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My last blog ever.

As of May 22nd, I am officially a graduate of The Johns Hopkins University. I have spent four years laughing and crying, studying and goofing off, and doing all four of these things simultaneously on A Level. I’ve studied biomedical engineering and theatre design, applied math and creative writing. And all of this has led to the future I’ve always dreamed. Next year, I’ll be attending Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, and I’ll begin my official path to becoming a physician.

Yet, I believe it is important to acknowledge I’ve done none of these things entirely on my own. Every laugh, tear, and test, someone has been there to support me, to enjoy the moment with me, or to help me simply get through Hopkins. While I am unbelievably proud of what I will be doing next, I’ll have a lifetime to appreciate it. For now, I would like to show some appreciation for what has got me here.

I would like to express my sincere thanks to:

-All of the professors that have pushed me to be better than I thought I could be. Specifically, Dr. Donniell Fishkind and Dr. Michael Miller. Dr. Fishkind-you care more about your students than any professor I’ve ever met and that in and of itself inspired me to care about your class in a way that I hadn’t cared about a class before. Dr. Miller has been one of the greatest professors, mentors, and friends that I have had at Hopkins, and having a professor like him have so much faith in me gave me the confidence to have faith in myself. Dr. Miller-your mentorship has easily been one of the highlights of my undergraduate career, and when I look back on my undergrad years when I’m old and gray, memories of lunches with you and the crew will definitely appear.

Dr. Miller and our friend, Katie, at his annual holiday party.

Dr. Miller and our friend, Katie, at his annual holiday party.

-All of those in the JHU Office of Undergraduate Admissions who have been there for me in one way or another. Thank you to Daniel Creasy, who started my journey as a blogger, and Sarah Godwin, who has always been my biggest fan despite seeing me laugh, stress, and nerd out in her office. Much love to JHU_Kate, who is the best SAABestie on the planet, and JHU_Ian and JHU_Shakeweights (aka Joseph) for being my littles. Thanks to JHU_Jackie R. for being da bomb and JHU_Jordan for answering my tech questions without complaint. And most importantly, thank you to anyone who has ever let me ride a golf cart around SOHOP.

The one and only SAAB.

The one and only SAAB.

-All of those who have helped me learn. Many thanks to the JHU Learning Den, a free tutoring service that became my best friend during my undergrad years. Thank you to the people who would always answer my questions, no matter how slow I was that day, including but not limited to Billy, Ashwyn, Wes, and my bestest study buddy, Melinda.

The study group.

The study group.

-All of those who have made my experience the best ever. Mainly, my three girls, Divya, Marisa, and Amanda. Thank you to Divya, who has put up with all my crazy antics to the tune of 14-17 credits per semester (we had the exact same schedule for the past two years). Marisa, who is filled with candid advice and is quite possibly the most talented person I know. She’s the best artist in the world, or at least to me, and a picture she drew of me will be easily be the first thing framed and hung in my new apartment. And then there’s Amanda. She’s the kind of friend who would drop anything to help you, and she has definitely done it before for me. I know I won’t be able to find a replacement for her in Nashville because one simply does not exist, and I’ll miss her greatly and daily.

My main girls.

My main girls.

-My family, most of all. Thank you to my brother for texting me pictures of his really cute dog when I was stressed. Thank you to my dad, whose visits often turned into handyman trips as I revealed all the problems that I had in my apartment that I just couldn’t deal with at the time. Thank you for every printer-wifi connection installment, every scary bug killed, and every really high light bulb changed. You often literally lit up my life (see: the lightbulbs previously mentioned). And thank you to my mom, who has freaked out with me for every test, celebrated every victory, and fed me really well when she came to visit. Thank you for the sometimes ridiculous care packages (that monkey gun was unnecessary), and the singing Hallmark cards when I was having a rough week. You’re nutty, but I love you just the same.

So thank you for all of those who have played any role, big or small, in my Hopkins career. I know there are millions more to thank, but just know that I appreciate everything and everyone that Hopkins has given me. I feel ready for this next step in my life, and because of all Hopkins instilled in me, I feel ready to become a doctor, and that’s the greatest gift of all.

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My last day of undergrad.

EVERYBODY. YEA, YOU! EVERYBODY. TODAY IS MY LAST DAY OF SCHOOL AS AN UNDERGRAD.

