- Maxie’s garlic knots are the biggest bargain in Charles Village (6 for $2.50!!)
- As a TA, nothing makes you happier than a correctly formatted paper
- Sometimes, you just gotta skip class and go to DC museums
- Living with your best friend is a luxury that will cause disappointing roommates for years to come
- Nothing beats the view from the roof of Krieger
- Silent film is a bit of a misnomer and never really existed; there was always some kind of musical accompaniment
- There’s nothing a bag of Uni Mini fries and a nap can’t cure
- People tout study abroad as the end-all-be-all; you’ll be just fine without it
- Baltimore is complicated, but that won’t keep you from loving it
- The expensive salads and empanadas from Alkimia are worth it
- Films place you as a participant in the narrative and viewing experience through identification with the camera apparatus
- Professors can totally be your friends (but they still deserve respect!)
- If you become a regular purchaser of gin at Eddie’s, you’ll get free limes
- You’ll become possessive of certain study spots (@Q-level brown chairs, the Alkimia side of Gilman atrium)
- Snow days are the perfect excuse for a pilgrimage to Pete’s Grille
- Your J-Card becomes obsolete senior year because you no longer swipe into dorms, and you avoid the library like the plague
- Your classmates will sometimes challenge and frustrate you, but it’s a learning opportunity
- Free & For Sale and Buying and Selling for Girls at Hopkins will save you during that pre-paycheck slump (I practically ran a clothing black market)
- How to actually write a decent, thoughtful paper
- Always get to know the security guards and janitorial staff
- Only get the chicken on stick (not chicken on a stick) at Spring Fair
- A nice day means ditching homework and sitting on the Beach
- The first walk through the Breezeway will make you officially feel like a ~college student~
- You’ll feel the greatest Baltimore pride when yelling “O!” during the National Anthem at an Orioles game
- Clavel’s happy hour is the epitome of ballin’ on a budget
- Modern Alchemy is the closest you’ll ever get to being on a game show
- Using many different colored pens will keep you awake and attentive during long seminars
- Everyone will celebrate a birthday at Iggie’s
- Walking to the Charmery through Wyman Park is a great way to quickly step off-campus
- Stressbusters offers free shoulder massages in the library every Monday
- The Blue Jay shuttle, JHMI, and the Charm City Circulator will take you anywhere you need to go
- You can use your Hopkins student status to get free Microsoft Office and Financial Times, discounts at ASOS, cheap National Aquarium tickets, and more
- You don’t need to buy textbooks (the library has all the ones you’ll ever need, and you’d be amazed how willing people are to share)
- “Show, don’t tell”
- There are many dogs that regularly walk around campus, and befriending them will improve your quality of life tenfold
- Nothing beats how collegiate campus feels in fall
- A Reading Room seat is prime real estate during peak study hours, and giving someone your seat is a favor you can milk
- If you spill earl grey tea on your laptop, turn it off, take off the back, and lightly blow dry it
- Brody Cafe’s medium and large cold cups are the same size
- If you feel stuck, cut your hair (Carrie at Sprout in Hampden is the best)
- How my boy Hitchcock avoided the Hays code in this famous scene by having Bergman and Grant break apart every few seconds
- Trohv and In Watermelon Sugar are the best places to get great gifts (for yourself or others)
- Go easy on yourself
- How to perfectly time the “1, 2, 3, 4, we want more” chant at Hopkins lacrosse games
- As an artist, embracing and exploring your perspective is the best thing you can do for yourself
- Surround yourself with people who genuinely believe in you
- The best memories and experiences come from when you throw caution to the wind
- How to say no
- Exploring Baltimore and getting to know the city is as important as your class assignments
- College is weird and wonderful, and I wouldn’t have wanted to spend my time anywhere else
The only thing I love more than fall is talking about how much I love fall. Each October 1st, I do a happy dance, because that means it’s time for the most wonderful time of the year: my birthday, Halloween, apple cider, crunchy leaves, sweater weather. Ugh. I love it. Always have.
