Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
October 7, 2022

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.



PUBLIC DOMAIN 
Cassandra of Troy was cursed with knowing prophecies that no one would believe.

The truth is everywhere and cannot be ignored

In January, I leave the woods where I live for the first time in 10 months. I settle into a new apartment, spending days memorizing its layout and cutting down big cardboard boxes with all my old possessions. I breathe in the golden-syrup sun from my new windows (a stark contrast from the eternal night of my sophomore dorm) and enjoy tea while reading. The truth is that it is quiet, and it is empty. If this were a fairytale, the story would be over; the danger would have passed, marriages would have happened and the entire kingdom would live in peace, happily ever after.


COURTESY OF JAE CHOI
Choi discusses the joys of walking and connecting to nature.

Experiencing "quarantine walking" in Baltimore

Like most everyone else, I’ve picked up a quarantine hobby or two over the past few months. I re-engaged with my childhood love for painting. I started to cook for fun, not just for sustenance. I’ve also recently made it a point to be more physically active. I’ve been going on runs with my roommates, and just this past Friday, we finished a “30 days of yoga” program. But I think the most meaningful hobby I’ve picked up is taking walks.


COURTESY OF MICHELLE LIMPE
Limpe discusses her new experiences with journaling.

Writing my way into the new year

Right after New Year’s, I picked up a pen to start journaling for the first time in months. Writing with a pen seems like a trivial act. But to me the sensations of holding a pen felt strange after becoming so used to typing articles and essays and accomplishing tasks instantly on my laptop. 


COURTESY OF SOPHIA LOLA 
Lola explores where she envisions her future.

Holding onto Baltimore

This past weekend, my pod and I went downtown to Fort McHenry. We ordered takeout at an Indian joint in Locust Point called Himalayan House, went to the playground and dog park across the street while we waited for our food, ate some awesome chicken vindaloo (it was spicy enough to make my nose run, which is weirdly the best sensation), and walked around the fort before heading back to Charles Village. It was freezing, and we were only out for a couple hours, but it was a ton of fun.


COURTESY OF ABIGAIL TUSCHMAN 
Tuschman reaffirms her decision to stay at home this semester. 

The "FOMO" can wait

When freshmen started moving to campus this month, I tried to avoid social media. I didn’t want to see them posing on the marble steps of Gilman Hall or browsing the quirky shops of Hampden. I didn’t want to see the tapestries on their dorm room walls or the way the winter cold turned their cheeks pink. 


COURTESY OF GABRIEL LESSER
Lesser, who recently moved into his first-ever college dorm, relates a Portuguese word to his feelings of nostalgia.

Keeping my “saudades” close to my heart

I’ve been living on campus for a little over a week, and I already feel excited for the semester ahead. Yet I would be lying to myself if I did not also admit that moving to college has made me feel an indescribable dose of nostalgia. In Portuguese, we refer to this as saudades. 


COURTESY OF SANIYA RAMCHANDANI
Ramchandani emphasizes how much she has relied on her family and friends in the past few months. 

Seeking comfort in my support system

When I say I miss being able to travel, I don’t mean exploring new cultures or backpacking through cities. I mean I miss knowing that if my family needed me or I needed them, either of us would hop on a plane, no questions asked, and be there in a heartbeat. It’s no easy feat going to and from home these days. Each journey is almost 30 hours of paranoia, requiring constant sanitizing, continuous mask-wearing and cutting off and throwing away protective clothing at every destination. And then, of course, there is the collective month and a half of hard quarantine I will have completed in the 12 months alone. 


Jorge Royan / CC BY-SA 3.0
Li discusses the importance of libraries in her life. 

Revisiting my love of libraries

The summer before junior year of high school, I found my old library card buried under a stack of coupon clippings and junk mail. The edges were slightly bent and misshapen, and the colors had faded to a grayish blue, but it was a treasure nonetheless. The card was not only a ticket to a place of knowledge and imagination but a valuable memento of my childhood.


