Class of 2020 Blog

Posts from the Johns Hopkins Class of 2020

May 12, 2017
by Lauren P.
Comments Off on Papers and Projects

Papers and Projects

This semester, I’ve had to do a lot more lengthy papers and projects than in previous semesters. Though I’ll admit I’m more of a problem set person, I’ve actually enjoyed change in pace of the work I’ve been doing over the course of the past few months. One benefit that I’m certainly realizing now is that fact that only two of my classes have finals, which certainly helps make this finals week a bit less stressful. I thought I’d share some of the assignments I’ve enjoyed the most to give you an idea of what I’ve been up to!

I’ll admit, most of these essays are going to be specifically for my Expos class, which is a Writing Intensive. At Hopkins, we don’t have a core curriculum that every student completes, but we do have distribution requirements, and for Arts and Sciences students, this means 12 writing credits. Last semester I took Introduction to Fiction and Poetry 1, and though this is an extremely popular class, I’ll admit I didn’t love it. So this semester, I thought I’d try my hand at more analytical writing, and I’d heard great things about Professor Oppel from a friend who took his class in the fall. So, I decided to register for Expository Writing: Law and Revenge, and I’ve loved every second of it. The class features 3 long essays, and the topics have been so interesting.

Essay #1

Class: Expos

Length: 5-6 pages

Topic: As our introductory essay, we just focused on the topic of revenge. We read and analyzed an article about tribal disputes in Papau New Guinea as the basis of our essay. The topic was so vivid and interesting, that I truly enjoyed writing this essay.

Essay #2

Class: Expos

Length: 6-8 pages

Topic: This essay focused on the relationship between law and revenge, and the differences between them. For our essay, we engaged with a Supreme Court case as well as an independent essay to analyze just how similar law and revenge really are.

Essay #3

Class: Expos

Length: 8-10 pages

Topic: For this essay, we read Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice and put together everything from the course to write an essay examining the interaction between law, revenge, mercy, justice, and religion. This essay was much more open ended in terms of our focus, which made it a bit more difficult to write, but interesting nonetheless. I never really enjoyed reading Shakespeare early in high school, but this time around it was easy to see just how timeless Shakespeare really is.

Kind-of Essay #4

Class: Biology Research

Length: 2 pages

Topic: This wasn’t really a formal essay, but for my research credit I was required to write a few page summary of what I did during my 125+ hours in the lab. Although I spent most of my time detailing the experiments I ran and the research project as a whole, this was a great opportunity to reflect on all that I’ve learned. I started the semester with no research lab experiments, and knowledge of only a few techniques from biology labs in high school. Now, I have much more confidence, and have learned so many new skills. I’ve been lucky enough to have mentors that are willing to put in time to teach me, and this just goes to show how easy it is to get involved in research at Hopkins, regardless of your prior research experience.

Project #1

Class: Medical Spanish

Length: No determined length, but mine was 11 pages 1.5 spaced.

Topic: This project took the place of a final exam, but it was huge. Though it was very time consuming, I really loved working on this project. It consisted of 6 parts, and we had to pick a medical specialty, disease, and country to focus on. My choices were cardiothoracic surgery, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and Colombia. We had to complete a variety of tasks, from writing a professional cover letter, to a medical history and clinical case of the disease, and a summary of the healthcare system of a particular country. I was pretty proud of my work on this project, and it really showed me just how much my Spanish abilities have improved. I know if my sixth grade self had seen this project, she would have been pretty impressed.


May 8, 2017
by Kaylee Z.
Comments Off on Good Eats at Hopkins

Good Eats at Hopkins

Today, I’d like to take you on a tour of all the good eats at Hopkins and its surrounding neighborhoods, all the foods you’d get to try as a Blue Jay!

First we have here food from our lovely Fresh Food Cafe, the main dining hall on campus.


This is the Niwana Nabe Udon from the Niwana Restaurant, which is just a few seconds outside of campus, across from our Barnes and Noble bookstore.


Check out this delicious chocolate cake from the Paper Moon Diner, which is super close to campus, just a few minutes walk away.


