This week was a difficult, exciting, and challenging week.
Yesterday I met Dean Wendland at a networking event that the Office of Multicultural Affairs created to connect current undergraduate students from underrepresented populations to meet and network with successful and accomplished minority alums. We met as we both were getting sodas, after I introduced myself, I realized that the person with whom I had bumped into was in fact the Dean of the Kreiger School of Arts and Sciences.
So she has a very important job at Hopkins.
She asked me about my major (Behavioral Biology and Spanish), but career goals (to pursue and MD/MPH and go into the filed of global health), and my favorite place on campus (I’m going to keep this a secret, but come to campus and find your own special spot!). Then she asked me The Question.
In one word, how would I describe my Hopkins experience so far?
Earlier the alums had introduced themselves and had answered the same question; answers included “intense”, “fun”, and “transformative”. So I knew I had to be creative and find a word that captured the perfect image of my time at Hopkins. So definitely no pressure.
Then it hit me.
I’ve grown and been challenged a lot in the last year. Recently I channeled my inner Beyonce to determine my aspiration in life, and Disney princess to discern who the girl is in my “Reflection”.
After a quiet night of meditation, I realized who I was.
I am a Nigerian American woman, and Johns Hopkins sophomore.
This past year, I have been blessed to develop my passions in conjunction with various aspects of my identity. I’ve gotten to develop a deep pride in being Nigerian and living in Baltimore. I’ve fallen in love with a city with so much rich beauty and community, despite a common painful history of racial tension and oppression. I’ve been blessed with my education and access to the resources Hopkins provides. I’ve been invited to the second ever American Mock World Health Organization at UNC Chapel Hill, had dinner with President Daniels, and marched alongside thousands in a protest of racial injustice and the murder of Freddie Gray. There are so many opportunities I’ve had, and can only look forward to my remaining years as an undergraduate student, before becoming a Hopkins alumna for the rest of my life.