…wait what? No, this can’t be right. I feel like just last week I moved into McCoy and made a ridiculous group of friends that went to FFC every night together. But, alas, my time is up.

Wait...it's not freshmen year?

Wait…it’s not freshmen year?

So today is my last day of school as an undergrad, and I’m sort of at a loss for words. I woke up this morning and didn’t have a special breakfast. I just grabbed a granola bar as I ran out the door. I got dressed, but still didn’t have the motivation to straighten my hair. I have my iPad cued up for my 30 minute lunch break so I can watch my favorite show, The Challenge, on MTV. It’s just routine now.

I have class until 11, then I plan to grab a quick lunch. As always, Divya and I have some last minute homework to finish Friday afternoon, this time in the form of a DT paper. It makes it seem like any Friday that I’ve had the past two years. But it isn’t.

I’ll meet up for dinner with some friends before we head to the Krewella concert at the pier. I am so excited for the Krewella concert, it’s insane. But Krewella means that I’m at the last day of school concert. Which means it’s the last day of undergrad. Oh dear.

pinacolada

my last spring fair pina colada :(

You could suggest that I was in denial, and it wouldn’t be a lie. I just feel like I’m going to go home for the summer, then come right back and do my homework with Divya. Hang out with Amanda. Text Marisa and wait for a year for her response. But I don’t think I would be in such denial if Hopkins hadn’t made itself a place worth missing, and I think that is what is important.

I’m going to weirdly miss sitting on A level attempting to do my homework with Divya, which almost always gets derailed by us seeing our friends or a ridiculous BuzzFeed article. I’m going to miss having Amanda next door when I have good news or crappy news as she is almost always the first one to hear. I’m going to miss texting Marisa and the satisfaction of her actually responding eventually (sorry, girl! Love you…but you know its true. <3 ). I made myself a home at Hopkins, and I just can’t come to the terms that I’m leaving that home.

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Because I was sick during SOHOP.

So SOHOP was this week, and all the admitted students came to town and got to know me. Or the school. One of the two. Now, SOHOP is usually one of my favorite days of the year, but this year, I wasn’t having a fabulous time. First off, I had pink eye, and nothing says “I love Hopkins and I’m ready to tell you why” quite like a contagious zombie eyeball. And no make-up. And frizzy, not-straightened hair.

Second, nobody bought banana laffy taffy for the admissions table. That just generally bums me out.

Me carrying balloons at SOHOP in a snapchat. The usual.

Me carrying balloons at SOHOP in a snapchat. The usual.

To make up for my general hot-messiness at the spring open house, I thought that I would tell you my not contagious, no zombie-eyed version of why to come to Hopkins in three simple points.

  1. The Resources: This was the reason I came to Hopkins originally. If you come to Hopkins, there are unlimited resources at your disposal. I’ve worked on two different engineering design projects and three research projects. I’ve worked to try to schedule the minor league baseball team through optimization in class. I’ve organized my own service events. Anything is possible through Hopkins.
  2. The Professors: The teachers that I have had are both some of the most impressive people I’ve ever met as well as the most approachable. I’ve had so many professors at the top of their fields let me know that they would help me that it has really encouraged me to challenge myself. I don’t think I would have pushed myself and be where I am without the support of these fabulous professors.
  3. The Friends: The most important thing I got from Hopkins are the best friends ever. I think my friendships at Hopkins are different than my ones at home. They are both great in a different way. My friendships at home are comfortable. Comforting. I just feel at ease. My friends at Hopkins are never really at ease because what we have in common is what brought us to Hopkins: the fact that we are always pushing ourselves to reach our lofty goal. We all support each other in our endeavors, as well as keep each other sane along the way. Bonus: My friend, Amanda, even answered by phone call Sunday at 3 AM and went to the ER with me. I don’t know what I’d do without her.

Those are my three favorite things about Hopkins. I think I made a very appealing case. Therefore, you should come here. The end.

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busy as a bee.

