Apologies for my lengthy absence from the world of blogging. Hope you have all been having a wonderful summer!
My blog disappearance can be wholly blamed on my own failure to understand the commitment of a full-time job. The learning curve was steep, and a few weeks into my internship, I felt I had to duck out of blogging for the sake of my own sanity and those forced to spend time with me. (For those of you just joining, I spent the summer as a Summer Business Analyst with McKinsey, a global consulting firm). I’d had jobs before, on and off campus, but nothing quite prepared me for the round-the-clock emails, travel, and strict deadlines.
During ten weeks of work, though, I adjusted–things went from impossible, to stressful, to just challenging. I learned everything from logistics (how do I get a new charger/better coffee/more sleep) to basic business survival skills (e.g. Excel modeling–my personal hell), and was able to serve two exciting clients during my summer. I traveled to DC, Philly, Boston and LA, met some of the most crazy accomplished people I’ve ever seen, and generally got my first real look at the wide world of adulthood.
me on my first day of school..work wasn't quite like this
I finished up this past Friday and am still in shock, but thrilled to report that I was extended a full-time offer to return after I graduate. I haven’t accepted my offer yet, but I’m feeling pretty good about it. I learned so much in ten weeks that the chance to return for a full two years slightly boggles my mind. I’m sure I will learn things I didn’t even know I didn’t know. The one thing tugging at my heart is the chance to return to Africa after graduation, perhaps with the Fulbright program. The jury’s out for now, but it would be an amazing opportunity, and a great excuse to return to this place.
beautiful cape town
In the meantime, though, I have the slightly unreal luxury of an application-free senior year. On the plus side, this means much more time to explore Baltimore, take interesting classes, catch up with friends, and generally enjoy myself. On the downside, this may mean that senioritis sets in…now.
I’ll blog more in the next few weeks about the non-job related things that happened this summer, but I thought it only fair to explain why exactly I had gone AWOL on you all.
Here’s to a wonderful August, hoping the heat finally breaks, and a very happy 19th birthday to my sister, Suzi!
P.s. photo at top courtesy of the New York Times.
I’ve been spending my summer working for McKinsey, and most of the time I’ve been in D.C. Though slightly unexpected, this has given me the chance to catch up with some other Hopkins kids and hear about what they’ve been doing this summer. Everyone seems to be doing something different and exciting.
My roommate, Laura, decided to stay on campus and finish her scary senior design lab for engineering while working in Admissions and doing research. My friend Dani is working two jobs, at a lobbying organization in DC and at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. Another friend, Megan, is working for JP Morgan in New York and living a fabulous life in the NYU dorms. I ran into girls from my sorority, Phi Mu, in DC as well–one was working for a senator, another for a PR firm. My boyfriend is an analyst at a private equity firm and he’s working with Students for Huntsman, part of Jon Huntsman’s campaign for president.
It’s been great to see what everyone’s been up to for the summer, and as a now rising senior, it’s interesting to think about what we all want to do when we graduate. Most of you are just beginning your college years though, not thinking about their end, so with that in mind I thought I could recommend a few relevant bucket list items for the last summer before college.
1. Do nothing, at least for a little bit. Re-learn how to spend an entire day without a to-do list, and remember that this might be the last summer for a while you can do that
2. Spend some time with your family and high school friends, get to know your home town a bit better before you leave.
3. Make some money. Babysit, mow lawns, waitress, get a real job if you feel so inclined. Having some spending money come September will be incredible helpful.
4. Do something you haven’t done before. Whether it’s checking a weird item off of your life bucket list (bungee jumping, going to another country, driving stick shift) or taking a class, learning a language, or working a job you’ve never thought of before, this is a great summer to do something different, and you might see something that changes your mind.
5. Spend a bit of time thinking about college, not in the scary to-do list way, but as a big picture. Do some research about on-campus activities. Shoot your advisor an email. Contact kids from your home town or high school who attend Hopkins. Think about what you want to get out of your freshman year.
I hope you’re all having a great summer, wherever you may be and whatever you may be doing. Happy June!
