Ah, the Holidays, my favorite time of the year. It’s the season of sweaters, family, lights, and lots of food. But also…interrogations. Hiding behind a tall mug of hot cocoa won’t stop the questions from piling up: How’s Hopkins? How’s Baltimore? How did your semester go? What are you taking next year? And if my life was a TV show, here’s the scene where the camera would zoom into my crazed eyes and there would be some internal screaming.
The questions are always a hurdle when I come home for the Holidays but this year they carry a little extra weight, because it’s the last Holiday as a college student. So gone are the questions that I previously cringed at, and in come the questions about the future. Grad school? Job applications? Interviews? Sticking close to your friends? To all of which I clutch my mug of hot cocoa even tighter and respond with a frenzied, yet polite (I think) “I don’t know.”
I know I’m not the only senior feeling this, and that’s based on the fact that as seniors we like to talk amongst ourselves about the uncertain future. The loss of what I like to call the ‘Hopkins Safety Net’ is pretty scary. What I mean by that, is next year I won’t have the security of returning to a place I know like the back of my hand with people that know me better than anyone. I won’t have the excitement of having a new professor or taking yet another class with an old one. I won’t get to walk into beloved A2 and collapse on the couch with Ellie and Anna or walk the two flights to Corey and JB’s when I can’t find something at home. But just as I think about everything I’m going to miss, I remember that it’s everything that Hopkins has given me over the years. The future may be one large, red question mark but it is good to know that I have Hopkins in my corner, pushing me to be greater and giving me the tools to do so.
I can’t help but think back to 4 years ago when I was also a senior and also worried about the future. Now that I’m reminiscing, I also remember facing an especially tough onslaught of questions. I didn’t have Hopkins yet, but I did have my high school and my hometown, and they pushed me just the same. And I think that everything ended up being pretty okay. So to my fellow seniors—college and high school alike—be proud of what you‘ve got in your corner, and know that we’ll all end up somewhere, even if we don’t know where quite yet.