Here we’ve got a Tempura Udon from our own on campus Asian style food place, Bamboo Cafe.


The next two pictures are from my favorite restaurant in Charles Villge, Carma’s cafe. They specialize in grilled cheeses. I know what you’re thinking, grilled cheeses, really? Yes, if you haven’t had a grilled cheese from Carma’s then you haven’t truly lived yet.



Of course, don’t forget all the Chef Boyardee you can get from Char Mar using your dining dollars!!


This is a delicious burger from The Dizz.


This is my best friend, Daya, and me at Tamber’s, a restaurant with a wild menu of American and Indian food (they serve both Chicken Tikka Masala and Chicken Parm Sandwiches) right behind Wolman Hall.


This is from a restaurant that just opened this year called Peko Peko. It’s actually owned and run by recent Hopkins alum! They specialize in ramen.


This is one of my favorite meals, Salmon Sashimi, from Niwana again.


Here is a typical Friday night dinner from Pizza Studio!

2017-05-15 06.37.59 1

Hope you enjoyed this feast!



May 4, 2017
by Lauren P.
Comments Off on Fun!


Long time, no blog, but the past few weeks have been extremely busy! When I haven’t been busy with physics midterms, final projects, essay drafts, or research, I’ve been filling my free time with all the things that the Spring has to offer! You’ve probably heard it before, but spring at Hopkins is amazing. Something about green coming back to the trees and longer days just fills me with happiness, and I find myself walking a little bit slower on my way to classes just to take in the great weather.

For this blog, I thought I’d share a bit of what I’ve been up to over the past week give you an idea of the balance between school and life that Hopkins affords you.

Orioles Games
As a student at Hopkins, you get cheap tickets for Orioles games, and they’re only about $7! A big group ofimage1 (3) my friends decided to go to a game against the Red Sox and it was actually my first baseball game ever. I’ll admit, I’m not the biggest sports fan in the world, and I learned that though baseball is exciting at times, but mostly quite slow. I’m still proud of myself for making it through 7 innings, and I had a great time eating overpriced baseb
all food! (protip: you can get 3 kids hot dogs for the price of one large hot dog – such a better deal!)



Spring Fair
My first Spring Fair certainly lived up to my expectations. This is easily the most hyped event at Hopkins, and it’s pretty amazing that a relatively small undergrad school like Hopkins actually runs the largest student run fair in the country! Each year there is a big concert, (last year was the Chainsmokers) and this year Steve Aoki came and IMG_3041performed! I didn’t snag a ticket in time, but my friends that did go had an amazing time.

Since I couldn’t go to the concert, I made the most of my time at the fair on campus. Each quad has
a ton of stuff going on, though the best part is definitely the food stands on the Freshman quad. Overpriced fair food is truly incredible, and I spent Saturday laying on the beach eating chicken on a stick, funnel cake, and frozen strawberry lemonades. It was grand.



Puffy Paint
Call me 12, but there is nothing more fun (or extra) than puffy painting t-shirts. They always turn out terrible and that’s half the fun, so me and a couple of my friends I swim with decided to make lane t-shirts. They are ridiculous and extra, but I’ll always remember freshman year in lane 6 because if them!


May 2, 2017
by Katie D.
Comments Off on Spring Fair

Spring Fair

Experiencing Spring Fair for the first time was probably my favorite moment at Hopkins so far. The campus was completely transformed into a wonderland of food … among other things. There was everything from chicken on (a) stick to N.C. pulled pork sandwiches and fried oreos. At the closing of a semester, Spring Fair is this great break before finals week. It’s a time to give your mind a break and reconnect with friends after weeks of long nights in Brody. We can all talk and hang out and enjoy the summer weather of Baltimore (which is actually pretty similar to Florida’s). It was a pause from the usual grind of being a student at Hopkins. Even though I love the fast pace, it’s good to have a slow moment once in awhile.