A year ago today I was working at a doctor’s office, contemplating the halfway point of college, and generally worrying about my upcoming 5 month jaunt to Africa. Much has changed since then; this past year has been an exceptionally great/exciting/surprising one. Here’s the re-cap.
A few weeks ago as school wound up for the semester, my roommate Laura casually asked, “If someone told you in January what the end of the semester would look like, would you have believed them?” We spent the rest of the evening recanting the general hilarity of this past semester. It turns out older doesn’t necessarily mean wiser.
my sister visits hopkins!
why our building's management hates us
My return to Hopkins/America began with a bang. After a trip to Ohio with my sister to pick up Laura, she and I packed everything we owned into a U-Haul, trucked down to Baltimore in a snowstorm, and began a three day decorating binge. By the time my mom left a few days later, our apartment was painted and almost furnished, but still cluttered with endless IKEA boxes ( see right).
We spent most of a very snowy January hibernating in our new apartment, venturing as far as class when needed. Decorating turned from a three-day to a monthlong project, as we found our hastily assembled furniture less stable than one might hope. We learned a bunch of new skills-painting, re-assembling, power drilling and the like.
My friends and I took a class together on Vaccine Development, which was really cool to learn about. My sister Suzi made an appearance, we all celebrated a friend’s 21st, and attempted to prepare for the spring semester.
laura attempting to leave ikea
Intersession was a nice step between home and Hopkins–only about half of the student body is there for January–and it was great to catch up with all the friends I had missed abroad. The (real) start of classes crept up on me, though, and before I knew it, I was back to early morning Einsteins runs, late nights at the library, and the always crucial debate between backpack and tote bag when planning for a long study session at MSE.
This semester I took American Literature, 1865 to today, Global Environmental Politics, Lectures on Public Health and Wellbeing in Baltimore, Fundamentals of Epidemiology, Clinical & Public Health Behavior Change and Health, Development and Inequalities, A View from Latin America. Academically, it was a challenging but interesting semester. After coming back from abroad, I have a much better sense of what interests me (global health) and it was great to be able to choose classes with that in mind. Next year most of my classes will be down at the Bloomberg School (http://www.jhsph.edu/), and I’m toying with the idea of focusing in International Health or Epidemiology.
....hopefully that will bring me back here, to lovely cape town!
As I’ve written about before, the first half of the semester was mainly occupied by job applications–frantic interview preparation, resume editing, and learning how to dress in a suit. Just before leaving for spring break, I was thrilled to get an offer from McKinsey and Company, where I’m now working as a Summer Business Analyst. I started last week, and I am happy to say it’s just as exciting/overwhelming/amazing as I thought it would be.
on the beach for spring break
my phi mu pham at homecoming
Spring break brought a lovely sunny trip to the Bahamas. We found we weren’t quite up to Spring Break social standards (turn on MTV to see what I mean), and spent much of the week napping on the beach. It was a much needed break from midterms, and a hilarious bonding time with friends.
As usual, the weeks between spring break and exams flew by. I got two fabulous new little-littles in Phi Mu. I became a part of the executive board for Alumni Student Ambassadors and spent a week or so interviewing all the nominees. We ended up with a fabulous class of new ambassadors, and a number of exciting projects to start next year.
At Hopkins we celebrated homecoming, spring fair and a great school-sponsored concert. I spent more time at Mason Hall than I knew possible, planning and then working at two amazingly successful Admitted Student Open Houses…class of 2015 we can’t wait to meet you!
wiz khalifa concert
I’ve now been home for the summer for several weeks…shockingly this means I’m officially a “rising senior”…something I could do without. It’s crazy to think of all the things that have changed over the past year, and what the next one will bring!
The end of the year rolled up without warning, and was busy as ever.
The blur of formals, finals, and goodbyes was strange and exciting–even more so that I’m now officially a rising senior.
One of the least pleasant aspects of the year’s end was saying goodbye to my lovely big, Thalia, who will be graduating and heading off to law school in D.C. She’s so fabulously accomplished and motivated, I can’t wait to see what she does next! It’s so strange to think that just a few years ago I was applying to colleges, looking at this same website, while now I’m preparing for senior year and watching friends head off to medical school, move across the country, and become adults.
