Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
February 21, 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 JACKIE RITTENHOUSE
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. 


COURTESY OF ABIGAIL TUSCHMAN
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. 


KELLY SIKKEMA/UNSPLASH LICENSE
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? 


COURTESY OF AASHI MENDPARA
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. 


COURTESY OF MADELYN KYE
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.


COURTESY OF MICHELLE LIMPE
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. 



COURTESY OF AASHNA SUNDESHA
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.


COURTESY OF AASHI MENDPARA
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. 


A sacred name or a deadname?

A pain surged in my chest when I saw the pictures side-by-side on the wall. Even though I transitioned years ago, I tend to be very protective of that old self because of the backlash that I experienced at Hopkins in going from one state of being to another. 


COURTESY OF MADELYN KYE
Kye reminisces on the vibrant Thanksgivings of her childhood in Asharoken, N.Y.

Thanksgiving on the beach

It’s been several years since my grandparents left Asharoken, but I cannot stop imagining Thanksgivings on the beach. 


PHOTO EDITOR/MIRI CAZES
Iyer and Salem express their frustration with the University’s waste disposal process.

Are we trash or is the system trash?

Hopkins presents the unified aim of managing waste and reducing any harmful release of chemicals into the environment. The University encourages all members of the faculty and student body to participate in this goal in the name of sustainability. 


COURTESY OF MICHELLE LIMPE
After dancing in the SLAM Showcase, Limpe reflects on her experiences with Eclectics Dance Group.

Dance like nobody’s watching

5, 6, 7, 8... Step here... Spin... Wait, shoot, I missed a beat. It’s okay. As the choreo chairs like to tell us, the audience won’t know you messed up if you exude confidence in your movements. 


Reflecting on my indecisiveness

I’m an indecisive person. Deciding where to eat for lunch is as difficult a choice for me to make as deciding my majors was. I go over the options relentlessly until I feel (mostly) confident I’m making the right choice. I find it nearly impossible to act spontaneously.



FILE PHOTO
With fall in full swing, Paulisich uses this time to explore his attitudes toward change.

Reflections on change: fall

It’s fall again, but this year is a little different. To me, fall is the time to reflect, to daydream about summer beach days and the tide rising to fill its vacancy, to remember the sunny shirtless days I spent on the roof reading The Alchemist and Where the Crawdads Sing.


COURTESY OF KEIDAI LEE
In honor of National FLI Day, Lee reflects on his family, upbringing and experiences as a transfer student at Hopkins.

What money can’t buy

“We can buy that for you,” my mom told 4-year-old me, “but your dad will have to sweat a whole wok full of sweat for us. Do you still want it?”