It hasn’t hit me yet. Not really. In less than two weeks I will be officially halfway through college. I’m waiting for my brain to catch up to me and I know the freak-out is coming, but for now I’m going to pretend my time at Hopkins will last forever. I’m going to pretend that in a few months I will not be turning 20. I’m going to pretend that my younger brother is still shorter than me and will not be leaving for college next fall.
Even though my years as an underclassman flew by, I did learn a lot. I can draw organic chemistry mechanisms, my chicken piccata is (almost) as good as my mom’s, and I can navigate my way through Baltimore without calling an Uber. Although I’ve learned more than I could have ever imagined, it has only made me realize how much more there is to know.
In the next two years, I have a lot of work I have to do. The first major thing to figure out: what do I want to do with my life?! My experience with neuroscience research has completely changed my mind about being pre-med. Do I want to pursue an MD? A Ph.D? Or even an MD/Ph.D? Although right now I am still on the pre-med track, I decided to take a gap year. This means that I will not be applying for medical school my junior year, and will instead wait until my senior year to begin the application process.
Another aspect of life I am continuously working at is how to balance everything. Last fall I spent way too many hours in the library or at lab, and by the end of the semester I was stressed and slightly burnt out. This semester I am spending more time on the Beach just relaxing with friends. I’ve also been a lot better about trying to exercise everyday!
Although I’m slowly improving, next fall I want to balance all of the diverse groups of people in my life. I want to go on random coffee dates and lunches with friends I rarely see, and attend more on-campus student events. It’s hard not to become bogged down in assignments and stressed about tests, but I’m so fortunate to have a supportive family. My parents are constantly reminding me what’s really important in life.
The other day I went for a run, but it was such a beautiful spring day that I literally stopped to smell the roses cherry blossoms (and take some pictures). That’s when it hit me that this beautiful campus and city is my home. I’ve spent another year making so many memories here outside of school.
I know I’m never going to forget the many “family dinners” from this year. If my friends and I have had particularly stressful weeks or haven’t had the chance to hang out in a while we all come together and cook dinner. Just the other night I made homemade marinara sauce for the first time! Instead of just a few hours eating and talking, we spent five hours laughing about this year and reflecting on the recent events in Baltimore. I don’t remember various physics test from this year, but I can recall every meal we have all cooked together.
These past two years I’ve been busier than I have ever been in my life. Weekends are packed with social events and jaunts around Baltimore. My weeks fly by with research work and classes. Reflecting now it is simple to see why two years passed by in a blink of an eye. I have no idea what the next two years will bring, but I am excited to move forward.