Exams were taxing as usual, but it feels good to be done, knowing that I won’t have homework again till September. I got by on a steady diet of coffee, plain m&m’s and Adele. I managed to almost completely avoid the library, embraced Self Control (download it if you have a Mac) and procrastinated by online shopping for noise canceling headphones. Luckily, finals are done, I’ve resumed eating and sleeping normally, and I’m back at home.
Back at home I’ve been preparing for my job, trying to catch up with high school friends, and unpacking. I helped my younger sister, Suzi, move out of her dorm at NYU. It’s insane to think that we’ll be sophomores and seniors in the fall! I got the chance to spend some time in the city, but unfortunately it’s been raining non-stop since I emerged from my finals hibernation.
Work starts on Monday, my high school friends return from abroad in the next few weeks, and I’m looking forward to sunny days, bicycles, bbqs, and the beach. Happy Summer, everyone!
Hello All, Happy May!
As I spoke to my parents last night for our now only semi-regular Sunday Skype sessions, my Dad pointed out that I had precisely three weeks until the first day of my very real summer job. As I was quietly freaking out, it occurred to me that I still hadn’t written about my job up here! What serendipitous timing, as I searched for a blog topic late on Sunday evening.
hey brown family! real life skype date
So, after many late nights, flashcards, romantic dates with “Case in Point,” and a few nail-biting days of interviews, I am thrilled to say I’ll be working for McKinsey & Company this summer.
The first few weeks of my semester were completely consumed with the job search. My iCal was transformed. My planner was scrawled with things like “midnight resume drop,” “superday” and “on-campus recruiting,” phrases entirely foreign to me before this semester. I made the bold step of purchasing an actual skirt suit (thank you, J.Crew) and investing in a pair of classy, rather than crazy, heels. I rewrote my resume, learned how to submit expenses, took the Acela Express. I hung out a lot in D.C.
After a particularly nerve-wracking round of interviews in the first week of March, I got perhaps the most exciting phone call of my life (bear with the drama, and understand that very few things are actually done via phone these days). At an entirely un-collegiate hour of Sunday morning, I got a call from the D.C. office informing me I’d been offered a position as a Summer Business Analyst. To be quite honest, I was shocked. So shocked, in fact, that I asked the lovely woman on the other end of the line if she was kidding. After reassuring me that she was not, in fact, joking, we chatted and I celebrated.
As amazing luck would have it, my parents were in town for the weekend. I frantically called them and they threw their own mini-celebration in the aisles of Home Depot (they were kindly picking up paint for my half-finished kitchen).
Since then I’ve been doing other new, real world things. Tax forms? Background checks? More sensible heels? Now that my start date is officially three weeks from today, it’s starting to feel a bit more real, and I can’t wait. I’m so excited to see what it’s like! I can’t wait to find out what projects I’ll be working on, meet the other interns, and spend the summer working at such a fabulous company.
While I’m on this note though, it’s important for me to recognize the amazing work everyone in the Career Center did to to help me get to this point. The On-Campus Recruiting events for other firms, the networking, alumni connections, and endless support were so helpful. The director of the Career Center, Mark Presnell, sat down with me on multiple occasions to help me review case interviews. He spoke with me about alums working at McKinsey and the other firms at which I was interviewing. He broadened my horizons about other companies and post-graduation options. I genuinely don’t think I would have received an offer without everyone else’s help, and I’m so appreciative for that.
Interviewing was an interesting experience.
Hopkins, at most financial firms, is not a “target school” (another new term I’ve learned). Despite this, Hopkins is widely respected and renowned. At every turn, I was asked how Hopkins might prepare me for a job at “X” firm. The more I thought about it, the easier this question became to answer.
Hopkins is an incredibly self-motivated place, it is a place that lets you be an independent learner, a place that makes you take responsibility for yourself. Hopkins is an amazing place to go to college, but it’s also an amazing place to have gone to college. In so many ways it not only gives you a great education, but prepares you for the real world. Hopkins teaches you not what to think but how to think, how to approach a problem, how to work hard.