I know spring is technically the season for rebirth, but the fall always feels so raw and promising and full of opportunity. Spring can have rebirth; call fall my reawakening.
I thought my love for fall couldn’t grow anymore. Then I got to college. There’s something so distinctly collegiate feeling about traipsing across a quad with gorgeous orange leaves, a scarf around your neck, a textbook under your arm. It’s so idyllic and maybe even cliche, but there’s nothing like it.
Hopkins does fall right.
Case in point:
Hoptoberfest There’s an organization on campus completely dedicated to throwing an annual fall fest. Seriously. Think pumpkin patches, cider and mulled wine tastings (for those of age!!), pumpkin patches, live music, giveaways, and s’mores cookouts. It’s an incredibly fun week where the campus comes alive in the spirit of fall.
Foliage Like I said, fall is quintessential college. And Hopkins looks darn good in shades of orange. Walking to class and seeing the changing leaves really makes me feel like a student.
Farms galore Seriously, what is fall without a visit to a pumpkin patch/orchard? There are tons of local farms just a quick drive from campus. Each year, I’ve found it incredible easy to satisfy the voice inside my head demanding hay rides and pumpkin picking.
Drinks Hopkins has two Starbucks within a two block radius. You could bang-bang PSLs. Also, Carma’s Cafe has the best hot cider. Bible.
Fall Foods The Waverly Farmer’s Market is the best in the fall. I got a funky lookin’ gourd for $1! Also guaranteed to see lots of squash, pumpkin pie, pumpkins, and other fall favorites. All for pretty cheap, just a few blocks away from campus. Carma’s also has amazing pumpkin oatmeal cookies and pumpkin coffee cake. Just go to Carma’s.
~Spooky~ Lore Baltimore is an old, old city, which means that there’s been plenty of time for the city to acquire all kinds of spooky history and stories. Did you know that Edgar Allen Poe died in Baltimore? A mysterious person has left a bottle of cognac at his grave for almost eighty years. Baltimore especially embraces its creepy history in the fall, when Fells Point ghosts tours seem particularly appropriate.
Halloween Fells Point is the place to be for the best holiday. The main square becomes packed with people wearing some of the most elaborate costumes you’ve ever seen. Fells goes all out.
Friends who embrace my love of fall My friends totally encourage me to bellow “I LOVE FALL!” whenever I step outside. Or at least they don’t laugh. And they attend live productions of Rocky Horror with me. And Emelynn is 100% gung-ho for year round Halloween decorations.
Thesis: I love fall, and Hopkins has treated me to the best four autumns ever.
344. 1225. 108.
Three years. Three rooms.
I’ve never done a dorm tour before, and that’s because I was waiting until I had accumulated pictures from all of my Hopkins living arrangements, from a shared room with a communal bathroom to a suite-style dorm to my very own big girl apartment so that I could complete a ginormous, conglomerate tour. Incomplete things bother me.
So here is the whirlwind run-through of every room I’ve had at Hopkins!
AMR II Griffin 344
AMR II is your classic college dorm set-up. You’ve got a roommate whose hand you could probably hold if you were both lying in bed. The square footage isn’t ideal and the shivering, soaking run down the hall from the shower isn’t flattering. However, I wouldn’t trade my freshman year dorm experience for anything. It was crazy and hilarious. Thanks to the close quarters, I made incredible friends who saw me at my best, my worst, and everywhere in between. I lived that cliche dorm experience.
When you walked into the room, my bed was on your direct right. In the far right corner was my desk; behind it, my wardrobe. My roommate’s side was a mirror image.
Here’s my bed and desk! I stuck my dresser under my bed, though I’ve seen people use it as a nightstand. I purchased plastic drawers for extra storage, and they fit perfectly beneath my bed, with room to spare to stash Easy Mac. I also have a mini fridge on the far right; I honestly didn’t use it that much, but some of my friends used theirs religiously.
Beds come default lofted at about 3′. 5’0″ me made a leap into bed every night (or, on sleepy days, used my desk chair as a stool.)
