Category Archives: Social Life

Bunnies of Hopkins

If you ask any one of my friends right now what my favorite thing is, there will be no need for any further specification. This vague question has a very pointed answer: my favorite thing right now is the bunny filter on Snapchat. I don’t know why, but it gives me a lot of joy.

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The photo that started it all.

Sometimes it’s the little things in life. It’s taking a picture of your friend while they do work in the library and watching their studious face become a cute little bunny face. It’s a friend sending a picture of themselves to you as a bunny to cheer you up when you’ve had a long day day. Sometimes it’s even a miniature war to see who can send the most inconspicuous bunny snaps.

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When an FFC lunch and work session becomes a competition to see how many people you can turn in to bunnies in one fell swoop

The thing about the bunny filter is that I’m very serious about it. I’ve lost “important” snap-streaks with people because my phone couldn’t recognize my face for a day, and then voilà: no bunny, no Snapchat. You, as a prospective student or current student may be asking yourself, why does this matter, and what does this have anything to do with being a Hopkins student?

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When your friends acknowledge that your choices are good ones

A lot of the time, as I write these blogs, I ask myself how I can still be relevant to prospective students. I often feel that I’m so far in to my experience as Hopkins that the stories I have and the experiences I’m living through might not yet be relevant to a junior or senior in high school. To those students, I say this: even though college life may seem confusing, choosing classes may seem like a distant future, and summer plans may seem like a simple return trip home, the college experience is built by more than these things.

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A level homework night gets a little bit more fun

Hopkins is the only place where all of my friends let me be all of the versions of myself that I want to be around them. Sometimes, that means I’m silly and unable to focus. Other times, it means that I’m frustrated with an assignment and angry at the world. I can be worried about my future and sleep until 12PM so I don’t have to worry about it, or I can wake up at 8AM on a Saturday to go to a city cleanup because I want to make a difference. I can be awake-until 3AM-Joanna, or Octopodes-rehearsal Joanna. Sometimes I’m bad-at-coding Joanna, and others, I’m laboratory-wizard Joanna.

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Rehearsing hard or hardly rehearsing?

For now, being myself means only wanting to send photos of people as bunnies, and I wanted to dedicate this blog to all of those who have been victims of my desire to see them as a bunny, but have still continued to love me regardless.

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A Pode’s Journey to Hopkins

Auditioning for an a cappella group was without a doubt one of the best choices I made at Hopkins. I love my graph paper and pencils, understand the necessity of my Transport II homework, and study weekly for my Probability and Statistics quizzes, but there’s nothing quite like singing in a group. What makes it particularly special is that I get to sing with my best friends. I often think, how did I get so lucky to meet such phenomenal people? The answer to that question now seems obvious. We all chose Hopkins and we all chose it for a reason.

The a cappella group I’m fortunate enough to be a part of is called Octopodes. No matter how many times we go over the story, I can’t really say exactly how the group got its name, but I love the people and I love the quality of music we produce, so I’ve never bothered to remember the group’s origins.

Octopodes allows me to spend time away from academics and the work grind to sing with incredible, fun, kooky people who I undoubtedly would never have met if not for Octopodes. So now here’s the question: how did all of these true Podes arrive at Hopkins? Below are five brief introductions to some of my Pode friends, and the reasons we all wound up together are somewhere between the lines.

P.S. We just released a really dope album called Oceanborn, and it’s available on Loudr and iTunes.

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Katrina Estep is a senior Molecular and Cellular Biology major with a minor in Spanish for the Professions from Boise, Idaho

Campus activities: Octopodes

How did you get to Hopkins? I worked very hard in high school and knew I wanted to pursue a major in biology, so Hopkins made a lot of sense! Most people from my high school went to college in-state but I knew I wanted to branch out and go somewhere on the east coast for a change of scenery. I visited Hopkins and fell in love with the campus and the people, and the rest is history!

What’s your favorite Hopkins memory? My favorite hopkins memory is winning ICCA Quarterfinals with my best friends! My other favorite memory would have to be the epic snowball fight showdown of  Snowpocalypse 2015.

