In any given phone call with my parents, I repeat the phrase “I just love Hopkins” an average of seven times. I am so enthusiastic about Hopkins and it’s no secret to my parents and siblings– Actually, it’s no secret to anyone on campus because I am constantly smiling. For the next three days, my parents and grandmother (lovingly referred to as “Toto”) are visiting from California for Family Weekend. I’m really excited to spend time with them, and they’ve inspired me to write a blog about how my family has been an instrumental part of my adjustment to life as a blue jay.
So first, a little background: I have two older brothers, one currently in college and the other who recently graduated, so my parents have some experience with the college transition. Between my two siblings and I, they’ve moved clothes, books, and furniture in and out of housing on both coasts more than a dozen times. They’re sort of college-parent professionals if you ask me, which was definitely reassuring when I made the transition to Hopkins. But don’t fret if you’re the first child in your family to go to college, because although my parents are experienced when it comes to college move-ins and navigating a new city, every college (and city) is entirely unique– not to mention it took us a few hours to get to Target on move-in day. Moving me in to Hopkins was a cyclical experience for my parents, but with the distinction that I am their youngest child and only daughter so it also meant they would return home knowing all three of their kids are now living five or six hours away (by car or by plane).
Although Elk Grove, California will always hold my childhood and adolescent memories, Hopkins– the campus, students, and community– is my new home. Nearly every freshman student will have one very unifying moment towards the beginning of freshman year; it’s the inevitable moment when you’re walking back from class, talking on the phone to a family member, and you instinctively refer to your dorm room as home.
It was definitely a defining moment when I was on the phone to my mom, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget the conversation. (Background: My entire family calls me “Bebe.”)
Mom: “Hi Bebe! How is your day going?”
Erica: “Really well! I just got done eating lunch with Ian and Joseph (Yes, I’m referring to my SAABuddies JHU_Ian and JHU_Joseph) and I’m going home really quickly and then heading to Gilman (my favorite study spot!).”
Erica: “Mom, you there?”
Mom: “I’m glad you feel at home Bebe. It’s weird to hear you call your dorm “home,” but it’s definitely a good thing! Oh shoot I just broke a nail. We’ll talk later if you have time. Love you!”
For me, Hopkins instantly felt like home. The students here have energy and an enthusiasm that immediately makes you feel a part of the student body. It makes you feel like you belong, that you’re a part of the campus fabric, and that’s all any parent wants to hear.
All my Hopkins Love,