Spring fair brings not only the whole student body together, but the Baltimore community as a whole. On the various quads you can find all different types of delicacies from around the area as well as local goods and crafts. I loved wandering around the tents and finding new treasures around every corner. It was a great opportunity to find decor for the new common area me and my friends would have in Charles Commons next year, gifts, and great clothing and jewelry pieces. It was a place where you could see the creativity and the craftiness of Baltimore all at once.

However, as I mentioned before, the food was the main event. Then again, food is always the main event for me. Chicken on (a) Stick was the main star of Spring Fair. It is a fresh grilled strip of chicken breast that tastes so inexplicably good. Some of the other main attractions at Spring Fair were a classic southern barbecue stand, a Jamaican food truck with great food and music, a stand of everyone’s favorite fried fair food, a stand devoted to different types of lemonade and frozen drinks, and even a raw oyster “bar”. I tried everything I could get my hands on, and it was all amazing. This again just attests to the diversity of cultural experiences and variety that Spring Fair attracts and showcases of the greater Baltimore community.

And there was the music. Not to mention the amazing and wild Steve Aoki concert at Rams Head Live, there were live performances on the beach for the whole weekend and just random songs coming from the speakers of different students, coming from dorm room windows and tight knit circles of friends, making the whole campus come alive with sound.

All of Spring Fair was encapsulated in the Saturday evening that I sat on the beach with my friends. The sun was setting, the day cooling down, and the beat of drum reverberated back to us. I was slurping on a strawberry lemonade and eating kettle corn, because, well, you know me. We talked and laughed and all took the moment to breathe for a second. We could reminisce on how we’d come here at Hopkins. For me, as a student and as an individual, Spring Fair was this opportunity to look back and see that this is really how I’ve been shaped for the better here. At the end of the semester, surrounded by people that I had just met by crazy coincidence I was so grateful in that moment for everything that Hopkins has given me (including Spring Fair).



May 1, 2017
by Jenna M.
Comments Off on Spring At Hopkins

Spring At Hopkins

I swore coming back from Spring break would probably be the hardest thing of my teenage life. After spending full week sitting on my butt watching TV and letting my mind go to mush, the idea of going back to school sounded like pure torture. When I boarded my train to go back to Baltimore clad in an angsty teen scowl, my mind was clouded with thoughts of deadlines and responsibilities. I was filled to the brim with dread and could not wait for summer break. Now, after a month of being back from Spring break, I don’t want the school year to end.

Spring at Hopkins is magical. I really don’t know how it happens so instantly, but the second the sun comes out, all of Hopkins is outside, laying on the “Beach” or playing spike ball or blasting music. The campus becomes this big bubble of happiness, and it’s absolutely infectious.

Hanging on the beach with my friend Luanna!

Hanging on the beach with my friend Luanna!

Right when I got back from break, it was Secret Week for my sorority, which is the week that your “big” showers you with gifts and food and serenades. Regardless of if you are in a sorority or not, this week is so happy for everyone. When you’re walking just about anywhere, you’re bound to walk into a serenade of 10 well-dressed boys singing a 2000s romantic pop song. Surprises occur left and right, and the happiness just spreads throughout campus.

Taken after a serenade!

Taken after a serenade!

During Homecoming weekend, alumnae show us just how special this school is through their boundless spirit and overwhelming attendance. It’s impossible not to feel proud when the whole school is decked in blue for the game, and alumnae and their families cheer for your team.

And then there’s Spring Fair… where do I even begin? When I walked out of my dorm on Friday morning, the Freshman quad was decked in food stands and craft vendors, with smells of fried food and sunshine permeating the air. I subconsciously grinned from ear-to-ear the second I walked out, and felt utter happiness wash over me. The campus lights up with live music, ridiculously good food, and the spirit of both students and residents of Baltimore alike.

Some craft vendors at Spring Fair!

Some craft vendors at Spring Fair!

After all of these amazing weeks, I cannot even fathom why I was so bitter coming back to this happy campus. I’m not ready to leave, but I just can’t wait for next Spring already.