What are your post graduation plans? I will be pursuing a PhD in Molecular Biology, but I’m not sure where yet!

What’s your favorite thing to do on campus or around Baltimore? I love exploring all the cool street festivals Baltimore has to offer and checking out all the restaurants in Hampden.

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Sophia Porter is a sophomore Physics and Applied Mathematics & Statistics double major from Leawood, Kansas

Campus activities: Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, JHU Octopodes, Research at Space Telescope Science Institute

How did you get to Hopkins? A car ride, a 2.5-hour flight, and an Uber.

What’s your favorite Hopkins memory? Early in my freshman year, when I was still getting to know my fellow physics majors, our Classical Mechanics teacher dropped a whopper of an assignment on us. Several of us went straight from Bloomberg to the FFC, grabbed to-go boxes, and discussed homework questions over a picnic on the Freshman Quad. It was one of those unbelievably gorgeous fall days, with a bit of a breeze and dappled sunlight. We couldn’t stop laughing. I felt like I was living the college dream.

What are your post graduation plans? I’m planning to either stick around for a master’s in Applied Math, or hunt for a job in the aerospace field.

What’s your favorite thing to do on campus or around Baltimore? I can’t get enough of Hampden! Whether I need ice cream at The Charmery, a new quirky antique centerpiece, or am just experiencing a sudden pang of puppy withdrawal, Hampden always provides a wonderful break from the homework hamster wheel.

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Isabel Evans is a senior Public Health and East Asian Studies double major from Lexington, Massachusetts

Campus activities: Octopodes, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Outdoor Pursuits (Sea Kayaking), Public Health in Asia Symposium, Woodrow Wilson Research Fellowship

How did you get to Hopkins? I toured a bunch of schools that were in urban areas that had good Chinese programs, and then ended up applying to a handful of them. I got into Hopkins, but still didn’t know much about it. I came to SOHOP and fell in love. I knew immediately, from the people that I met, to the activities fair, to the arts showcase, to the class I took on public health (my first intro to what would become my primary major!), to my SOHOP host, that this was the school for me.

What’s your favorite Hopkins memory? All of the memories I can think of that I could say are my “favorite” are about the incredible people I’ve met here. Whether it’s lying on the beach or spontaneous jaunts into Baltimore or C-level study sessions filled with coffee and chocolate, this place is important because of the people.

What are your post graduation plans? Finding a job in public health!

What’s your favorite thing to do on campus or around Baltimore? Outdoors trips! Eating at various places! Lounging on the beach! Being a total nerd in the Gilman Hut or a C-level table! Food trucks at Spring Fair! Drinking an obscene amount of coffee from Brody Cafe! Performing with Octopodes!

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Kahler Suzuki is a sophomore Cello Performance major at the Peabody Institute from Aiea, Hawaii

Campus activities: Octopodes

How did you get to Hopkins? I was admitted to the Peabody Conservatory of Music after auditioning in Manhattan in the Spring of 2015. It’s a terribly inconvenient (and expensive) chore to fly from Hawaii to New York with a large instrument — I buy a seat for my cello!

What’s your favorite Hopkins memory? I cherish the memory of trying my first deep fried Oreo at Spring Fair last year. It’s probably one of my favorite things in the world.

What are your post graduation plans? I plan to attend graduate school as an orchestral conducting major.

What’s your favorite thing to do on campus or around Baltimore? I love hanging out with my Homewood buddies! Somehow I feel the need to relieve them from the intensity of the Hopkins study environment, and if I can do that over lunch or on a trip to the mall, I’m more than excited to do my part in helping them smile or laugh a little more.

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Mellissa Picker is a freshman Molecular and Cellular Biology major from Brookline, Massachusetts

Campus activities: Octopodes, ECCO, Thread

How did you get to Hopkins? Car, train and plane.

What’s your favorite Hopkins memory? Gathering with friends in the TV room of AMR I and watching shows or football.

