Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
June 12, 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 AASHI MENDPARA
Mendpara reviews how her passion for playing cello was realized, forgotten and recently remembered.

Rediscovering my love for my cello

Mrs. Rogers was my first and only cello instructor, and she was, and still is, the sweetest lady. Lessons started with eating strawberry bonbons — a tradition I carry to every audition, concert and recital — and ended with three octave scales


COURTESY OF MICHELLE LIMPE
Limpe adjusted to living in Baltimore again after spending a year of college at home in the Philippines.

The sunrise’s signal of a new day

August 16: the day I finally returned to Hopkins after the pandemic unpredictably stole a year from many college students. As I sat in the rental car with my parents and drove down the oh-so-familiar N. Charles Street, memories from freshman year flooded my mind, and I couldn’t help but feel teary-eyed at the sentiments from the past. 



COURTESY OF MADELYN KYE
Kye learned more about herself through being a First-Year Mentor.

Lessons from being an FYM

I applied to be a First-Year Mentor (FYM) on a whim, not expecting to actually be hired. Mostly, I applied so I could tell myself (and my parents) that I had at least attempted to get an on-campus job.



COURTESY OF GABRIEL LESSER
Lesser compares his childhood memories of the beach to his current appreciation for the Beach on campus.

The Beach: growing up and looking back

Sitting on campus in between classes the other day, I looked out and saw a toddler chasing after soap bubbles. His grandma was sitting in a chair a few feet away, blowing these bubbles out of a circular wand, and there he was, running after them.


COURTESY OF JOHN D’CRUZ
York addresses the unfair expectations placed on women and their bodies from a young age.

Learning how to “be a girl”

When I was 10 years old, I was standing in the hallway at school talking with a friend. I was wearing shorts. Sometime during our conversation, my friend looked down at my legs, then back up at me, and said, “You haven’t started shaving your legs yet? Doesn’t your mom let you?” The answer to both questions was “no,” but I didn’t know what to say.


COURTESY OF SUDHA YADAV
Yadav learned to accept herself and stopped changing her personality for others.

My evolving self

It’s a friends’ night, my mind is racing with all kinds of thoughts, my heartbeat is fast and I am trying to calm myself down after reading my current favorite book, A Century is Not Enough: My Roller-coaster Ride to Success. I am thinking about what completely transformed me from the most extroverted kid to a socially awkward girl who overthinks whenever meeting a new person. 


COURTESY OF AASHI MENDPARA
Mendpara recounts the frequent mispronunciation of her name throughout childhood and the meaning her name holds for her today.

No, it’s not 'Ashy'

My daily nightmare as a child stemmed from the classroom roster. I remember my first day of seventh grade; I sat in homeroom waiting for Mrs. Mitchell to say “Aashi.” I had made a bet with my friends earlier that day: She would be able to pronounce my name. 


FILE PHOTO
Tan reminisces on her adventures around the Homewood campus last year.

Trekking around campus like it’s my own backyard

In September 2021, after two heavy rainstorms, Baltimore welcomed its fall season. Now, in the beginning of October, leaves have started turning yellow, winds are blowing harder and people are piling on a few more pieces of winter wear. These are just a few of the many observations I make as I stroll around campus to go to classes each day. 



BRIAN D’CRUZ HYPNO PLUS / CC0 1.0
Ji details how she’s come to know herself better through her Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

Being an INFP

I first came across the term Myers-Briggs Type Indicator when I was still in middle school. I took the test for the first time and got ESTJ, also known as the executive type. I didn’t give it much thought and forgot about the result shortly after. 


COURTESY OF ABIGAIL TUSCHMAN
Tuschman learns that her tendency to procrastinate stems from a fear of failure.

Redefining my worth

When I was 5 years old, I wished upon a shooting star. I was swimming in my backyard at night and saw a flash in the sky. Now that I’m older, I’m pretty sure it was just the blinking lights of a commercial airplane, but that possibility didn’t occur to me then. I had watched enough Disney Channel to be convinced my life was about to change.


FILE PHOTO
Salem and Iyer describe the beginning of their friendship.

Expect the unexpected

Honestly, we met in the most curious of ways. Neither one of us could have imagined meeting such a close friend in the way that we did. Coming into Hopkins as newbies — and just barely making it through Orientation with all of the walking that we had to do — we were terrified of the workload that was soon awaiting us... thus, a night of Drag Bingo. 


PHOTO EDITOR/NEHA SANGANA
Rittenhouse contemplates the label of bisexuality in the context of her identity.

On the journey of self-discovery

If you’re in college and you haven't learned something new about yourself, you're doing it wrong. These discoveries might not always be profound — maybe you find out you actually do like pesto (after frequently touting your dislike for it, despite never trying it.)


HOWCHENG/CC BY 4.0
Lim looks back on her experiences with American holidays over the past eight years.

American traditions in an Asian household

At my first Thanksgiving dinner, I didn’t have turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, gravy or any type of pie. Instead, there was rice, kimchi, guk and various other Korean side dishes. In fact, at my first Thanksgiving dinner, I had no clue why I didn’t have school that week. I was just happy that I wouldn’t have to do more homework.


COURTESY OF GABRIEL LESSER
Lesser reflects on the role his grandfather’s breakfast traditions have played in his life.

My grandpa’s breakfast table, then and now

Sitting at my grandparents’ breakfast table as a little kid, I once had the brilliant idea of taking one of the die from a board game and stuffing it up my ear. When I tried to take the die out, I counterintuitively pushed it farther and farther into my ear canal. Worried but embarrassed, I hesitated to tell anyone about what I had done, until my parents finally noticed hours later. 


COURTESY OF MADELYN KYE
Kye processes the news that her cousin Thomas has leukemia. 

My cousin’s diagnosis

There’s a sick dichotomy between Sept. 2, 2021 being my 19th birthday and Sept. 2, 2021 being the day my 20-year-old cousin, Thomas, was diagnosed with leukemia.


SCOTT/CC BY 2.0
Li realizes the importance of being honest with her friends, even when it hurts.

The honest truth

A friend of mine once told me that the health of one’s relationships with others is often the strongest indicator of one’s personal happiness at that moment. Regardless of the truth of this statement, it’s been very relevant to my life, especially recently.


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