Close-up of my Pillow Pet and childhood stuffed cat. All dorm beds are twin XL (plenty of space for petite me to roll around on).
My desk in action. It served as a work station/vanity. I wrote papers and did my make up here, equally important things. Shoutout to my textbook that is just called Movies.
Pros: AMR II is fantastic for meeting people; I’m still friends with people from my dorm. The empty space between each person’s side in every room is a great spot to pow wow. The cramped quarters means that people are forced out into the hallway, which becomes a second home/impromptu lounge area.
Cons: No A/C (though easily solved with a window fan), a little bit outdated.
Takeaway: I could’ve packed a lot, lot less. The small space forced me to get efficient and innovative, but I could’ve saved a lot of headaches by cutting down my stuff. Overall, I loved AMR II for its social scene, the main reason why people choose it.
Charles Commons 1225
With the sophomore housing lottery, Commons becomes coveted. Everyone is shooting for the newly-renovated former hotel. It’s gorgeous. Emelynn and I lucked out with a number in the 60s, so we got a double with a huge living room on the top floor, overlooking campus. To say it was nice would be a vast understatement.
These aren’t the tidiest photos, but they’re all I have. Whatever, I guess it’s a realistic look at living spaces?
This is 1225! The door on the far right was where you entered; Emelynn’s room was directly across from it. We used the little foyer area as a place to hoard stuff, apparently. We had a huge living room, which is rare for doubles in Commons. All of the furniture was included (though we stole an additional side table from an unlocked, empty room, shhhhh). The far door is my bedroom, and the bathroom was directly across from it. We also had a closet where we stored coats and cleaning supplies.
The kitchen doesn’t have an oven, but there’s one in the communal kitchen downstairs, which worked fine for us. Doubles only come with a mini fridge (quads have a full fridge/freezer), but I brought my mini fridge from freshman year as well and so space was never an issue! I apologize for the dishes in the sink and overflowing recycling.
The bathroom (door on the right) was everything it needed to be. Don’t forget a shower curtain!
Here is my room! This was right after I moved in, and I forgot to take pictures as the year progressed, so it’s missing a lot of taped-up pictures and the canopy that I ended up hanging. The room is not huge, but it probably had more space than my AMR II room and it was cozy and all mine!
Against the right wall was a closet. It’s not the biggest room ever, but it had space for everything while forcing me to be tidy. More decorations got put up post-move in, and my room didn’t look so clean anymore (I like it that way.)
OUR VIEW, THOUGH.
People watching game became A+.
Pros: Commons is beautiful. Nolan’s (dining hall) is in the building. The view was insane. Our living room was the perfect lounge area.
Cons: Since we were 12 floors up, the elevator ride took a bit. Boo hoo.
Takeaway: 10/10 would live here again.
Baby’s first big girl apartment!
I live in an apartment building right across campus, directly next door to Commons. It’s an old 1920s building, and is coveted for its convenient location. I live in a 2 bedroom/2 bath with Emelynn!
The door with the spooky skeleton is the front door. The sofa and coffee table is on the immediate left; kitchen is the far left corner; dining table is the far right; to the right of the front door is the hallway to our bedrooms. It’s a huge space, and House Hunters would give its open floor plan two thumbs up.
We leave Halloween decorations up year-round, no shame.
Part of being a real human is having to buy furniture! We got this sofa from an older sister in Alpha Phi and I had this coffee table kicking around at home.
Walk down a long, long hallway to the left of the front door– E’s room is on the left, and mine is at the end.
Fun fact: our apartment used to be a one bedroom with a studio next door. They knocked down the wall and turned the studio into a bedroom, so my room is enormous! And has a weird former front door next to it. We used it once when Emelynn threw me a surprise birthday party.
Welcome to my room! I have two (TWO!) closets, my own bathroom, and a ton of space.
My desk is my happy place.
Or maybe my bed is. Missing: a huge canvas for over my bed that I will someday (never) paint.