Greetings, everybody. I hope all is well. Right now, it’s the middle of midterm
season again, but this one in particular is a little bit more difficult than most. Yes,
prob and discrete are a tad difficult, but the real struggle is balancing all these
things with other things happening in life. Like these:
1. Planning the perfect end to senior year.-My friends and I are determined to
make our last semester the best one ever, so we have been planning loads. We’ve
bought tickets for 3 major events. The first is a Krewella concert the last day of
classes, which is actually sponsored by a student group. The next event is the
Sweet Life Festival, which has Lana del Ray, Bastille, 2Chainz, Fitz and the
Tantrums, etc. It’s also a food festival, so that’s a huge plus. The last is Preakness,
which is a big horse race where you get to where big ridiculous hats and listen to
Lorde. Thus, as you can tell, planning fun has obviously taken up a large portion of
my time.

I even squeezed in time to hang out with freshmen year friends at the libs! :)

I even squeezed in time to hang out with freshmen year friends at the libs! :)

 
2. Picking a medical school.-I’m currently at the airport flying to a medical school,
and I’ll be doing this a couple times this month to help me make a medical school
decision. While I feel completely blessed to have my choice of medical schools,
traveling is taking up a lot of my time.
3. Figuring out graduation nonsense.-Cap & Gown fittings. Dinner reservations.
Making sure I am actually graduating. I guess this whole graduating nonsense has
some details that need to get sorted out, and since its graduation, you not only
need to sort them out, but you also need to sort them out right since this is not
something that you want to mess up.
4. SOHOP- As part of the Student Admissions Advisory Board, I get to talk to
2018-ers all the time and help them see why Hopkins is the best place ever. In
April, we have two big overnights for them, and I have some duties during those
days for the events.
5. Sleeping- Because yes.
So as you can see, I have an utterly busy senior spring. But you know what? I
wouldn’t have it any other way.

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My last spring break.

Hi everybody! How’s it going? As you might know from everyone else’s blog, it’s currently spring break at Hopkins. Now, originally, I wanted to go to New York with my two friends, Amanda and Marisa, but we all ended up going home in the end. To be honest, the end of senior year is 50 times busier than I thought it would be…and I thought it would be busy. There is just so much to do, in so little time. Here are some things that I did over break.

  1. Contacts!-I have been wanting to get contacts for a while, and in order to get them from my actual eye doctor, I needed to be in Wisconsin for a full week. I got them, and they are currently in as I am writing this blog. Unfortunately, it takes me about 30 minutes to get everything into my eyes.
  2. Buy tickets to…everything!-At the end of Senior year, there are tons of concerts and things to go to. For instance, I can’t wait to go buy a big hat and go to Preakness! There are also tickets that I had to buy to go to different medical schools in order to make my final decision…speaking of…
  3. Do things for medical schools!-I’ve had to do lots of paperwork, drug tests, etc. for the medical schools I was accepted at. I also tried to look up things to try to make my decision. For instance, today I watched one of the school’s Match Day ceremony LIVE while I was doing my homework.
  4. Homework!-Yea…Unfortunately, I had a bit of homework to do over break. On the bright side, if I do it over this weekend before I get back…I won’t have much when I get back. Ballin’? I think so.
  5. Laptop shopping!-So once upon a time…I accidentally dropped my laptop and now it has a big dent that really makes it hard to use my USB ports. Rough life. Sooooo I’ve been laptop shopping for medical school. I was thinking of getting a Mac…but I really have no idea. Any suggestions? Feel free to comment below and help me figure out my life struggles.
The best doggy ever <3

The best doggy ever <3

These are just five of the most important things I did over this break. I also snuggled with my puppies, ate at my favorite Mexican restaurant, and enjoyed all the lovely things that are home to me. I could be on a beach in Cancun, but I think I’d rather be here.

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My life lately.

Hey all! It’s been two weeks since I’ve last blogged, and so much has happened. Let’s start with the not-so-fun: exams. The beginning of March is known for being the start of the first midterm period. I had two exams this past week. The first was in Intro to Prob, which despite having “intro” in the name, is a 400 level probability course. The exam was pretty tough! Luckily, the teacher has lots of extra credit opportunities, including a joke contest that I plan on dominating, so I think it will all work out. My other exam was Discrete Math, which is an 100 level math course. The course itself isn’t difficult to understand, but it gets tricky sometimes. We haven’t gotten it back yet, but cross your fingers for me!