These are the skills I’ll really need this summer and as I go into the real world next May. Despite the inevitable butterflies, I feel prepared and ready to work at McKinsey. I can’t wait.
Looking forward to business casual, to long hours, a short commute, and a fabulous experience!
Hope you’re enjoying the beginnings of spring! Here in Baltimore, it’s rained nearly non-stop since Spring Break.
Things have been busy here–my sorority initiated our newest pledge class, Spring Fair and SOHOP took over the Homewood Campus, I travelled home briefly, turned in a series of projects and papers, and celebrated both “regular” and Greek Orthodox Easters.The past few weeks have been interesting in a number of other ways as well. As I get older I cant help but feel that every semester at Hopkins gives me a different perspective on the school and its students. Every semester, I appreciate this place more.
April has been a bit of a strange month for me, and I’ve been trying to think of an appropriate, and meaningful way to talk about it here.
About two weeks ago, my sorority received some terrible news. Katie, a lovely girl the year younger than me passed away after a long, brave battle with cancer. Inevitably, this has colored the past few weeks for me in ways that have been both incredibly difficult, and surprisingly wonderful. At every turn, I have been nothing but impressed by the support, kindness and strength of everyone at this school.
My “little” in Phi Mu was very close to Katie. Upon hearing the news, my group of friends rallied around her to an extent that continues to amaze me. People dropped everything to make sure she was okay. Meals were delivered, classes skipped to give her company, baking occurred in bulk. It was incredible. I heard from old friends, acquaintances, my boss, faculty advisors. People reached out to me and to my friends, to our sorority as a whole.
By chance and circumstance, this month I have gotten the opportunity to spend a lot of time off campus and in “non-college” settings. Meeting the parents and siblings of long-term friends, seeing my big chatter away in Greek to her neighbors, attending a Catholic mass with a friend and her boyfriend for Easter, seeing my lovely little dance her heart out–in each of these situations I saw someone I thought I knew so well in a very new context.
Time and time again, on this blog and and at the Open Houses, I have said that the thing that first drew me to Hopkins was its students. Three years later, this is still true, and after these past few weeks, it has never been more important. I have been endlessly impressed and surprised by those with whom I am privileged enough to go to school.
I worried when I first arrived at Hopkins that I wouldn’t find my friends, those people with whom I was meant to spend my college years. Coming from a very small, very close high school, I fretted on the move-in-day drive that I could miss them. What if? I asked. What if I never find my friends? What if they’re on campus but I just never meet them? My Dad, logical and wise as ever, reassured me that though the school was new, and to me it was big, I would eventually find my friends and my “home.”
my wonderful roommate
Anywhere else, these past few weeks would have been intolerable. The support I received from friends was incredible. More than that, though, this experience has clarified how much of a home Hopkins has become for me. Sitting with the entire chapter of my sorority, hearing stories and jokes about Katie, celebrating her life, seeing those same girls motivate to raise nearly $10,000 in a week for cancer research, boarding a bus together a few days later to travel to New York for Katie and her family, I was stunned by how much I felt a part of this community. Watching my little steal the show at her dance performance last night, seeing her smile and throw herself into each dance, incredibly happy for the first time in weeks, I was overwhelmed. This place, these people, have become my home these past three years.
My Phi Mu "family" at Greek Easter today
As terrible timing would have it, two days after Katie’s death, SOHOP arrived on campus, and my life transformed into a 24-hour-a-day Hopkins job. Becca and I braced ourselves for the day. There were few things we wanted to do less than bounce around campus fielding questions, and I worried that I would be overwhelmed. I spoke to family after family, though, and tentatively tried to tell them what had been going on in all of our lives those past few days. I spoke about how incredible my friends had been, how proud of everyone’s strength I was, and how the community had rallied around all of us.
Katie was an incredible member of the Hopkins community; we celebrate her life and we will continue to miss her so much. For those of us who remain, though, this community here, whatever it was that first drew us to Hopkins and continues to keep us so happy, has been a great comfort. For me, this was, and continues to be, the people. I love the people at Hopkins and I can’t thank everyone enough for these past few weeks.
Hey there potential Class of 2015! Congratulations on your acceptance to Hopkins!