Edit: it happened
Nightstand has plenty of books that I swear I totally read and candles because yay for no RAs!
My closets host clothes (yes, both of them, sorry not sorry), and I repurposed my bookshelf from home to hold miscellaneous stuff like cleaning supplies, socks, and command hooks.
Because The Charles is so old, I rely on a radiator for heat and an A/C unit for cold. As someone who prefers sleeping cold, I love the fact that sometime the radiator doesn’t work (friends can’t say the same). My dresser was kicking around in my dad’s garage from my nursery days. The only furniture I had to buy was my desk, the sofa, and the kitchen table! I feel very thrifty. Directly to the right of my dress is my bathroom. It makes it easy to hop out of the shower and immediately get dressed to beat the draft (a far cry from the AMR II shower shuffle).
Pros: There’s this weird deck area outside our living room window. Sometimes we break out and hang out up there (shh). My best friend lives upstairs, my other best friend lives with me, and my third best friend lives half a block away. My walk to the library, door to door, is about one and a half songs from my “~wintry~” playlist. I have a huge room and a big bed and life is grand.
Cons: Lack of natural light? Is that a thing? Sometimes the heat acts funny and the pipes are loud. No real complaints.
Takeaway: Life is swell is 108.
The other day, I heard this quote: “Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.”
When I looked it up, one website said that Bobby (age 7) wrote this. I don’t know if I buy that this is Bobby’s original work, but either way, it just struck me as a kind of dumb and cheesy, Pinterest-y quote that your friend’s mom shares on Facebook and tags her children in, probably accompanied by some message about the true meaning of Christmas.
I dismissed it and moved on.
Change of topic: last week, on a whim, I agreed to petsit somebody’s chinchilla. The “why” here isn’t important–just take it at face value that I love strange animals and I’m a slave to my impulses.
Once I had the chinchilla in my possession, I asked a bunch of my friends if they wanted to come and check her out. My room was filled with almost 10 of my closest friends, playing with this bizarre creature. No one questioned or judged me for my odd decision to house a chinchilla for a month. Even one of my friends who doubted her love of rodents admitted that she was cute.
And then that quote came to mind again, but: love’s what’s in the room with you if you stop playing with a chinchilla and listen.
Stick with me here.
My friends all embraced–no, relished–the fact that their weird friend Genevieve decided to petsit a stranger’s exotic creature for several weeks. They checked in on me, texting me once we all parted ways for break to ask how the chinchilla’s doing. And that’s when I fully understood their unconditional love and support. They genuinely cared about this animal, and by extension, me.
It’s weird that a fluffball animal, of all things, catalyzed this epiphany. Duh, my friends love and care about me. I have awesome friends. But this semester I really realized how much my friends have become family and Hopkins my home.
It’s weird–I’ve written before about feeling like a guest in your own home over breaks, but this time, it’s been magnified. I think it’s because I have my own apartment that has my own name on the lease, and that place is my home base. It has my art, my clothes, my belongings–everything that I use to nest and create a house for myself. It sounds simple, but it’s my apartment, it’s where I live; it’s my home.
But “home” is other things, too. I learned in my Intro to Sociology course this semester how people create homes in unfamiliar places. One of the mechanisms to cultivate familiarity is claiming a communal spot as your own. Think of regulars at coffee shops, or that old man you always see on the bench feeding the pigeons. People adopt places–public spaces–as their own, and that’s home in a place that isn’t actually yours. Mine is the brown chairs on Q-level of Brody. I’m there almost every day, feet up on the table, drinking tea. Having a second home in the library is sort of pathetic, but it’s familiar. It’s homey. I’m going to carve my initials into my favorite chair before graduation (shh).
Even when I’m not making an unspoken claim to a particular chair, Hopkins has become as familiar to me as my childhood home. I know to take an extra-high step on the steps by MSE because the lip in the bricks will trip me. I know to cut the corner of the path between Shriver and Malone to save an extra second. I know that the first door out of my apartment is push; the second, pull (and the left door is always locked).