April 30, 2017
by Jack G.
Comments Off on I Live for the Exhaustion

I Live for the Exhaustion

Somehow, April is going to be over in 45 minutes. This semester has certainly gone by quickly.

Like many of my peers, I eagerly await the coming Summer break (15 days away—I’m counting!). No, I’m not discontent with my classes or their accompanying workloads, or anything about my Hopkins experience. Quite the opposite, in fact; this semester in particular has been everything I wanted it to be.

Especially over the past two weeks, as the course workload increases slightly as the courses begin their wind to a close, I’ve had a friend or two talk about how they’re exhausted. Frankly, this probably has more to do with them staying up until 4 am watching Netflix documentaries, but I’m not one to cast judgment.

However, this talk has made me realize one important thing about myself: I Live for the Exhaustion.

Sure, I wouldn’t exactly say I’m having fun when I’m translating Latin sentences at 11 pm on a Tuesday, but that feeling of exhaustion at 1 am that night when I finally close my eyes to sleep is utter tranquility. To know, in those last fleeting moments of conciousness, that I gave it my all that day, makes every ounce of effort worthwhile.

This isn’t to say that everyone at Hopkins is exhausted; these are just symptoms of a potential triple major (yes, Classics’s siren song has reached my ears, and is begging me to add the story of Aeneas to those of Newton and Gauss to my studies) who, as the title of this entry suggests, quite enjoys exhaustion.

In these last weeks where effort can make all the difference on those midterms and finals, I’m looking forward to the long days spent studying—for great accomplishments are only worth the effort put into them.

All that said, sitting on the couch for a few days in two weeks’ time doesn’t sound so bad either.


April 29, 2017
by Alyssa W.
Comments Off on Spotlight on Spring Fair

Spotlight on Spring Fair

The second day of Spring Fair 2017 is almost over. In the past ~36 hours, I’ve eaten a ridiculous amount of food, spent more time on the Beach than I have all year, and got my fortune told. I can say confidently that my first Spring Fair has been a success.

The freshman quad was transformed seemingly overnight; when I walked by Friday morning I could barely make it through the sea of booths, food stands, and tables. People were everywhere, eating, throwing frisbees, and sliding down inflatable slides. When I got out of class, I quickly finished a couple pressing assignments, then raced to join them.


I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do first. Smells, sounds, and sights demanded my attention from all directions. I wanted to stop by every single booth, and sample every food stand. Vendors selling everything from salsa to fossilized dinosaur poop (yep, I’m completely serious) lined the path from the quad all the way to Gilman Tunnel. I bought a strawberry smoothie and walked along the path, making sure to pet as many dogs as I could (there were a lot of dogs). I didn’t end up buying anything except the fortune telling. I’d always wanted to get my fortune told. I’m going to have a long-lasting marriage and a career that will take a while to get off the ground, but when it does I’ll be super successful and retire early. Also, I need to start demanding more from people.


I got a warm, fresh gyro and a funnel cake dusted with powdered sugar, then hung out with my friends on the Beach. We played cards and threw a football until it got dark, then wandered around campus. It was strange, seeing all the tents still set up but with no one around. I wished I had gotten tickets to the concert, but I still have three more chances.


Idk how they got 5 hammocks up there but they did it

I woke up early on Saturday (keep in mind early for me is like 11:30) to another perfect, blue-sky day. I went in a bouncy house for the first time in like 6 years, then got lunch and went back to the Beach for almost the entire day. We played football, spike ball, can jam, and spent hours laying in the grass, listening to a band play festival music, and enjoying every minute of the weekend before the last week of classes.


After spending basically all semester stressed out and sleep deprived, Spring Fair was necessary to take my mind off school and recharge before the final push of the year. I’d been anticipating Spring Fair pretty much ever since I committed to Hopkins, and it definitely lived up to my expectations. The weather was flawless, the food was delicious, and I spent the weekend surrounded by my favorite people. Tomorrow I go back to the daily grind and dive into the work I’ve been putting off for the last few days, but it was certainly nice to be reminded that Hopkins isn’t all classes and exams and all-nighters. And, of course, that summer break is just around the corner.