Over the next few weeks all of the bloggers will be posting on a common theme–”Why Hopkins?” We’ll tell you about ourselves, about our own decision to come here, and what we’ve made of our time at lovely Johns Hopkins. Feel free to ask any questions you may have, peruse the blogs for different perspectives, and good luck making your decision! We all hope to see you on the Homewood Campus this September.
Get to know JHU_LaurenB…
my sister and I at home
1. Birthplace and current hometown: I was born in London, moved to the States at the end of the 90s, and my family now splits their time between Summit NJ and New York City.
2. Major(s)/Minor(s): Public Health Studies major, minors in Economics and English
3. When I grow up I want to…live in Africa, speak a bunch of languages, travel the world. Career plans still to be decided, but this summer I’m working for a consulting firm, which I’m really excited about!
4. Favorite place to eat in Baltimore: Carmas Café, Mezze or Woodberry Kitchen. Other top contenders include Brewer’s Art, Pazo, Salt, and my apartment on campus.
5. Favorite spot on the Homewood campus: Gilman Hall–completely renovated while I was abroad, Gilman has been a great addition to campus, with the added bonus (for me at least) of having great Gluten Free treats.
6. Favorite TV show: FRIENDS
7. Favorite color: Blue
studying abroad in cape town, south africa
My Hopkins Experience:
1. When did you know Hopkins was right for you? I fell in love with Hopkins slowly. I was fairly indecisive throughout the college process. Even as I turned in my deposit, I wasn’t sure this was the only, or best, place for me. My relationship with Hopkins developed over my freshman year. Only by actually living here, throwing myself into my classes, activities, and friendships, did I really know I had made the right choice. College is what you make of it, and I decided to love Johns Hopkins.
spring arrives at Hopkins!
2. What is one thing that would surprise your friends/family about Hopkins?
Our programs in History of Art and Writing Seminars are ranked in the Top 10 nationally.
3. If you were the University President, what is the first thing you would do or change?
I would love a Student Union. M Level of the library has sort of become this by default recently, which is great if you want to catch up with your friends, but slightly frustrating for actual homework. It’d be great to have somewhere on campus to catch up with your friends, grab a coffee or a meal.
flashback to freshman year
4. If you could go back and choose your college again, would you pick Hopkins? Why?
Absolutely. Though I was uncertain at the time, in retrospect Hopkins is such an obvious choice for me. I wanted a mid-sized city school on the East Coast, I knew I was interested in medicine but wasn’t sure about being a doctor, I enjoy a challenge, and I wanted something new. Looking back, I can’t believe I didn’t know Hopkins was the perfect fit. Beyond the obvious demographic and academic facts about Hopkins, this place has challenged and surprised me in ways I could never have predicted before I got here.
Hopkins goes abroad!
5. What was your perception about Hopkins before enrolling and how has it changed since then?
I had heard, as many people have, that Hopkins’ single focus, and single strength, was in science. I wasn’t too wary about this, being fairly sure I wanted to pursue a scientific major in some way, but regardless, it couldn’t be more wrong. Hopkins’ students are what drew me to this place, and I’ve never met a more diverse, multitalented, interesting and interested group of people. The academic strengths of the university run the gamut from Engineering to Art, and the students’ interests reflect this variety as well.
The things I’ve been able to do at Hopkins speak to the range of options available to students, and even Freshmen. I’ve studied abroad, interned in so many different places, been able to become really involved in my on-campus activities, volunteered at a high school, gotten a job.
hopkins takes on penn–visiting high school friends!
6. What is/was your favorite class?
I’ve really enjoyed a number of classes, and I think right now it’s tied between American Bibles, and Health, Development and Inequality: A View From Latin America. American Bibles was a great English class I took freshman year, examining the role of religion in American literature. The latter is a class I’m taking now, taught by a visiting Professor from the University of Bogota in Colombia.
7. Describe your funniest memory or experience at Hopkins?
My favorite memories here have just been with my friends and roommates, relaxing in our respective rooms and apartments. Big events on campus that have been hilarious include everything from “Snowpocalypse” to a fraternity re-enacting the battle scene from Braveheart on the beach.