But this familiarity is so much more than some kinesthetic awareness; it’s a comfort, a loving pat on the back. The smell of Gilman Hall is soothing. The magnolia trees by Mudd feel protective. It’s hard to explain–I feel at home in every twist of brick path, in every confident swipe of my J-card, in every second-nature, mindless walk to class. Being at home is easy, effortless, and being at Hopkins feels the same.
As a pre-frosh, I once naively believed that Hopkins would feel like a pit stop, like a place that I pulled over to during my road trip of life (oy). But it’s become so much more, more than I ever could have thought. I feel very fortunate to have such a loving place to call home, and so many people who make it feel so welcoming.
Eddie’s is my grocery story. Carma’s is my coffee shop. The brown leather chair closest to the blue study room in Brody is my work station. Room 108 is my home base. The Mason Hall student lounge is my hangout spot. My friends are my family. Hopkins is my home.
When I was a wee one, I belonged to a sticker club. It was this wonderfully 90s thing; it was this network of other wee ones, and we would mail each other stickers. It was like pen pals, but a thousand times better, because I care more about Lisa Frank-licensed decals than your time at summer camp. No words. Just stickers.
I got the coolest stickers: glittery ones, Toy Story ones, animal ones. But kindergarten-age G had a big issue: where was she to put these stickers? I could put them on the back of my hand, yes, but then they’d be discarded at bath time. I could put them on my shirt, but then they’d collect the fuzz of my sweater and have an ugly, furry perimeter. I didn’t want to just casually stick them on a sheet of paper because, hello, what kind of place is that for a sparkly ladybug sticker?
Little G didn’t have any place to put her stickers. Now,
Big Older G does. I have a fancy (read: expensive) laptop that isn’t going anywhere, and a Nalgene that would be my sidekick if I were a superhero. They’re always with me, which means my stickers get the special place of honor that they deserve, not the transient moment of fame on my forehead.
While my childhood stickers oozed inherent coolness, they didn’t mean a whole lot. Yeah, my rainbow Lisa Frank dolphin perfectly labeled me as a 6-year-old girl, but what else? Now, the stickers that I put on my gear mean something. They’re identifiers. People can glance up from their place in Brody cafe and rest their eyes on my stickers and figure out what kind of person I am. I wish the Lisa Frank dolphin could say so much about me, but it doesn’t.
And this isn’t unique to me; a ton of Hopkins students choose to slap different kinds of stickers—of identifiers—onto their stuff. It’s a way of broadcasting yourself to your peers. I’m suspicious of people who don’t slather their stuff with stickers. Do you even exist? Are you just some walking robot? All I know about you is that you have the self-control necessary not to vandalize your $1000 macbook.
Here’s what my stickers say about me.
On my Laptop
Note the stunning juxtaposition between pink-loving sorority girl and print-making, tattooed Baltimore girl.
Maryland crab It’s the most recognizable Maryland iconography, a crab and the flag pattern, mashed together. Every person who has ever said “I’m from the 410” has this bumper sticker. I’m no exception. | Saints and Sinners Tattoo I endured 30 minutes of pain and all I got was this lousy decal. | More Print I snagged this at Artscape from a local company, Baltimore Print Studios. I like print (debating working for a stationery company post-grad?! Stay tuned for more of JHU_Genevieve’s pipe dreams), and I love a good Bmore pun. | Boh So, if we’re being technical here, this is an alcohol reference. But it’s so much more than that. National Bohemian, or Natty Boh as you must call it, is Baltimore’s beer. That little Pringles-looking dude is Mr. Boh, and he’s basically Baltimore’s mascot. You’ll see people—including children—wearing gear with him on it. | JHU I hope this is self-explanatory? I think that admissions includes these in admit packets! | Alpha Phi 1 & 2 Gotta rep my sorority. I designed the one on the left.