Also in these two weeks, my Design Team traveled to Florida to a meeting with our sponsors. For the first part of the meeting, we were supposed to present to future sponsors to give them a taste of what design team was like. We were so excited, and one of my freshmen worked really hard to memorize a presentation. However, in a series of unfortunate events, our flight was delayed, and we missed that meeting in its entirety. It was disappointing, but we were able to give it to our advisors, who loved it, so it was still a great day. They always give us such great feedback, and it is nice to have real doctors who could see the impact of your device have faith in you.

My freshman and I!

My freshman and I!

 

My team also got to bond on the trip, and take terrible pictures of each other. Now, some of you may say that this is mean. However, it seems to be the way my team bonds, and who am I to stop that trend. After 18 hours together, no picture really turns out good any more, so we also didn’t really have a choice.

These are my last two weeks in a nutshell, and it should be obvious that they were very, VERY busy. While it can get overwhelming at times, and I may be a little sleep deprived right now, it is so incredibly worth it, and I just feel so lucky to go here.

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Senior Shenanigans: Restaurant Week

Lebanese Taverna Restaurant Week

Lebanese Taverna Restaurant Week

Hey guys! So if you’ve ever read my blog, you know that I have one main love in life: food. Baltimore has made my life very food-filled the past few years. There is wonderful food all around of all varieties. Some of my favorites are even right near campus, such as Tamber’s, which is a fabulous Indian diner, and Gertrude’s where basically every Hopkins student has ate with their parents at least once. Though I often stay near campus during the year due to a time and budget restraint, Baltimore Restaurant Week provides a great excuse to explore the city’s foods.

This week, I was fortunate enough to go two places for restaurant week, and they both were amazing. First, my friend, Divya, and I, decided to make a spontaneous trip to Harbor East, the classy side of Inner Harbor, on our short class day to get a two-course, $15 lunch at Lebanese Taverna. Divya is a vegetarian, and Lebanese food is great because it has a large variety of options. We started off with this lentil soup that was literally the most delicious thing ever. The sheer number of flavors in the soup was overwhelming. After our first course, we both got a Chef’s Sampler Vegetarian platter that contained so much food. The eggplant in the m’saka tasted like it was seasoned with cinnamon and it was delicious, which is a lot for someone who doesn’t like eggplant to say. Also, who doesn’t like hummus or falafel? Nobody, that’s who. Delightfully stuffed, we left extremely pleased.

Then the next night, we went to Sotto Sopra with a group of friends to celebrate my bestie’s birthday. As Amanda turned 22, we reigned in her birthday with tomato confit, pumpkin ravioli, and gelato. I wish her birthday was everyday so I could eat like that everyday. However, I also like my wardrobe in its current status, so eating 5000 calories a day everyday would probably not be in my best interest. So there you have it, my lovely readers, that was my restaurant week in a nutshell. The deals are still on for tomorrow if you want to come on down to Balty! It’s taking all my willpower to not go out and get some more food.  :)

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naturally classy.

Hey everybody! How are you? :) It is officially my last semester as a Hopkins student. I know you’ve read every single blog since I started and are emotionally troubled by the fact that I am leaving college, but don’t worry. It’ll all be OK. (Deep breaths, baby. Deep breaths.)

So senior spring is probably the best semester since freshmen fall. While you still receive grades (lame), you also know where you are going, have friends, and are ridiculously cool, so there are serious advantages over freshmen year. Though there are certainly stressful aspects about senior spring, like, say, deciding your future (OMG), I don’t think I’ve enjoyed my time at Hopkins more. I have great friends and some great classes. Hey! Let’s talk about my classes!

1. BME Design Team Leader-Shocker! I didn’t quit my design team. That’d be a little awkward since I’m the leader. We just got new lab space, so things are really going to start getting busy. Being a DT leader has taken up more of my time than anything I have ever done, and while it stresses me out sometimes, it is so worth it. I’m a much stronger thinker, leader, and engineer because of it. Also, my team is adorable. So that helps. (See below <3 ).

DT team

 

2. Discrete Math- So I accidentally forgot to take the freshmen level Applied Math course that I need to finish my math major, so I’m awkwardly taking that now. My BMEFF, Divya, is in it, too, as well as JHU_Jordan and JHU_JackieC! The one major con is that it is literally in the farthest building possible from my apartment. Ugh. No rolling out of bed late and still making it to this class on time.

3. Intro to Prob-This is a hard class, so I wish I had saved it for a time that wasn’t this semester. My advisor teaches it, though, so hopefully that will help. I’m (stuck) with Divya again in this class, but out of all my classes at Hopkins, this is the one where I probably know the least amount of people. Not super reassuring, but maybe I’ll make new friends?

