fitness with a few of them (spoiler alert: I am horrendously out of shape), I have barely talked with any of my old compatriots since graduation.

Learning to love through vulnerability

Over a plate of too-salty fried rice and oily bún bò huế, my friend watches me cry. We’re getting lunch at a little Vietnamese eatery after church on a particularly muggy day. The waiter comes by every once in a while, awkwardly refilling our glasses with lukewarm tap water and avoiding eye contact with me. The couple next to us is trying their best not to listen in.

Limpe works to bring more positivity into her life through routine and the power of thought.

Becoming my version of “that girl” this new year

This new year, I made a personal commitment to make a change in my life: Be more positive. Even if this seems simple, developing a positive mindset was something that I always struggled with over the years and never made a priority. Upon reflecting on my 2021 and setting goals for the new year, I realized that cultivating positivity does not have to be a drastic change but rather should be incorporated into my everyday actions and outlook on life.

Kye looks back at her family’s December tradition of gathering at her aunt’s log cabin.

My aunt’s log cabin

The Decembers of my childhood shared one constant: a weekend trip to my aunt Dolores’ log cabin in New Hampshire. Years ago, the house was built by my great-grandfather, grandfather and other relatives of mine, and it has maintained its place in the family ever since, hosting many annual gatherings during which all of my relatives pack into the cozy kitchen and living room. 

Yadav looks back on a year of graduate school and the lessons it has taught her.

Flipping the hourglass for another year

After a month-long vacation and my first break since starting graduate school, I am back from India. Last year passed so quickly, I still cannot believe that I am a graduate student. 

Rittenhouse expresses gratitude for the friends who have shaped her life.

Ode to my friends

For the very first time in my life, I am living on a different continent than everyone I have ever known. The more than 5,000 miles between myself and all my loved ones have definitely proven that saying Distance makes the heart grow fonder.

Rittenhouse describes her hopes for her semester abroad in Amsterdam. 

Dear future me

Dear Me, You’ve just finished a semester abroad in the Netherlands. Congratulations! It finally happened despite the continued global pandemic and unprecedented times. 

Tuschman explores her mixed feelings about growing older.

Birthday cake is bittersweet

This year I blew out my birthday candles a week early. It’s the first time I’ve been away from my family for the big day, so before I left for Baltimore, we sang around a Publix cake on the kitchen island. 

Paulisich learns to love despite the potential for pain.

Construction paper hearts

On a morning walk with two of my best friends, bundled in our winter coats like pigs in a blanket, we realize that this year, we all have Valentines. It’s almost hard to believe. How could we all be happy at the same time? Is there enough space in the atmosphere for all our smiles? 

Mendpara details how she found contentment after a breakup.

What my first relationship taught me about self-love

My first boyfriend was an interesting man. He was a phenomenal cellist that never really practiced, a swimmer that hated the way chlorine made his fingers feel and the biggest foodie I had ever met (that has very much changed since getting to Hopkins). We were very similar; everyone made it a point to tell us and we knew it, too. 

Kye looks back fondly on the French classes she took before coming to Hopkins.

My high school French class

As an International Studies major, I am required to take a foreign language. For freshman fall, I signed up for Intermediate French I, feeling excited for what was ahead in college but nostalgic for my experiences with French before college. Namely, the six years of French I took in Huntington, N.Y.

Limpe describes her unconventional Christmas, made special by her parents’ surprise visit to the U.S.

(Not) home for the holidays

Among the many things in life that have been affected by the pandemic, my Christmases are one of them. Rather than whisking away to the winters of China to spend Christmas Day with family there, our first pandemic holiday last year was spent at home under the Philippines’ heat due to travel restrictions and COVID-19 surges. At that time, I was still taking online classes on a nocturnal schedule. 

As graduation approaches, Sundesha looks back on all her favorite experiences at Hopkins.

My college bucket list

Last semester, I experienced the first of many lasts as a senior. I know. Weird. The thought that I am going to graduate in less than six months is beyond fathomable right now because I’m still not over how fast last year went by.

Swallowing vinegar

Once when I was young my mother brought home a bag of kumquats, a dozen of them, small and ripe, picked from a friend’s tree. I ate quickly, swallowing chunk after chunk of fruit until one of the chunks was a little too large for my throat.

Since she was a child, Mendpara has documented her memories in the form of stickers.

Why I cherish my sticker collection

My life savings are stored in seven 5.5 x 8.5 faux leather journals. A bit odd, but it’s true. When I was a child, and someone asked me the classic “If you had to save three things during a fire, what would they be?” my answer was always (in this order) my dog, my glasses and my journals.