Okay, this is the most terrifying picture ever taken. I tried to take a panorama, but I was too lazy to walk around my bottle, so I just turned it, hence my crazy-creepy finger. For this, I’ll be excluding the stickers that are already on my laptop.
Flying Dog Here I go with that Maryland flag again. Flying Dog is a Maryland brewery, and they make really cool Baltimore-oriented stuff with Old Bay and oysters. A promoter gave me this sticker at a ski lodge last winter. | Balt It’s kind of hard to see, but BALT is written on the silhouette of a rat. I love that recently Baltimore has really embraced its super blue collar roots, and the rat has become an unofficial symbol of the city in a very John Waters-y way. Yes, we have rats. They’re kind of cute. | I’d Tap That A student group on campus gave me this. Boo to disposable water bottles! | Yik Yak mascot: I called out Yik Yak’s Twitter twice on the fact that they misspelled our school’s name (John Hopkins University?? Johns Hopkins COLLEGE?), so they sent me a box of some merchandise. This was included, and I carry it as a subtle reminder that I am a crusader in defense of the S. | ME Sadly, this is not a self-promoting sticker. I traveled to Maine last summer, and bought this because I’m a tourist. | Gilman Not sure where I got this? But my favorite building on campus deserves its own special spot on my precious Nalgene. | Round sticker that you really can’t see very well This was given out for Commemoration Day, and it’s another graphic rendition of Gilman! | Sliver of blue that has been overtaken by other stickers So it used to be a skull and cross bones and a little tagline of “Get good or die trying.” I got it at a lacrosse tournament, where people aren’t scared of stickers with macabre sayings.
This is what I present to the world as I sit in the library. They can watch me study and figure out that I’m a Maryland-bred Alpha Phi who’s into Hopkins, tattoos, and local companies. That’s all people really need to know, anyway.
During SOHOP, as JHU_JackieR zipped around with me and JHU_Emily teetering dangerously on the backseat, I decided to spend my last moments alive recording time lapse videos of the beautiful campus! Luckily, this was prime shooting time, with the trees beginning to bloom, the grass turning vivid green, and the sun making one of its debuts of the year.
I filmed them vertically because during this way-too-fast golf cart ride, aspect ratios were the least of my worries.
Shriver to Gilman
From Gilman to AMR I
AMR I to Mason
Mason back to Gilman
And then, at the Homecoming game a few days later, I seemed to grasp the whole turn-your-phone-90-degrees-thing, and managed to film a play of the lacrosse game properly!
This clip shows Michigan scoring, but we won 16-9! WOO!
An awesome thing about going to such a prestigious university is all of the pop culture references that come along with it. There’s a whole Wikipedia article of all of our awesome university’s mentions in pop culture. Pretty much every doctor character on television had a stint at Hopkins Med. It’s really fun to be watching, oh, say, Parks and Rec and hear Leslie Knope mention the beds in our dorms, Wolman and McCoy.
But what’s even more fun is to actually spot celebrities on campus (or, at least, where they’ve been).
We’ll start off easy…
The Social Network was filmed here at Hopkins!
1:25… Hello little access road between the AMRs.
1:36 THE BREEZEWAY! He begins the scene running up the side by Remsen hall
2:11 Jesse Eisenberg runs down the real Breezeway (the one next to Krieger and Ames) where student groups are always barraging passersby with flyers. Bonus points for the spire of Latrobe!
2:23 He then enters Latrobe Hall.
(You can read more of the locations that aren’t in this scene here)
Okay, so movie magic here, none of his movements really make sense if you understand the campus. How did he get from the AMRs to Latrobe so quickly? Why did it look like he was coming from Mattin Center when he entered Latrobe? Ah, the magic of cuts. But, whatever, it’s cool. Jesse Eisenberg (plus an entire Oscar-winning film crew!) traipsed our campus. It’s supposed to take place at Harvard, and our favorite joke is that JHU looks more like Harvard than Harvard does. I’ll take it.
House of Cards (round one)
This scene from Season 1 Episode 8 has MSE and the Upper Quad masquerading as Frank Underwood’s alma mater!
