It has taken me exactly 29 hours, 3 minutes, and 46 seconds to adjust to life back in the city. The moment of realization? Enjoying my first sip of a banana chai freeze in a vegan cafe while writing this blog and listening to Franz Ferdinand’s Take Me Out. (Incoming freshman: where can you find this experience? One World Cafe! A short walk from the freshman quad).
I’m not going to lie, my first few hours back in Baltimore yesterday made my head spin. I have spent the past three months climbing trees and playing with kids, where the loudest noise I encountered was the hum of the weed-wacker by a field of grazing cows. When I laid down for a nap after work in my friend’s apartment my first day back, a few questions began looming: how had I forgotten how noisy the city is? How long would it take me to exchange crickets and quiet nights for the jazz music and sharp laughter the city sidewalk produces?
Not to mention a few other things: my time at the valley is over. And this doesn’t only mean my time forty feet in the air surrounded by leaves and spiders and fields, this also means my time part of a loving community with many people who made this summer the best one of my life. (Not to get TOO sappy…). Of course, it is not really over. I will be working odd weekends during the fall as a facilitator for Genesee and will stay in touch with many of these great people. Plus, as cheesy as it may sound, what they have taught me will carry through into my life at Hopkins.
And speaking of my life at Hopkins, the creeping feeling of “it is great to be back!” did in fact overcome me in fewer than thirty hours, for there is something about Hopkins kids and this city that is undeniably unique. I am working my job as a pre-orientation director for the next eight-ish days (can’t wait to meet all you pre-o kids!), and it is hard to explain the value of a Hopkins-nerd in an office setting. Computer problem? You can bet there’s a dude next to you who speaks Mac better than the Apple Store folks themselves. On top of that, I have missed the random idiosyncracies of Baltimore-ians and the convenience of the city itself. Starbucks within a block? This is always a pro.
Though it has been a crazy turnaround, I can say these past hours have left me happy with where I am now. I get to wake up every morning, walk through a city I know and love, and hang out with some pretty awesome people all day. This upcoming semester is looking better all the time, and who knows? Maybe I’ll hear crickets outside of Charles Commons sooner than I know.