April 24, 2017
by Kaylee Z.
Comments Off on A Look Into Wolman 6E

A Look Into Wolman 6E

As soon as you enter the 6th floor on the east side of Wolman, you will most likely hear a combination of loud yells, the sound of chips being munched on, and people talking and gossiping from our common room. When I was first deciding which building to live in before coming to school in the Fall, Wolman was my first choice. I really like AC and not having to deal with a communal bathroom. Wolman is a building for freshmen that is all suite style living. Most likely, you will have a roommate and then two suitemates and the four of you will share a bathroom and kitchenette. But I was semi-worried about not getting to have that stereotypical college experience with long dorm halls, open bedroom doors, and a social atmosphere.

But, I was so wrong to be concerned because Wolman turned out to be the best living situation ever. Our common room is always filled with people, especially because one of my closest friends, Drew, who lives on the other side of our wing on the 6East brought his wii and super smash bros for everyone to share. Even at 4am, there are still people in the common room screaming over super smash bros, which is also totally fine if you want to sleep because you can just close your suite door and you won’t hear a thing. But if staying up until the next morning playing smash is your thing, that’s well in abundance here in Wolman 6East.

The theme of our floor is Parks and Recreation, the show, and everywhere on the walls are pictures of quotes and memes from that show, which is really hilarious because there is an episode (I forget which season and what number) where the characters on the show actually make a reference to Johns Hopkins and Wolman Hall specifically. I was actually sitting on my bed in my room in Wolman watching Parks and Rec, when the reference came up and I almost died because I had no idea we were mentioned in this show.

My favorite part about living in Wolman is all the amazing people I have gotten the chance to get close with. My best friends and core friends group comes from Wolman 6East and if we were to go back in time and redo everything, I wouldn’t pick any other place to live than here.


April 18, 2017
by Jonah K.
Comments Off on My T-shirts Pt. 2 – Electric Bugaloo

My T-shirts Pt. 2 – Electric Bugaloo

Last semester, I decided to write about one of my true passions, something I pursued in earnest the minute I stepped onto campus: collecting free T-shirts.

I’ve expanded my collection considerably since then, adding shirts and tanks at every opportunity I could. The options have been plentiful – Hopkins has no shortage of complimentary wares – and as the semester has gone by, I’ve added some pieces that truly speak to me.


This is actually the back, its                      cooler

SOHOP Shirt One

This is the shirt I received for hosting an admitted student at the Spring Open House and Overnight Program (SOHOP) two weeks ago. Well, actually, I hosted two weeks ago and last week, but I got this shirt the first time, just to be clear. I didn’t really have many expectations for the event –  to be honest, I signed up to host essentially on a whim – but if I did have any, it would have blown them out of the water. The admitted students I hosted were awesome (shout out to Jack and John) and both weeks, I found myself hanging out with them at 2 AM, joking and chatting like old friends. The program itself was also a truly great experience; from a night carnival to apartment hopping for free food, the weekends’ events kept us entertained for hours. On top of the fun, I gained the satisfying feeling that I was helping my admitted students experience Hopkins in the best way possible, and get crucial information that would help them decide where to spend the next four years (cough, Hopkins, cough).


Its rather loud

SOHOP Shirt Two 

Ok, yes, I double-dipped on the SOHOP shirts, BUT, I’m going to use this one as a launching board to talk about my participation in Hopkins Interactive, so I think I get a pass. I received this shirt for my volunteer work at SOHOP – separate from hosting – which was required for all Hopkins Interactive members. If you’re reading this blog, you’re obviously at least somewhat familiar with Hopkins Interactive as a website, but you probably aren’t familiar with it as an extracurricular activity and friend group. As with SOHOP, Hopkins Interactive was something I decided to participate in somewhat on a whim – you might be sensing a theme here – after entering (and winning, nbd) a summer blogging contest put on by the admissions office. My whim, though, turned into one of the best decisions I’ve made in regards to Hopkins. As an activity, blogging for Hopkins Interactive has allowed me to sit back every two weeks and take stock of where I’m at – I can’t blog about my life at Hopkins if I never think about my life at Hopkins – which has been very positive for me. Hopkins interactive has also provided a great group of friends to hang out with and look up to – I can’t count how many times “Hopkins Interactive” is the answer to “How do you two know each other.” And on top of that, I get to blog about T-shirts.