And as for round two, this past summer, House of Cards set up shop again to film on our campus! They began shooting in front of the BMA, and I got to pass the crews everyday on my way to work. Several eighteen-wheelers full of equipment, cherry pickers for some nice high-angle shots, fake news trucks, and police escorts made Art Museum Drive a nightmare—but a very, very exciting one. Then, the crew moved filming to the Homewood campus. Students received emails to please not disturb the film crews, but no one could resist.
You can see more actual photos of the sets here
Now, seeing our campus on the big screen is crazy exciting, but there are also plenty of celebrities to see outside of the monitor.
A favorite of both Hopkins students and an Olympic Swimmer, Pete’s Grille in Waverly is the place to be to spot Michael Phelps. This place is known to be his favorite breakfast place, so grab a good book and a cup of coffee and keep your fingers crossed.
John Waters, the cult filmmaker who put Baltimore on the map, is known to love Hampden, Charles Villages’ cooler next-door-neighbor. I’ve had friends who have seen him at Rocket to Venus, and one of my favorite restaurants, The Corner BYOB, is also a favorite of his! He did a book signing at our Barnes & Noble last week, but I had class. Tears were shed.
My professor mentioned that she once saw Sonja Sohn, who plays Kima on The Wire, at Donna’s, the best place to catch a bite right off-campus. If you take Dr. Peter Beilenson’s Baltimore and The Wire course, you’ll also be sure to catch more notable people from the show (minus truffle mac and cheese).
Now, if luck isn’t on your side and you’re one of those people who’s all Wah, I never see celebrities, wah I never win prizes blah blah, then there’s a sure-fire way to meet a celebrity. John Astin, aka Gomez from The Addams Family, is a professor here. Seriously, we have a famous, father-of-a-Lord of the Rings-actor, professor right here on campus. He teaches Theatre, duh, and I’ve heard his classes are awesome. And he’s also an alum!
F. Scott Fitzgerald (a true Baltimorean, considering he’s related to Francis Scott Key, the dude who wrote our National Anthem during the War of 1812), lived in one of our very own Hopkins dorms. While his wife Zelda was being treated at Johns Hopkins Hospital and Sheppard Pratt, F. Scott lived in Wolman Hall, which was an apartment building at the time. Cue every English student vying for the floor of Wolman.
Eva Chen, JHU alumna and editor-in-chief of Lucky magazine, recently Instagrammed some snapshots of the University seal in Gilman and a shot of her posing in front of Gilman! Her captions revealed that she took a little day trip from New York to revisit the campus, so fingers crossed she’ll make the trip again soon.
I’ll keep updating the list as I discover more!
This video went viral amongst Hopkins students, and I’m so proud of this little girl for embracing the S.
There are a ton of other famous people who have made Baltimore their home (or at least their death place. Edgar Allen Poe, I’m looking at you), but considering Homewood is just one little pocket in the city, I’m pretty proud of our ability to pull some celebrities. I’ll still be on the hunt for John Waters.
And in case you’re wondering, this is what I actually do with my Film major.
Oh God, I was obsessed with college shopping last summer. Every weekend: oh, yay, I get to buy these fancy things called command strips! TWIN XL COMFORTER?! How exotic! I think I need 300 throw pillows to give my room that subtle cozy touch.
I was all about decorating and consulting that hoity-toity packing list given to freshmen, too blinded by the excitement of attending school in the fall to realize that all I really needed was some clothes and some sheets and whatnot. Oh, no, I was totally wrapped up in the world of Target’s Dorm section and all of its trinkets and containers and silly organization solutions.
Well, now I know that I probably didn’t need the Glade Plug-In (my laptop charger swiftly took precedence over an air freshener, considering I can’t smell), the Tupperware went unused, and—surprise—I never ended up actually doing anything with my field hockey gear.
The things that I need for sophomore year have shifted—oh, now I realize what a Hopkins student really needs. It’s not about the infamous John Belushi poster, it’s about something way, way different, things that goofy packing list (no, Housing, I really don’t need a Blu-ray player) could never mention.
