Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
September 19, 2020

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.



How to practice self care in these stressful times

Lots of people talk about self-care — “time for a self-care night” or “you should spend time on self-care” — but people tend to not always know what it is or to not think it’s that important. So this is a) a bit of advice about how to do self-care well and b) a reminder to go take care of yourself. 


COURTESY OF DIVA PAREKH
A horseback riding fall taught Parekh the value of prioritizing her health.

Learning when to stop pushing through the pain

It’s been about three years since I fell off a horse in a village in Peru. When I went to the hospital, they didn’t have a doctor in the building, so they just cleaned up the bleeding and sent me on my way. 


Why I continue to torture myself with bad media

This week I’ve decided to get back to my roots a bit and talk about why I do this godforsaken column in the first place. Since my time as Art & Entertainment Editor of The News-Letter came to an end last semester, I had an art-shaped hole in my heart that I needed to fill. I’d been wanting to start a column for a while, and suddenly I found myself with some extra time and a dream.


COURTESY OF ALEX WALKINSKAS
During a semester in Washington, D.C., Walinskas met fellow policy wonks.

To the Hopkins and Baltimore community: thank you

With my December graduation fast approaching (and my senioritis hitting hard), I’ve been sitting with nostalgia and reflection on the past 3.5 years at Hopkins. I never expected to devote as much time as I have in college to policy and politics, but I’m so thankful that my experiences at Hopkins guided me in this direction. Consider this week’s column both a “thank you, Hopkins community” and a “wow, I made it!” note.


COURTESY OF KATY WILNER
Wilner has had a few awkward encounters in Parisian coffee shops.

Embracing the personal humiliation of learning a language abroad

I’ve always wanted to study abroad in Paris. In high school, I chose French even though I was living in Los Angeles and should have chosen Spanish. I always held on to the idea that one day I would be walking along the Seine, eating a croissant, holding hands with a real live French man.


COURTESY OF ELIZABETH IM
After reading an article from 1976, Perlman saw similarities to today.

Looking at the history of Hopkins work culture

This week I held a document from 1976. What did you do? Have you ever noticed that glass room in the library with all the leather-bound books and the old-fashioned Hopkins sweater? I didn’t until this year, when I finally started exploring the archives. And then I came across an article written by April Moreno, a senior at Hopkins in 1976, so here is my response.


COURTESY OF ZUBIA HASAN
Hasan reflects on how she’s changed and stayed the same since high school.

How I’ve grown and changed since starting college

This article was going to be many things, but what it was not going to be was this nostalgic throwback to my freshman-year-fresh-out-of-high-school-self. But a Snapchat memory, some hasty scrolling back to 2017 and some three hours later, here I was thinking about how much has changed and how much has stayed the same.


COURTESY OF SANIYA RAMCHANDANI
Ramchandani found a community in Marque, the student fashion magazine.

Why I chose fashion instead of astrophysics

Let’s begin with some context: When I was 13 years old, all I wanted to be in life was a corporate lawyer. No, seriously — beyond just watching Suits, I read LSAT prep books and even joined Model United Nations (because there was no mock trial) to get some experience formulating arguments and public speaking. Then I turned 15 and was introduced to astrophysics; I’d always loved physics, but I really didn’t want to spend my life looking at hypothetical frictionless ramps, and at that point I didn’t even really think there was more to it. 


The ultimate survival guide for any Friendsgiving

It’s potluck season. Depending on your tolerance for your roommates’ drunk friends and slices of desiccated turkey breast, that may be a good or a bad thing. But like it or not, the next week or so holds the sure promise of a Friendsgiving Facebook invite rudely interrupting the Tasty video you’re watching in class.



COURTESY OF STEPHANIE LEE
For Lee, it’s important to figure out which battles are worth your time.

Learning to pick my battles and save my energy

It was 2:16 a.m. on a Tuesday morning. I was hunched in front of my computer in a baggy T-shirt, no pants on, furiously pounding away at my keyboard. Line after line after line of angry, black text appeared as fast as my acrylic nails would allow me to type them. 


My experience with representation in politics

These days seem like a high-water mark for minority political representation. It seems especially so for Asian Americans, with prominent Asian American figures like Andrew Yang and Kamala Harris running for president and record numbers of Asians getting elected into office. But that’s all at the top — how much does that translate to my own experience as a politically active Asian American?


COURTESY OF CECILIA VORFELD
For Vorfeld, services like A Place To Talk are great for seeking support.

The self-care alphabet: a conclusion (part II)

I am back at it again! Self-care. Just as important this time as last. These tips and tricks never grow old. It’s just up to you what you want to make work for you. And with that, here is the second half of the self-care alphabet for you:


PUBLIC DOMAIN
Despite its subpar quality, nostalgia still draws Beaver to Halloween music.

Halloween songs are bad, but they still slap

This week we’re gonna take a deep dive into my childhood. I’m kidding (kind of). I threw it way back and listened to the weird Halloween songs teachers played for us in elementary school, only half of which are actually Halloween songs. 


COURTESY OF GABI SWISTARA
Maggie, Swistara’s own rescue dog of seven years, is getting her Halloween costume.

Showering “kill shelters” with love and support

Everybody seems to love puppies and kittens and animals of all kinds — they’re cute, vulnerable, funny, companionate — yet so many people have misconceptions about how humans interact with animals. As someone who grew up with animals, spent most of her life as a pescatarian and vegan and volunteers at an animal shelter, I wanted to highlight some of these misconceptions and actually explain the truths behind them. 


COURTESY OF BONNIE JIN
Jin reflects on the island community where her relatives grew up, which no longer exists.

Imagined villages: memories of a time past

I) I grew up with my great-grandmother and the taste of her mayujie, a crepe-like delicacy from Dachen Island. I remember long nights sitting beside her, my chubby hands against hers, as she guided me in folding my first roll. And so we sat, that Saturday in 2004, rolling hundreds of mayujie at the dining room table.


COURTESY OF GABI SWISTARA
Swistara keeps a journal of the little moments that make an impact on her.

Finding happiness in the little lollipop moments

I feel as though I was happier in high school than I am now, and there are probably a number of reasons for that. One I’d like to discuss, though, is the fact that I’ve stopped giving credit to my lollipop moments. 


Where should the line for financial aid be?

Moving off campus is expensive. Like, ridiculously expensive. For the first time in your life you have to start worrying about rent, renter’s insurance, electricity, internet and water. This is, of course, along with the one-time payments like security deposits or application fees. But that is only the start. Unless you go for a more expensive, furnished apartment or take over a room from a graduating friend, you have to buy an apartment’s worth of furniture.


COURTESY OF DIVA PAREKH
Parekh’s trip offered her a new perspective on disconnecting from work.

What it means to really take a break from school

Like most people at Hopkins, I had a bit of a hell week about three weeks ago. Three big projects, two tests, all within the span of about four days — if you’re a Hopkins student, you probably know that drill. 


News-Letter Special Editions