What are your post graduation plans? Travel? Medical school?

What’s your favorite thing to do on campus or around Baltimore? Try new foods!

To Paige, With Love

Taking inspiration from JHU_Genevieve, I have decided to dedicate this post to a fantastic human being and an extraordinary friend. Though she has never been my roommate, or suite mate, or housemate of any sort, Paige is my soulmate in every sense of the word, and the truest friend I never knew I was missing.

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My bed, Paige napping.

The first week of classes my freshman year, I was early to everything. I was eager, unassuming, and ready to learn, but that didn’t mean that I wanted to be the first person to arrive to a class. Naturally, I took this time to appreciate the view of Keyser Quad and the breezeway by sitting on a bench between Ames and Krieger, probably at about 2:40PM on that first Thursday. At the other end of the bench was Paige. She asked me if I was in the 3PM Calc III discussion section, which I was, and I found out that she was also going to the same class.

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Finals feels

The interesting thing about life is that nobody tells what you need to spend time trying to remember until you’ve already forgotten it. I’m sure we chatted, but the details of that day are hazy after that; we probably sat next to each other in class, but a dazzling, out-of-this-world friendship wasn’t spontaneously formed. Paige became a familiar face. I found out that she was also ChemBE and we bonded over a mutual love of a shared professor. We both sat in the first row of our shared classes freshman year, but never together.

But then sophomore year started. Maybe something just clicked, or maybe it was gradual. Maybe we realized that we both sit in the first row a lot, we were both ChemBE, and we were both taking a lot of the same courses at the same time, but we finally sat in the first row together during Differential Equations that fall. From that point, the seed of the best friendship I have ever had was planted.

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Carrying 2 x 4s through Waverly

It’s difficult to articulate exactly what happened, but we moved from one class to the next from that point forward, sitting together in the first row, studying with one another, and staying up until 3:30AM trying to wrap our brains around Thermodynamics. Paige introduced me to snow cream (stick a bowl outside when it’s snowing, add sugar, milk and some vanilla and life is great), showed me that we could be productive outside of the library, taught me her favorite ways to dance, and never listened to me when I told her to get a Spotify account.

We listen to Cher when we need motivation, watch The History of Japan when we need a break, and sometimes we dance with a disco ball during finals. We are both RAs, living on opposite sides of campus, but we still stay in each other’s rooms until the wee hours of the morning. We nap in one another’s room when it’s convenient, we send images of Gudetama back and forth, and we live in a friendship completely free of judgement.

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Thought I lost her but she was just on the floor.

Paige doesn’t like blankets that are too soft, she doesn’t like Brody, and she pronounces the L in “walk” and “talk”. Her work ethic is inspiring, her intelligence unbounded, and her friendship unparalleled. When I think all the way back to my very first days here, I realized that Paige has been there through it all, and my Hopkins experience here would be nowhere near what it’s been without her.

It’s Been A While

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Soft serve at Spring Fair to remind myself I can still run after the ice cream truck

To say that I’ve been here for a while might be an overstatement, but as the first half of my time here at Hopkins draws to a close, I’m beginning to feel that way more and more frequently. Two years may be short in the span of a life, but in the span of my college lifetime, I’m approaching the upperclassmen portion of it.

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Real life adulthood ft. my absentee ballot.

And I’m terrified.

Gone are the days of living across the hall from my friends, taking classes aimlessly and involving myself in activities just for the fun of it. The home stretch is just a year ahead of me, and I’m not sure that I like it. Next year, my friends will be scattered across off-campus housing on Charles Street, St. Paul Street, and University Parkway while I take on an RA position in Homewood (a sophomore housing option).

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I’ll miss sharing a wall with you Jazzy J.

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With Megha and Jasmine at the Chainsmokers concert. Megha will be an RA in Wolman!

It’s bittersweet, because I’ve wanted this job for a really long time and I’m over the moon about taking on the role, but it also signifies growing up even more than just going to college does. I’m being entrusted with the responsibility of caring for underclassmen and being a friend to them when they need it. I’m being put in charge of creating a smaller community within the larger one that is Hopkins while all of my friends learn how to pay rent and sublet their apartments and houses.