This wins for most stylish

Farm LA Shirt

So this shirt isn’t Hopkins related, but it is a free shirt that I received in the last few months, so I decided to include it anyways. Farm LA is an organization in Los Angeles that turns abandoned plots of land into thriving urban farms and solar arrays. Last summer, I volunteered for the organization, and worked to find both grants and plots of land that it could utilize (in thanks, they sent me this shirt). I learned two important things in the course of my research; 1) finding grants online is a lot harder than it sounds 2) There are way more vacant plots in Los Angeles than I ever imagined. The second point makes what Farm LA is doing so important. Their efforts help turn the barren plots that scar LA’s streets into lush and productive pieces of land that benefit the communities – usually underprivileged – they are located in. As a native Los Angelino who cares deeply about the environment, Farm LA wins a place close to my heart.


   Camo rocket ship? Lava                            lamp?

Spring Fair Shirt 

Around campus, Spring semester is known as the time when all of the fun things happen. Rush, homecoming weekend, and above all, Spring Fair. The biggest social date in the Hopkins calendar, Spring Fair is a weekend-long extravaganza of fun and relaxation, headlined by a highly anticipated big-name concert. This year, the theme of the fair is ‘Funkytown’, and the performers are rapper A$AP Ferg (no, not that A$AP) and DJ Steve Aoki – both of whom I’m incredibly amped for. The Spring Fair team does a great job of hyping the event for months beforehand – the teaser video had a countdown and everything – so that’s where the shirt comes from. I’m not quite sure if I’m going to wear the shirt to the concert, that might be a bit extra, but I know that I will be there, and it will be awesome. If you can’t tell, I’m excited.

Well, there it is. I hope you enjoyed my collection, and look forward to part three down the line!


April 16, 2017
by Jenna M.
Comments Off on Time.


Time is a funny thing. Each day is a new day, a full day ahead of you, yet somehow weeks fly by and months fly by and suddenly, you’re in the second semester of college when you swear you’ve barely made it past your awkward phase in seventh grade. As cliché as it sounds, time really does go by faster as you get older. Days feel shorter and weeks feel shorter and years feel shorter. Life suddenly feels rushed, and despite how much time you may have in a day, things catch up with you. An assignment that wasn’t due for a month is now due tomorrow, and you have to do three loads of laundry, and you promised your mom you would call. And with your adrenaline rushing to meet a deadline, your conscience clouded with obligations to friends, and your general health and wellness begging to be attended to, you often feel like you’re being crushed under the weight of time. Instead of making time our friend, we make it our enemy. We criticize its scarcity instead of appreciating its abundance. We fail to find balance, and in doing so, we fail to care for ourselves. We neglect our wellbeing and lose sight of our goals. We live life to get something over with, instead of living life to appreciate each day.


I can’t say I’m an expert in balance after a few months in college. I am a huge procrastinator, with the classic excuse of “I work best under pressure”. I’m not good at planning ahead, and I’ll be the first to admit that. College has definitely been a juggling act, where I often feel like I have to sacrifice a ball to keep the others in the air. Whether that be missing a social activity, or losing sleep, or failing to get work done, I have experienced sacrifices in all aspects of my life at different points. But looking at time through the lens of sacrifice only makes us antagonize time instead of appreciate it. Thus, balance is about mindset.  It’s about prioritizing, not sacrificing. It’s about feeling good about accomplishing a task instead of rushing through it to get it over with. It’s about learning to appreciate time instead of wishing it away.


Time is a funny thing. Each day is a new day, a full day ahead of you, yet somehow weeks fly by and months fly by and suddenly, you’re in the second semester of college…

and you take a step back, take a deep breath, and things just start to slow down.