Anything but Blasé…

Name: Erin Reilly

Year: Class of 2012

Hometown: Somers, New York

Major: International Relations


After spending four years at a small New England boarding school, I was completely jaded by the prospect of heading off to college. I thought that I had already done it all; I had lived away from home, I had lived with four different roommates, I had traveled all over the world alone, and college was just another step along the way. I extended my summer to its very brink, staying out on my beloved island where I spend my summers for as long as possible, leaving me only forty-eight hours in civilization to accomplish everything that had to be done before moving down to Baltimore.

The reality that I would not be returning to a school that I so often referred to as “home” only set in when, as opposed to driving down the quaint Connecticut roads to go to school, I was taking the massive George Washington bridge heading southbound to New Jersey. A deep sense of panic overwhelmed me as I sat in the hollowed out space for me in the backseat of our rented mega-minivan. Suddenly, the space around me that was nestled out of the wall of baggage, large plastic bins, and bedding seemed to be caving in around me. I watched the oh so familiar lights of Manhattan fade away as the long stretch of the New Jersey Turnpike, my not-so-yellow-brick-road, led me to the inevitable fate that was college.

It seemed only right that as we pulled into the North Gates of Johns Hopkins University that we be in the midst of a torrential downpour. The weather gave a bit of insight as to how I felt inside of my head. I had hardly said a word for the entire car ride as I had been frantically mulling over in my head what on earth I had gotten myself into and how I was going to rectify the situation.


Three months later, with the torrents of rain falling outside, I look back on my first rainstorm at Hopkins and the blasé attitude that accompanied it and I can only chuckle as now I know that college is anything but blasé. Today in the FFC, the freshman dining hall, a group of my friends and I sat and discussed how quickly these past few months have gone and yet how much has happened.

My first four hours of Hopkins were not the best. I had the grand realization that I would not be returning to high school on my way to college, a realization that most students had many months prior. After being sufficiently calmed down by my parents, I was ready to say goodbye only a few hours later. While most parents stayed the weekend, mine took a graceful exit and let me start my new life at Johns Hopkins.

What I thought would just be another inconsequential step that I had to take proved to be a giant leap into my future. One of the most important things that I have garnered from this experience thus far is a sense of overcoming challenges. In the beginning, everyday seemed like a challenge. Simple daily tasks like doing laundry for the first time, or surviving the excessive Baltimore heat in the one dorm on campus without air conditioning, or even having to live on an unyielding budget all seem like huge hurdles to a first time college student.

I have finally reached a point that, at times, I never thought that I would; I feel comfortable and confident in my life here at Hopkins. I know that the hundreds of pages of reading for some classes is meant to be skimmed and not thoroughly read, a delineation that would have been unfathomable in high school. I know that Levering is the best place to study late at night next to the fireplaces. I know that a “mondo” cup of coffee from Pura Vida Café is a necessity before going into Professor Deudney’s mile a minute International Politics lectures. I know that Carma’s Café is the best place to spend a Saturday afternoon with friends. I know that A level is too loud, B too unpredictable, D too quiet, and C is just right.

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One Comment

  1. Erin, great job with this great blog entry. It really reveals a lot about the transition to college and specifically to Hopkins. I am so glad things are going well as your first semester comes to an end.

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