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Katrina is a junior, so she survived the transition.

I’ve always been the type who enjoys direction and purpose. I like understanding why and how things happen, and I like having specific goals — or at least I thought I did. Going to Hopkins has changed me (certainly for the better) but I’m not sure what I want anymore. You don’t know this when you go to college because you make this decision cognitively; you don’t process it much, but trust me, two years down the road, you’ll realize that you’re signed up for the four year track to learn how to function as an adult in the real world.

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Shirking responsibility to pet baby pigs at Spring Fair

I can remember high school and even middle school like it was yesterday. Don’t get me wrong, college is infinitely more amazing than all of those experiences put together, but the underlying tone of preparation that I’ve experienced over the past two years is now getting very real. When I think really hard about my time here, I suppose I came in with a specific intention. I’m here for my degree, yes, but I think more importantly, I’m here to find out what I’m trying to be. As the first half of this experience draws to a close, I’m not sure that I’ve made any progress.

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More Spring Fair silliness. A million reasons to smile if you have a Joe backPaek Joe

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Things that inevitably happen when you’ve been studying for Thermo for too long and you have insanely talented friends

I’ve learned a few things, sure, but I don’t think I know who I want to be when I leave here. I’ve learned that there is no best place to study, but there is a good mindset to be in to do so effectively. I’ve learned never to work on Thermo homework alone. I’ve learned that there is no such thing as too many temporary tattoos. I’ve learned that I only like large crowds when I know the majority of the people in it. I’ve also learned to accept that I will spend at least $60 at Spring Fair because I am incapable of ignoring henna and fried Oreos. But most importantly, I’ve learned that I love it here and I don’t want to leave.

Happy Hump Day!

I think I’m long overdue for “a day in the life”-themed blog. Since my day to post this semester is every other Wednesday, I figured I’d outline what a typical Wednesday looks like for me. Wednesdays also tend to be my busiest days because they’re in the middle of the week.

This one’s for you mom, because I know you’re always telling me that I need to take a break because I’m doing too much.

8:25 AM: Wake up and get ready for my 9AM organic chemistry class. I only need about 20 minutes to get ready. I can’t express enough how much joy I get out of my ten-minute walk to class after an hour commute to high school. Half way through sophomore year and it still hasn’t gotten old.

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All ready to go but still trying to nap before I leave for class

8:50AM: Walk over to Mudd Hall for Organic Chemistry with the rest of my books in tow. It’s at this point that I usually realize that bringing a jacket would have been a good idea. I almost always forget to check the weather before I leave, so sometimes I get a pleasant (or not-so-pleasant) surprise.

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I can roll with this. I actually put on a jacket today, so it’s not bad.

9:00 AM: Organic chemistry lecture. I won’t lie, this isn’t my favorite class, but a group of my friends and I usually claim an entire row and mull over the content together. We also study in groups and work through problems together, because that really is the only way to understand orgo.

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Jose and Atlas: happy to be out of orgo or trying to bother me by dancing across the grass? The world may never know.

9:50 AM: Head to the Chesapeake Bay Roasting Company in Levering Hall for breakfast and coffee (they take dining dollars and even though I love the cappuccino chip muffins in Brody café, my wallet does not enjoy them). I usually answer e-mails or do some quick studying before heading over to work.

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Breakfast and a game of catch up because the e-mail game is strong

11:00 AM: My work study job is in Mason Hall and I spend about three hours there on Wednesdays. It’s split up a bit because of class, but it’s probably one of the best jobs I’ve ever had. I get to work with my friends (shoutout to JHU_Genevieve and JHU_Jackie) and this is usually when I check the blogging deadlines spreadsheet (hint hint SAAB friends).

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Hi Mason Hall!

12:00PM: My second class of the day is Biochemistry in Hodson. I sit with my friend Katrina from my a cappella group and we usually nerd out about hemoglobin or ATP synthase. We work through the clicker questions together and sometimes get confused, but I’m pretty sure both of us have said it’s our favorite class, so I love heading over there every day.

