Today I arrived on campus. Everything is covered in snow, everyone is decked out in purple, and I don’t recognize a soul. It certainly is strange. I probably should mention that the campus I arrived on this chilly January morning was not my Home(wood) back in Baltimore, but Northwestern University’s lovely grounds in Evanston. I am here for the next few days to visit my best friend Hannah, who is a Wildcat.
Why, you ask, am I able to jaunt to Illinois to visit friends in the middle of January when many college students have already started their spring semester? Well at Hopkins we have this amazing period called Intersession, an optional three-week term in January. During this time, Hopkins offers a variety of courses on campus that are typically not available during the academic year to be taken for credit pass-fail. Students also have the opportunity to go on one of Hopkins’ Intersession Study Abroad programs, which is what I did last year. I traveled with JHU to Madrid and took a course on the history and culture of Spain – you can check out more about my experience here!
This year I have chosen the third option, which is to stay at home for an extended winter break. Although this sounds like a lot of vegetation time (and there certainly some of that), I have managed to stay quite busy since I came back home in early December. Check out what I have been up to over the past couple weeks:
After a rather exhausting finals period, I started my break off by catching up on some much needed sleep. The nice thing about finals at Hopkins is that there is a week-long Reading Period after classes end and before finals begin for you to get a head-start on your studying. So after spending my first 24 hours home in Ridgewood asleep bed, I began watching my new television obsession, The Good Wife. With seasons one, two and three’s start under my belt, I am finally caught up. This provided me with some necessary, mindless fun after the academic intensity that characterized the previous few weeks.
Friends and Family. Once I was fully rested, I was able to see the people I miss most while at school, my friends and family. My grandparents made the drive all the way from Illinois to be with my family on Christmas, which made for an extremely festive holiday indeed. My older brother Nick was in Dublin for the semester, so it was great to have him back in the States. Being away from home all semester makes me appreciate all the more the amazing people in my life.
Training. For those of you unaware of my running talents, they are non-existent. I am virtually the worst runner in the history of mankind. My mother, from whom I inherited this lack of mobility, and I decided to conquer our fears and train for a half-marathon. So come this April,we will (hopefully) be completing More Magazine’s half-marathon in Central Park! It’s been a painful interesting experience so far, but I am determined to overcome my ineptitude.
Interning. This past summer I had an incredible internship at Teen Vogue, and was actually able to go back to Condé Nast over break to work back at my old job. I have two incredible bosses, Steve and Nicole, and absolutely love the work I do. This internship has confirmed that publishing is the profession for me, and I am so thankful that Hopkins has allowed for me to realize this dream.
Movies. I have been a fairly dedicated moviegoer the past few weeks in prep work for the upcoming cinematic awards season. My absolute favorite was The Artist, so if you haven’t seen it yet, stop reading this blog and go see it immediately. I also loved The Iron Lady, and spend much of my time wishing I was Meryl Streep.
A big project that has consumed much of my time over the past few weeks is my work on the Admissions’ publication, The Insider’s Guide. The IG is handed out to all students at the spring Open Houses. It’s designed by current students for prospective students to give them an insider look at life at JHU. As editor of this year’s publication, I have spent many hours over the past few weeks hunched over my computer, but I am so beyond excited for this year’s guide. Check out last year’s here, and make sure you check back for this year’s as it will be even more amazing.
Travel. As I mentioned earlier, I am currently writing this blog from Evanston, Illinois as I am visiting (with my very first friend in the world, Talia) my bestest friend in the world, Hannah. Hannah has been to see me at Hopkins twice, so I figured it was time to return the favor. I’m loving getting to see Hannah in her college environment, as well as spending some quality time with her and Talia. We actually all were in the same nursery school class. After I get home from Northwestern, I am going to London with my mother for a girls’ weekend!
Alpha Phi. In preparation for our new member class, I have been busy planning Bid Night, and new member period with my sister/future roommate Dana. I can’t wait for rush, which occurs in the first week of spring semester at Hopkins. About 25% of students at Hopkins are involved in Greek Life, so it is prominent at JHU, but does not dominate the social scene in the slightest. I love my sorority, Alpha Phi, and am so psyched for all the new Aphi babies soon to be joining! It’s going to be the best new member period ever.
As you can see, I’ve managed to keep quite busy during my time away from Hopkins! I love Intersession for affording me the opportunity to do and be involved in all of these amazing things. And by the time classes start on January 30, I know I will be ready to be back in the student-mindset!