4. Location Photography-I’ve already gotten to take pictures of real mummies in this class, so it is obviously the best. Location photography is helping me learn how to use my camera, and I get to explore my university and city while I’m at it. Next week, my class is going to the aquarium, and I’m so excited to bring my camera there! This is the perfect class for my senior spring. I’m learning so much and actually enjoying it.

 

So those are my classes for my senior spring. Sounds great, right? I know. :P

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break and back.

Hey everybody! I hope your break has been going as well as mine has. I just got back to Hopkins this week after first going home. As my loyal readers know, I hail from the charming state of Wisconsin, which according to my friend who is currently there for the first time for a medical school interview, resembles a “frozen tundra” at the moment. Rather accurate.

While in Wisconsin, I still had some work to do that carried over from Baltimore. The first being my research. I found a fun way to program and mathematically analyze the plates of cells I use for research using my touch screen laptop, so the post-MD student in my lab told me I could continue to work on it. Pretty rad, eh? After 40 hours of staring at my laptop though… I was done.

My design team also turned in their ACUC application for our design team project over the break. What that means is that if we are approved, we can test our device on pigs. In case you haven’t been stalking my blog, my team is working to create a device to control prehospital junctional hemorrhage. Pretty rad.

After New Years flew by, it was out of Wisconsin for me. I had a couple med school interviews, and I got to go to some new cities I never been to before. Since I drove, I stayed a night in Nashville, Tennessee, which was AWESOME. First of all if you go to Nashville, make sure you go to Puckett’s and eat their friend chicken and waffles. #bestthingIeverate #ever #EVER

chickenwaffles

 

 

 

 

 

Second, if you go to Nashville, I recommend you stop by the country music museum. I like country music, but even if you don’t there are lots of fun things to look at. For instance, all of Elvis Presley’s old things. Yes, he is a country artist, but his coolness overcomes all, I’m sure. His old car and lots of his records were there. There was also a lot of fun crazy costumes from old-time country artists. If glitter, sequins, or anything that sparkles ridiculously is your thing, country music history is something you should look into.

Reba Fritos!

Reba Fritos!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now I’m back at Hopkins, doing research and meeting with my design team. Intersession is usually associated with my baking, so that may be something you can hear about in a future blog. I hope you all have a great January!

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My final winter finals.

Hey everyone! Finals season is officially over, and I am proud to say that I survived. That is, I survived my last set of winter finals at Johns Hopkins University. While some may say that the finals period in the fall semester is the same as the spring, I tend to disagree. In the spring, you are often taking part two of an engineering or math class, at least in my case, so you will already be an expert on the important parts of the materials and possibly even the questions the professor likes to ask. Also, nothing is worse than coming out of a final that you think you failed (but don’t worry-you did fine with the curve) than walking out in snow, trudging down your unploughed street, and losing all feeling in my toes.

Most may say that finals is the time where fun becomes an extinct, and I would say that I partially agree. Before my thermo midterm, my hardest class this semester, I literally studied day in and day out for a week. The knot in between my shoulder blades can definitely attest to this fact. Still, there were many things that I did during finals that allowed me to breathe.

During reading period, BMES, a biomedical engineering society on campus, hosts a winter dinner, and this is the first time that I actually stayed for most of it. I really enjoyed it! First of all, free food to a college student is like gas to a car; it is really what keeps us going. This wasn’t just free food, though. It was super classy free food, aka the best kind of free food. I had pasta, some sort of cranberry brie, honeydew, and a fancy ice cream sundae. Delicious? I think yes. They also sell the annual BME t-shirt at the event, and I made sure to get mine.

My friend, Amanda, and I at the BMES dinner!

My friend, Amanda, and I at the BMES dinner!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another way to relax during finals is to study with friends. I know, I know, technically there is still studying involved, but it really gets me out of my head. My friend, Divya, will always tell me it’ll be OK. My friend, Amanda, will let me freak out with her, and she walked arm in arm with me to the thermo final. My friend, Melinda, will always help me when I have no idea what’s going on. I have a good group surrounding me.

Anyways, I hope you all had a great end of semester, too. Talk to you again in 2014…my graduation year!!!

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