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I wasn’t kidding when I said we love hemoglobin.

1:30PM: My last class of the day is Differential Equations with my favorite professor, Dr. Brown. He makes math philosophical and poetic. Different teaching styles work for different people, but I took Calc III with him last fall and waited to take Differential Equations with him this fall because I loved his class so much. He may have also encouraged me to do the math minor.

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This does not prevent doodles though.

2:30PM: My strange late lunch usually happens at this time. I run to CharMar and then go to my room to get my work. Sometimes I’m in and out the door and sometimes I get distracted by a potential nap or half an episode of Sherlock.

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Love my spicy vegetable roll

3:00PM: I go back to Mason Hall for another two hours of work. More of the same as in the morning, but JHU_Gen and I get to gossip about our lives and plans for the weekend. We have a pretty good time.

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Waiting for friends in the student space

5:00PM: I run to the library to get an hour and a half of work done before I run back to Commons for dinner.

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Today I went to a meeting instead.

6:30PM: Dinner at Nolan’s with my friend Sarah and then back to my room to pick up my binder for rehearsal.

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Thanks for being cooperative, friend.

7:00PM: Octopodes rehearsal! This is usually my favorite part of the day. I love that I can be a complete goofball with these people, plus it’s a two hour block when I forget about any and all stress and I can just sing and have a good time.

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Just a couple of goons.

9:00PM: Back to the library with some of my fellow podes for a little bit of work and hanging out.

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Late night also tends to happen (ft. JHU_JoMo).

11:30PM: I finally go back to my room and talk to my suite mates about their day. Sometimes we get Insomnia cookies and sometimes we microwave pizza bagels, which my suite mate Jenn fondly calls “beagles”. Then it’s Netflix until I fall asleep at around 12:30AM.

On Thursday, I wake up at 8:25AM and start all over again!

Only At Hopkins

It is a rarity to find a large group of people in the same place who are all dedicated to the same cause. I’ve often told people that my favorite thing about Hopkins is the collaborative nature of the student body. The willingness of my peers to help one another when problem sets are tough and when classes don’t make sense always brings a sense of comfort, so when something much more urgent came up a few weeks ago, I called upon my friends to help me.

This pressing issue was the Rubik’s cube.

Way back in August during orientation week, a group of my friends was sitting in a Commons living room trying to pass the time. We had all arrived on campus well before classes started, and we were beginning to realize that we had little to do in the days leading up to the beginning of the semester. It was then that somebody brought out the six-colored cube and one by one, I watched the majority of my friends solve it, most of them in two minutes or less.

My friend Katie was immediately intrigued, and she spent one of the final days of orientation holed up in her room mastering the cube. Within a day or so, she had added herself to my list of people that knows how to solve the Rubik’s cube.

I tried not to let it bother me; it was just a silly set of algorithms that my friends and sisters tried (and for the most part, failed) to learn in middle school. But now here I was, sitting in a room full of people who would toss each other the cube.

“So Hopkins,” I thought to myself.

But it taunted me. With exams, problem sets, and other extracurriculars, I tried to convince myself that it wasn’t important.

“Cube me,” they would say.

I pushed down my feelings of jealousy and inadequacy for weeks, until finally in mid-October, I decided to surrender to the cube. Without one of my own, my friend Jose handed me his first Rubik’s cube and said “Don’t give it back until you can solve it.”

I enlisted Jose, Katie, and my friend Izzy to teach me how to solve it. I probably could have learned how to solve it by myself, but why do things the hard way when there are people at every avenue to help you figure it out?

For three days, during study breaks and between classes, at meals and before I went to bed, I practiced. I mastered the first layer and the second, and then one day, on a bus to Towson, I completed the cube. All by myself. Now on lazy Friday nights when my friends are tossing around the cube, I can join in the chorus of “Cube me”.