1. I need my friends Good friends are way better than a TWIN XL blanket. They’ll cover for you, they’ll keep you feeling warm and happy, they’ll accompany you to your Netflix sessions, and you don’t even have to wash them. At a school with 5,000 some undergrads, I can’t believe that I managed to find the best people out there. There are no better people to dance on tables/Blue Jay shuttle from Chipotle to Mattin/order Chinese food/drive golf carts around SOHOP/et al. with. My biggest fear upon entering Hopkins was that I would fall into an icky friend group and be miserable, surrounded by horrible people. Well, no one at Hopkins is like that, but my friends especially aren’t. Ain’t that nice. (I’m sorry for comparing you guys to a blanket.)
2. I need my sisters Yadda yadda, I thought sorority life was stupid, yadda yadda. Insert cheesy Pinterest quote about becoming a part of something. But really, Alpha Phi has added so much fun, so much color, so much meaning to my college experience. It’s so great to enter a process alone and pop out on the other end with a huge network of love and laughter. Plus, I’d probably be naked if it weren’t for all of my Alpha Phi clothing.
3. I need my creative outlets I’ve always been creative, and I’m lucky enough to have two great majors that help me to explore and to indulge in my definite right-brained-ness. But beyond the classroom, I’m also sure to take time to get creative on my own time, for my own pleasure. I’ve always loved to draw and write, but I’ve taken this summer to try my hand at painting, which is not only cool (I have the same interests as Picasso!), but cathartic (there’s something really, really tactile and satisfying about dragging a wet paintbrush against a canvas). Plus, sometimes these creative outlets segue into a marginally useful skill! Hello, Illustrator and InDesign on the skills section of my resume. It’s the best feeling in the world when your passions align with your talents, and I’m lucky enough to experience that with my creativity. I can’t think of anything more fulfilling than creating a beautiful graphic, perfecting a brushstroke, or crafting the right string of words.
And mandatory for whenever I mention getting creative:
4. I need my planner O, master of dates. O, master of doodles. Where would I be without you? Probably failing, probably missing every meeting, probably lost in an abyss, fighting my way through my schedule. Thank you, archaic means of organization, for keeping my sanity and me afloat.
5. I need Gilman No, seriously, this one is literal; I have pretty much every class there. If Gilman were razed, my film and writing classes would cease to exist, and if not that, then held in some really sketchy venue. We don’t have the glamor of the BME kids or fancy labs at our disposal. Thank you, Gilman, for sheltering us who still don’t know what a capacitor does. (I just tried to look up what it does, but I got bored while typing it into Google.) Thank you, Gilman, for housing a breed of students that the media likes to deem useless.
6. I need antics I need nights when people throw their textbooks under the bed and ignore their work. I need nights when I’m up til 4 am talking, not studying. I need nights when I can crawl up to the best secret place on campus and take pictures and hang out with people. I need nights laughing until I cry from listening to stupid songs and playing Barbie.com games with my friends for no clear reason. I need water balloon fights and flamingos on the quad. Because once I’m enslaved to the post-grad grind, I won’t be able to explore Homewood and get into crazy stuff.
7. I need delicious food Just because I’m a broke college student doesn’t mean that I need to abandon standards of taste, right? Right.
8. I need Baltimore I’m dreading the day that I finally have to really, truly fly the nest and leave this perfect city. I’m so thankful that I got to extend my time here by attending Hopkins, and I hope that I never need to say goodbye to the Land of Pleasant Living.
9. I need myself Because I rock. I’ve learned a lot, experienced a lot, and been through a lot. And I’m ready to conquer sophomore year.
I still have a ways to go before I can offer any sort of sage advice about Hopkins to others, but I know that this is all the advice I need for myself. I’ll only learn more—cooler secret places, better offerings than Levering sushi, a better way to sort my schedule—but for now, this is my supreme move-in guide for sophomore year.