8. How would your college experience be different if you hadn’t chosen Hopkins?
I can’t even imagine going anywhere else. Hopkins is a very singular experience, and if you fit here, you’ll love it. Hopkins has made me a more interesting person. The school has an incredible level of diversity, any way you measure it, but the common thread is passion, and intelligence. Being exposed to so many dynamic, talented people on a daily basis inevitably has an impact on you. I know I’ve been inspired to do some of my favorite things here by the people I’ve met—my friend Claire who spends her summers saving the world, and has lived everywhere from rural India and Senegal to Paris, or Sam, who leads every single student group I’m involved with, and who I fully expect to see on the cover of the New York Times one of these days. Knowing and learning with these people has been a privilege, and I can’t imagine having gone to college anywhere else.
reunited with my roommate after studying abroad
9. What has your greatest contribution been during your time at Hopkins, or what do you hope to accomplish before graduation?
I’m religious about list-making, and my “bucket list” before graduation in growing. At this point I’ve crossed off the big things, and it’s becoming more about experiences and challenges, doing something new or something I’ve always meant to do.
10. What advice would you give to a high school senior choosing their college?
Visit! Colleges blur together into an endless blob of shiny brochures and fun facts if you don’t actually step foot on campus. Meet some students, eat in the cafeteria, find out where the best coffee is, walk through the library. This could be your home for the next four years, take a closer look!
my roommate and I, after running the baltimore half marathon
Hope this helps you make your own college decision. I couldn’t be happier that I’ve spent the last three years at Hopkins, and I only hope you find wherever it is that makes you feel the same.
I recently realized that though the semester is half over now, I have failed to ever mention which classes I’ve been spending so much time on. I’ve had a busy semester, and though I’ve been working really hard, it’s been one of the most interesting course-loads I’ve had thus far at Hopkins.
They’re all really exciting and interesting! One of the great things about being an upperclassman is finally knowing what you want to study, and then being able to pursue upper level, really focused classes in that field. To that end, I was able to find some great classes on the real world applications of public health, as well as international and development health.
My schedule this semester is as follows….
Global Environmental Politics
American Literature, 1865 to Today
Clinical and Public Health Behavior Change
Fundamentals of Epidemiology
Health, Development and Inequalities, A View from Latin America
and Lectures on Public Health and Wellbeing in Baltimore
my lovely ikea desk slash study nook
I’m not sure if I have a favorite yet, they’ve all been really different, but I’ll talk a bit about each one.
Epi is a PHS [Public Health Studies] requirement, and despite being forced to take it, I’ve found it to be really interesting. Epidemiology is the study of the patterns of health and disease in a given population, so we’ve looked at everything from attack rates of food poisoning at hypothetical church picnics to the national mortality rate from accidental injury.
Fun Fact: If you’re in a state with a Graduated Driver’s License [GDL] program, you can thank School of Public Health epidemiology professors for your inability to drive at night. Though I found this incredibly annoying as a high schooler in the very strict driving state of NJ, it’s awesome to learn now that a Hopkins professor was the one to research and present to Senate his findings on teenage drivers. Plus these laws have saved a ton of lives and have now been implemented in over 40 states!
HDAI:AVFLA [killer acronym, no? It's is how I write it in my planner]. I love this class! The teacher is an amazing visiting professor from the University of Bogotá, in Colombia. He’s so interesting and has such a different perspective on the role of public health and international development. He’s amazingly smart and was a practicing physician before becoming a doctor, so he has such a unique viewpoint. The class is tiny and always ends up as a really passionate discussion. Might be my favorite.
American Lit is a class I took sort of on a whim, knowing that one of my best friends would be taking it as well. It’s a lower level English survey course, which covers a book a week in a mixture of small seminar classes and lectures. I really enjoy it, and I haven’t read much 20th century literature, so it’s totally new to me. Added bonus is it’s a class of mostly freshman, so I feel like I’m finally getting to know a good sized group of kids in this class [I was abroad first semester, and felt really out of touch when I first arrived back in Baltimore].