It’s a simple thing to do, and unimportant as it may be in the scheme of life skills, this is one of many things that I probably wouldn’t have wanted to do without my friends. Hopkins is special in the collaborative nature of its student body; I’ve never cherished this sense of collaboration quite the way I do here. So if anybody needs help solving the Rubik’s cube, I’m glad to help.

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Cube in my bag, always ready to be solved wherever I go

Getaway for a Day

“There’s something about springtime in D.C. that makes me want to eat meat on a stick!” I laughed, as we passed about a dozen grills preparing various meat skewers, lo mein, fried rice, and pad thai. I’ve been a vegetarian for about seven years now, but who’s counting anyway?

After one of my fullest weeks at Hopkins this year, I decided to head in to Washington D.C. for one of the final weekends of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. With two exams, an essay, the first week of SOHOP, and registration for the fall semester finally over, I packed my polaroid camera with my sunglasses and made the trip into D.C. with my friends Ben and Cynthia.

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Photo of a photo

 

After a short trip on the MARC train and a few stops on the red line of Washington D.C.’s Metro, we made our way to the Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival, which stretches six blocks down Pennsylvania Avenue. We got to play Japanese games, survey tents with various knick knacks, and find out more about Japanese history. I had the chance to meet up with my sister who goes to school in D.C., we sat in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue just eating lo mein and catching up.

 

 

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Two young bugs in sunglasses

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Street food is the best food.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At around 6PM when the festival closed, we made our way to the Washington Monument and the Tidal Basin. It was in this location that 2,000 cherry trees were donated by the Japanese Embassy to President Taft over a hundred years ago. This weekend marked the anniversary of the agreement, and it was the height of the cherry blossom season, so the National Mall was busier than ever. People from around the world come to Washington D.C. to see the cherry blossoms. Even though I tend to see the beauty in concrete and skyscrapers, the cherry blossoms really were breathtaking.

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Cute stuffed animals or organs?

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The only one who understood this

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Escaping the fortress that my mind has been for the past week was just what I needed. The weather is improving and I think spring is finally here to stay. Having Washington D.C. so close made a much needed getaway possible and exploring off campus is never a bad idea when you have good people to do it with.

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A lot has happened in these past few weeks. I thought that first semester would have all the twists and turns, and things would settle down in the spring. I couldn’t have been more wrong, but I think I’m a stronger person because of it. I’ve met people who have changed me and I hope I’ve done the same, but there’s no use wondering about the past or guessing what the future will hold. The cherry blossoms don’t last forever, and neither will this year. Pretty soon, the flowers will have fallen off the trees and a month from today, I’ll be on my way home.

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Catching Up

I called my sister on Thursday to explain the situation. “Okay, listen Felicia, I feel really terrible about this, but I have a ton of work to do this weekend so if you still want to visit, it’s not going to be that great. I want to take you to the Inner Harbor and Fell’s Point, but I really don’t know if we’re going to have time.”

“That’s fine! I have a ten page paper to write anyway, I just want to see you and get out of my dorm!”

So it was settled. My sister bought her train ticket from Washington D.C. to Baltimore, and she was on her way. On Friday night, I took the shuttle over to Penn Station to pick her up, and I can honestly say that I have never missed a human being in my life as much as I’ve missed my sisters. Even though the reunion wasn’t full (we were missing Emily, it would have to suffice until Thanksgiving).

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Too happy to be picking up my sister in 20 degree weather? I don’t think so.

On paper, Felicia and I couldn’t look any more different, and we often joke that we wouldn’t be friends if we weren’t sisters, but we totally would be. Felicia is a freshman International Relations major focusing on environmental sustainability at American University in Washington D.C. and I’m studying Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Felicia loves history and avoids math at all costs, and I’m planning on taking math classes whenever I get the chance. Felicia is six feet tall, loves fashion, and lives for girly skirts and nail polish. I’m five foot five and when I find a pair of jeans I like, I wear them until I can’t wear them anymore and then I repurchase the same pair. I guess we have the nail polish thing in common, but that seems to be about it.

