1. The Baltimore food scene
Well I wrote over a thousand words on food in Baltimore for my last blog, so for specifics head there. But the amazing diversity of flavors in Baltimore can keep you exploring for years, or even decades. Every single area has its own unique specialty. Fell’s Point is filled with oyster bars and seafood stops, the Inner Harbor is where you can find institutions of Baltimore and the nation, Mount Vernon takes you on a trip around the world, with all different types if ethnic cuisines, and Hampden chefs do local dishes with a twist.
2. My Expos Class
This class can sometimes be the bane of my existence. At the same time, it challenges me to think critically about the information I’m given and the perspectives that surround me and to respond with my own voice. Also, it has really made me such a better writer. And, it has forced me to become a much better writer (not sure whether or not this is evident in the progression of my blogs).
I still can’t believe how nervous I was at the beginning of the year about finding friends. In reality, everyone here is at least somewhat on the same page. It was so amazing to find people from all different places, to exchange our different views and be able to have real conversations about the world, not just small talk to get to know each other. Now, I can’t imagine what my life would be like without my amazingly supportive and fun group of friends.
4. Week Long Thanksgiving Break
We are so lucky to have a weeklong break. It really allowed me to go back, reconnect with my friends from high school, while also studying, and spending time with the fam.
5. Dining Dollars
Even though the FFC is a great and reliable source of sustenance, dining dollars give me the ability to mix it up without breaking the bank. I can get udon at Bamboo Café, sushi at Levering, and everything my snacking heart desires at the Charles Street Market. The food scene in Baltimore is great, but not necessarily always on budget or conveniently found on campus.
6. Gilman Atrium
This is definitely the best and most beautiful place to study. During the day sunlight streams in from all angles, talking never grows louder than a whisper. Also, coffee is conveniently placed at the end of the glass, fueling my focus, but also my addiction.
7. Wyman Park
Wyman Park is located directly behind campus. I run on a trail through the woods there, that cuts parallel to a stream and a few short falls. However, I did not realize what a gem this park was until autumn arrived. The weather cooled and the park transformed in an explosion of warm hues, making exercise just that much more bearable. Also, not only does this park offer scenic view and a space to clear my head, but also has a large field/dog park filled with all the adorable puppies of Hampden.
8. Hopkins Interactive
I remember when I applied for this blog; I remember being nervous but hopeful. This is a place where I can express myself and really write for myself in a way, without the normal patterns and rules of an essay. I’m not necessarily constrained by anything, by the need for a thesis or a structure. I hope that I can also help others learn about Hopkins and love it like I do.
9. Art Brigades
This is another club that I am involved in. We go once a week, depending on the day you sign up, to the Living Classroom downtown to teach arts and crafts to kids as part of an afterschool program. I love making them smile and laugh with my antics, to connect with them. I hope that I brighten their day, even if it just an hour of making a silly hat or paper plate mask. For me, it is a great stress reliever to just forget about assignments and midterms for a bit and just be able to interact in a setting outside of all my work.
10. Thai Iced Coffee
This is last on the list, but probably number one in my heart. This is the best drink served by the Daily Grind and is one of the only type of coffee intake with an effective amount of caffeine to get my through any problem set or paper. It consists of four espresso shots and a bit of condensed milk. One day during orientation I drank two, and literally had the best 8, most productive, beautiful hours of my life afterwards. The only downside was that I drank this at around 8:00pm at night.