Fun Fact: We read Portnoy’s Complaint, by Philip Roth. Roth is one of my favorite authors to read, for a very selfish reason. Some of his best work is set in the neighborhoods I grew up in! Any Northern NJ residents should pick up American Pastoral [Newark, Morristown] or Goodbye Columbus [Millburn, Newark]. He’s a wonderful writer, and it’s interesting to read about the history of a place you think you know so well.
job prep, public health, english, and some regular books
hard at work
Behavior Change must be one of my favorites, because it’s at 8:30 in the morning and I haven’t missed it yet…quite a feat for a college student. This class is a really different way to look at Public Health problems, particularly in the US. Most PH classes focus on disease and how we can prevent people from becoming sick. However, in America, and to a lesser extent in other first-world countries, the biggest health problems result from our own actions, which throws a wrench in the traditional disease prevention model. We’ve been learning about how you can motivate individuals and entire populations to change their unhealthy behavior–smoking, drinking, sedentary lifestyle, and overeating are a few of the big issues we’ve looked at. Our current challenge is to change one of our own behaviors and track our progress. This class is also taught by a professor/physician; Dr Cheskin runs the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center.
- Global Environmental Politics has been really interesting. My family has always been [by American standards, at least] very “green.” We recycle everything, switch off lights all the time, compost, drive a Prius, and use those crazy lightbulbs that last forever but make your room look like a spaceship. I currently just came back from a run to Char Mar to rid my apartment of the bags of recycling Laura and I have been storing up [our building doesn't recycle, but we both think it's important, so we haul it up to campus]. It’s interesting to learn about environmental protection, policy, and structures, rather just focus on what we can all do as individuals. The curriculum is a combination of economics, politics and sociology, and the students are a cool group, all really interested in the environment for different reasons.
Though I’ve whined a bit about the amount of work I’ve had, this has been one of my favorite semesters since I arrived at Hopkins. I don’t have a “bad” class, and I really feel like I’m learning something new every day, as cliche as that sounds. We only have six weeks left in the semester and I have to say I’m pretty disappointed….and deathly afraid of senior year.
I’ve been absent lately, so there’ll be a couple of blogs posted in short succession in the next week.
Coming soon: I’m officially employed! and a tour of my apartment “Club 900/The Bat Cave.”
Happy spring time!
I went to sleep with gum in my mouth and now there’s gum in my hair and when I got out of bed this morning I tripped on the skateboard and by mistake I dropped my sweater in the sink while the water was running and I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
Since we last spoke, there have been fewer crises (bats, computers crashing and the like) but I’d still have to say, junior year is no joke.
I’m not quite on the level of Alexander in the children’s book, but I won’t lie, I’ve had a few days that felt like that. I’ve spoken before about the learning curve of living on your own, but these last couple of weeks have been extra rough. Junior year is no joke.
The other day, in a moment of frustration and exhaustion, I got to thinking about my freshman year schedule. I remember it well, and due to the wonder of ISIS, our online scheduling system, I could double-checked. My memory had not failed me though, and in looking back at that schedule, it turns out I did in fact end class every day at noon. What on earth did I do with my time?
I no longer have to deal with pesky things like adjusting to college, but it’s a serious understatement to say my life is different now.
My roommate and I joked that we need to hire a secretary for our apartment–both to respond to our endless emails and actually schedule a time for us to see each other. Yes, it’s come to that. My dear roommate and I now go entire days without seeing each other. Which, apart from being a bit absurd, results in embarrassing events like running toward eachother on the quad at a full sprint, or screaming when we happen to pass eachother in the library.
We’ve both had a pretty insane couple of weeks, and sometimes the only time we’ll see eachother is over a very early morning bowl of oatmeal. Less than ideal.
Over the course of college, you inevitably become more involved on campus, and this is one of my favorite things about Hopkins, but recently I’ve felt a bit like I’m treading water in the deep end…for weeks at a time.
It’s been really exciting to apply for jobs this semester, but I feel like I’m letting things slip. I suddenly noticed this week that I had missed a day of school for interviews every week since the semester started. I have no groceries in my fridge save an old lime and some asparagus. I have no idea who half of the Phi Mu pledges are. My laundry could sink a ship…. I haven’t seen a single episode of Gossip Girl this year (shock, horror)!
