Hey all – some of you may have noticed it’s been a while since I last posted. Indeed, sophomore year basically hit me like a brick wall, but it’s a wall for which I am always grateful.

When I returned from Italy, I spent four days at home with my family, and returned to Baltimore on August 11th, in order to train for the Pre-Orientation program I would be co-facilitating! This program was actually the one that I attended last year, before I entered my freshman year here at JHU. We spent the week developing and refining our facilitation and leadership skills, and then decided to try something completely new: we went to West Virginia to go climbing with the incredible Outdoor Pursuits Pre-O leaders.

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in front of the Center for Social Concern before we left for WV! Dorothy, Osiris, Anna, and I were student leaders on our Pre-O. In our arms is Caroline Ouwerkerk, the assistant director of the CSC, who was our coordinator and dear leader

It essentially was a little exchange of training and ideas; we got to teach them some group-building skills, while they got to practice teaching people to climb. Since we all had never done anything like this at all, OP had a great set of guinea pigs. It was of course one of the most physically difficult things I’ve ever done, and it was so worth it.

Pre-O itself was absolutely wonderful. It was so taxing of course, since as leaders we were the first ones up and the last ones to sleep, but it was so amazing to watch the participants go from strangers to close friends in one week. We did some amazing service, went to an Orioles game, played Baltimore trivia, went to an outdoor movie, and made ~some gr8 friends along the way.~

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Pre-O students are wonderful

Starting classes proved that I was in for quite a lot this semester. I’m trying a lot of new things: I started Russian language courses, upper-level political science courses, and a class that requires me to read the entirety of War and Peace. It is all incredible – absolutely fascinating and I love every minute I am in class. It is just a whole lot, and in combination with my clubs, it proved to be almost too much.

I do a lot here at Hopkins, mostly because I love it so much here. Hopkins has been incredibly kind to me. Right off the bat, the Hodson Trust has given me an extremely generous scholarship, and when I visited during SOHOP, everyone was so kind and generous in taking the time to answer my millions of questions. It’s really part of why I applied to Hopkins Interactive – this very blog! – because I wanted to share my incredible experiences at Hopkins.

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#tbt to baby freshman me with my dad, the morning that we left for Baltimore

Outside of class, I do a lot lot lot. I’m the Treasurer of HopMUN, our Model United Nations team, a committee chair of the International Studies Leadership Committee, the Vice President of Member Development in my sorority, a chair in JHUMUNC (our conference for high schoolers), I write for the Politik (our political newspaper), a member of the Milton S Eisenhower Symposium, an Intern at the Center for Social Concern, and this! So I was very busy right at the start of the year recruiting and interviewing for all my clubs and getting started in the year.

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Model UN (including 3 freshmen!) at our first conference of the year at Columbia

Basically, I needed to take a break from Hopkins Interactive for a while. Sometimes, we all need a break, and I really do thank the HI team for letting me take one. Some advice for college: chill. It is really really important that breaks are taken every now and again because you’re going to die otherwise. Clubs and classes are fun and amazing, but sometimes, we all need to take a break.

What was great is that I took my break over our very own Fall Break last weekend, when I met my family in New York City. My roommate and I went up on Friday night and saw Aladdin, did some shopping, and I met my parents Saturday morning. We spend the weekend together and it was exactly what I needed, and I am back at school totally refreshed.

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Drama @ the Met. XOXO, gossip girl

Only 3 weeks until Thanksgiving Break!