On Saturday, I brought Felicia to my favorite breakfast spot, Chocolatea, and then we hunkered down in Brody for the rest of the day so she could write her paper and I could start my problem sets for the week. Perhaps the view from Brody isn’t the most exciting view of Baltimore and all it has to offer, but sometimes, you do what you have to do, and we were both in desperate need of some study time.

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Signature iced chocolatea, cinammon spice hot chocolate, and my best friend.

I had been able to move her in to her dorm at the end of August, but since I was the last of three to move in (yes, I’m a triplet), she hadn’t been able to see my school or where I was living. I was finally showing one of my best friends what my life had been like for the past three months. She got to see my dorm decor and I gave her the grand tour (the UTL, Gilman, Wyman Quad, and MSE).

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She freaked out when she found out the lights turn on as you walk down the aisles.

Before Felicia left on Sunday morning, we got to catch up a little. I think I’ve mellowed out considerably since August. I’m in the right place with the right people, and I think she noticed that. I love my friends and my classes; I love the independence and the adventures and now I can’t wait to visit both of my sisters at their schools to see if they feel the same way.

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, I think it’s only appropriate for me to say how truly thankful I am to be at Hopkins. I could not be more thankful for the friends I’ve made through SAAB, Peabody, and Homewood, and I think I’m truly beginning to understand why people say that college will be the best four years of my life.

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Even Felicia is forever a blue jay with her Hopkins pennant next to her bed!

Everything In Its Right Place

At the start of every school year, there’s always some tumult involved with adjusting to a new schedule, new friends, new classes, new clubs, and new experiences. To say that I had an interesting start would probably be an understatement. I began the year in this crazy, but unbelievable program that has me living two miles from the campus I’ve decided to be on. The past few weeks have changed my frenzied back-and-forth to one that’s a little bit more lax. I know what I want to be studying, where I want to be, and who I want to be with while the whole process unfolds.

I’m oddly content, even knowing that my time here at Peabody is dwindling. It’s strange to know that I have a sort of clock on these music classes; once I leave here, they’ll be nothing more than elective credits, or perhaps credits toward a minor. My status as a double degree student will be remembered only in the courses from my freshman fall, but I know I’ve made friends over here that will last a lifetime (I’m looking at you, Double Degree crew).

Double Degree

3/4 of the crew on Halloween

As I write this, there’s a little twinge of sadness that I just can’t seem to shake. I’m kind of a perfectionist, and I need to wake up and remind myself every day that leaving this program does not make me a quitter. Some sadness comes from worrying about seeing my wonderful, beautiful, crazy friends over here who I know will still be taking 25+ credits per semester. Still, I know I’m making the right choice because it is my friends who I don’t want to leave behind, and the lost music degree seems to be second to that.

Even though I know I’ll miss my friends, we’re going to be separated by two miles, not two states, or two countries. My friend Cynthia and I are already planning FFC dates for Tuesdays in the spring (she’s majoring in piano and psychology, by the way). I could make a million references to everything falling into place, most of them involving Radiohead songs as evidence by the title, but I haven’t been this happy in a long time. I love Hopkins so much that I’m already planning on coming back for Intersession and potentially the summer so I can take Organic Chemistry (hope my mom doesn’t see this before I tell her). I’m excited to live on the main campus and I’m filling out my spring housing questionnaire as I write this. I can’t wait to not have to jump the last bus because I love being up at Homewood, whether I’m chilling in Brody, working out at the Rec Center, or hanging out in AMR II (now I’m looking at you, Lazear 3), but I’m grateful to know that I can come back to Peabody for chorus or just to visit pretty much whenever I want.

I think the only questions that remain now are: how am I supposed to transport posters that already have tape on them to a different dorm, will my clothes fit back into that suitcase that they were in during August, and when can we get this show on the road because I’m ready for my next adventure!

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Here is an unrelated ode to my cat, Oscar, who was almost 15 years old and died last Saturday. He is my baby, and one of the hardest things about college is having a pet die while you’re away.