I feel as though I’m constantly forgetting to do something. Luckily I’ve been keeping it together with a steady diet of caffeine, leggings and sweatshirts, but as much as I love being a Junior, there are days I would give a lot to switch with my freshman self.
On a typical day now, I’ll wake up around 7 or 8, and sometime between then and dinner I will have attended class, worked out, read for hours in the library, and depending on the day, either worked, given a tour, conducted an interview, or attended a meeting (or three). Oh freshman year, I miss you!
So if I seem tired, or short, or my blogs aren’t coming in exactly (or at all) on time these days, that’s why. I still love Hopkins and everything I do here, but I feel a bit like I haven’t breathed out in a month or two. Hopefully things will settle down soon, but in the mean time here’s to more sleep and less stress!
Photo Credit– http://blogs.popzara.com/index.php/item/1549, Illustration from “Alexander and….” [Shawn Levy]
hope you had a wonderful weekend.
i’m writing to you after a whirlwind week that included lions (phi mu rush) and a bat (no joke) as well as my computer’s hard drive taking a turn for the worse, a big interview, and the (real) start to the semester. phew.
our phi mu mascot, sir fidel the lion.
so to recap….
last week was the beginning and end of formal recruitment period for the sororities on campus. we began on saturday with “ice water” and had several back-to-back days of big events, voting, girl flirting, and generally fairly exhausting, extremely organized socializing. on thursday night we got 38 fabulous new phi mu’s, and i’m so excited to get to know all of them! friday night we had sister dinners, a hilarious and great way to meet all of the new girls. and Lucie Fink, another SAAB-er, is one of our fab new additions.
after a very late rush event, my lovely roommate woke me up to inform me that there was a bat hanging from her ceiling. a bat. i struggled to comprehend what she could mean (8 am practical joke?) but the look on her face confirmed she was quite serious. a few calls to maintenance later, a bat exorcism was performed with a large cardboard box and a broom, while our landlady screamed hysterically (at least it wasn’t in her room).
not the nicest way to start the morning, but it did make for a funny story, and a lot of confused looks. our apartment is otherwise great though, and laura’s mom brought us a couch this past weekend so we now have seating for more than just the two of us. our previous arrangement was fine but resulted in a lot of games of charades and spontaneous dancing, as in any group larger than two or three, it was standing room only. it’s now looking much better and a lot more useful.
last week, though actually the second week of the semester, was for all intents and purposes the real beginning. work picked up, classes ran all the way through the allotted time, meetings began, and the library was filled with more than just people getting coffee.
for my first real week back from abroad, this was a bit overwhelming. between school, rush, preparing for an interview, and fending off bats, i hit the ground running.
crazy busy first week!
i had a very exciting interview for a summer position in washington d.c. this past friday, but it seems like bad karma to give any more details so ill be silent on the subject until my plans are more definite.
on the way to the interview, heading out the door, i decided to print an extra copy of my resume (heeding the career center’s advice). if any of you have a mac you’ll know the significance of what I saw when I opened my computer…the blank white screen with the sad question mark. that, coupled with a crazy clicking noise coming from somewhere inside my laptop, told me i would not be printing my resume anytime soon.
after marinating in its problems for a couple of days, the laptop has been resuscitated by the lovely people at the apple store. luckily they are amazing and i clearly looked pretty distraught, so i now have some/most of my files back, on a brand spanking new hard drive. the casualties were my entire itunes library and all of my pictures from abroad–which to be honest, i would have traded my files from freshman year for, but i didn’t get to choose, despite making puppy eyes at everyone in the store.
my laptop is now the proud owner of a brand new case (just try to break again) and I will be backing up my files much more frequently in future, as my parents kindly pointed out that my external hard drive is actually not a desk accessory.
my phi mu "family"
it’s been a good, if busy, start to the semester, but hopefully this week will be a bit less insane, with a few less woodland creatures in my apartment.
until next time,
p.s. sorry for the boring pictures this week, as i said, my pictures are all gone!