COURTESY OF AASHNA SUNDESHA
 Aashna’s last text exchange with Bradlee.

A letter to Bradlee

Dear Bradlee, I remember you asked me a couple of weeks ago how I write poems because you couldn’t think of what to write for your IFP assignment. I told you that I draw inspiration from whatever is happening in my life. I wish so badly that this wasn’t happening in my life right now, but this is how I write a poem goob:


COURTESY OF MICHELLE LIMPE
Limpe discusses the importance of romanticizing your life.

Falling for the simple moments

On the first day of Thanksgiving break, a few of my friends and I met up to have dinner. While a dinner may not sound like anything special, the long months of quarantining at home made the simple meal with friends feel like a luxury. 


COURTESY OF SANIYA RAMCHANDANI
Ramchandani appreciates the strong women in her life, some of whom are pictured above.

Setting New Year's resolutions for 2021

This has been a strange and unprecedented time. The year 2020, for the most part, has been hell on wheels. That said, the personal growth I have achieved in this one year is comparable to that of the last six years combined. 


ACHIM RASCHKA/CC-BY-SA-3.0
Perlman bluntly shares her views about some aspects of the holidays.

Holiday music has gone too far

The day after Thanksgiving, I heard the first Christmas song. On Nov. 27, “Frosty the Snowman” played in South Georgia. There was no frost, and there were no snowmen. It was almost 70 degrees, and people were eating their way through leftovers. Why does it start so early? 


COURTESY OF RYAN AGHAMOHAMMADI
Aghamohammadi’s dog Suki (left) passed away on Dec. 2, before this article was published.

What it means to leave

In short, my dog is dying, and I feel heavy with that certainty. She is 16 years old; I’m 20. I have no articulable sense of what life is like without her. I’ve grown up with her, cared for her throughout primary school and said goodbye when I went off to college. Now the word goodbye pearls like a drop of water on my tongue.


COURTESY OF JAE CHOI 
Quarantine has caused Choi to reflect on his notion of home.

How the pandemic has informed what home means to me

As I scroll past dozens of Thanksgiving posts on my Instagram feed, I feast my eyes on luscious meals and cheerful Duchenne smiles radiating behind face masks. But this doesn’t look like any ordinary Thanksgiving. Aside from the obvious fact that people are donning masks in many of these photos, the celebrations this year have taken on a smaller scope, with fewer festivities and fewer seats at the dinner table. 


COURTESY OF ISABEL RIOS-PULGAR
Rios-Pulgar visited home for Thanksgiving break.

Time is out of our control, and that's okay

I am a semester away from graduating. Honestly, even writing out that sentence feels weird. It seems unreal. Something I’ve dreamt of since I saw my parents’ college graduation photos is about to (hopefully) come true next May. Whether it’s in person or on Zoom or Minecraft, by this time next year, I’ll have a Hopkins diploma with my name on it.


MIKE CIELSIELSKI/JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY
Limpe joined the Filipino Students Association at Hopkins.

Leaving home reconnected me with my culture

This summer, on June 12 — which coincided with Philippines Independence Day — Netflix released a much-awaited special by Filipino American comedian Jo Koy. My family and I, fans of comedy, were so excited to watch it. I had watched some of Koy’s previous shows and always loved his performances. 


COURTESY OF ELIZABETH IM 
Spending more time at home has prompted Im to relearn how to be a daughter.

Learning to be a daughter again

On one summer day of 2014, I boarded a plane headed to the US. For six years after that, I have lived in dorm rooms, with occasional and brief stays at home during the breaks. 



COURTESY OF ALLMARKONE 
Isaacs was a cox in high school.

Trying to cultivate healthy habits during quarantine

Over the past few weeks, I’ve spent a lot of time editing articles that have focused around the theme of joy. I’m not just saying this so that I can plug The News-Letter’s fall magazine, though you should definitely check it out — take even five minutes out of your day to read or watch one of these pieces and I guarantee it will brighten your day.  


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