UniMini is the crowning jewel of Hopkins late-night food. Don’t get me wrong, the $2.50 garlic knots at Maxie’s are a fantastic deal. And Insomnia Cookies can really hit the spot at 2am, I know this for a fact. But there really isn’t a better one-stop-shop on any given night than UniMini.
UniMini is stocked with tons of snacks and goodies, but the star is their deli. One can order anything from fries, to jalapeno poppers, to sandwiches (including steak/egg/cheese, shwarama, chicken parmesan, and my new personal favorite — falafel and hummus). Most importantly are their mozzarella sticks, which are quite the campus phenomenon.
In the spirit of fried food and dangerously high levels of sodium, I decided to make a BuzzFeed quiz that’ll tell you your UniMini spirit animal equivalent. The answers and results are all made in good fun! Also note that the pictures are not actual pictures of food from UniMini. (It’s really hard to find an accurate picture of a “special with hash”.)
This is my first year spending the entirety of my winter break and Intersession back home in Delaware, and I’ve tried my best to not be a degenerate, but I would definitely say I spent the majority of my time in hibernation.
And once I get back to Baltimore, there’s things I’ll still need to continue, and new things I want to do. I know things is like the least descriptive word possible and all of my past English teachers would kill me, but all of the things (ugh) that I plan on doing are all pretty random and unrelated that I don’t know what to call them. I really wouldn’t call them resolutions: some of them are just really important items on my to-do list, others are attempts at positive lifestyle changes. Anyways, here are these things:
I plan on dusting off my DSLR camera that I found in my closet and bringing it to Baltimore with me. I used to love taking photos, first with my camera, and then with my phone. Then, for some reason, I kind of stopped. I don’t really know why. Currently, phone’s Camera Roll is all screenshots and memes. I miss taking photos just to take photos. I think this will help feed the creative half of my brain. He seems hungry.
Yup. Water is good for you for like way too many reasons, and I’m really bad at getting enough water throughout the day. My cousin got me a cool, trendy Hydroflask for Christmas, so if I drink three full Hydroflasks worth of water a day, I’ll call it a success! Real tip: use drinking water as a procrastination tool for studying.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. But really. I haven’t really followed any sort of exercise plan since I ran my half-marathon in October (oops). I used to follow a pretty consistent lifting routine, but before I started training for the half, I was getting bored of the same thing. I need to do some research because I want to change it up. Maybe it’s time to try out those battle ropes I’ve always wanted to use, but never knew how to.
Thanks to all of the environmental health classes I’ve taken last semester, I know eating meatless is a really effective to lessen your personal carbon footprint. Plus, eating meatless at least once a week will save me money and challenge me to try and make some more humane magic in the kitchen.
Aaaannnd on the exact opposite end of the spectrum, I’ve wanted to have a Korean bbq night at my house with a bunch of my friends for the longest time. My friend and I lovewatchingMaangchi’svideos on YouTube and I’ve been inspired! One of my housemates has an electric skillet that I think will be perfect for the tabletop cooking.
Hire me, please.
They’re a black hole of negativity and usually, ignorance. I waste so much time reading what people say and just end up getting really mad for no good reason. Not productive or helpful to me in any way, shape, or form.
I’ve loved living in my house this past year, but we learned a couple of weeks ago that our landlord is selling the property, so my housemates and I are going to need to find a new place. The group of guys I’m living with is switching up a bit, but I’m excited to live with my friend Andrew next year, one of my first friends I ever made on campus. So sentimental.
(And better.) I really want this semester to be the one where I finally internalize that staying up super late and waking up right before noon might not be the best sleep schedule for myself. I have some 9ams this semester, so I am really trying to get in the habit of sleeping early and waking up early.
Every day, I am thankful that my friends have such an amazing taste in music. From creating collaborative Spotify playlists, to sharing Pitchfork reviews, to listening to my friends’ radio shows on WJHU, there’s no excuse for me to listen to the same song the entire day… unless it’s 00000 Million.
My cousin gave me a Moleskine and I want to use it for really whatever: to-do lists, notes, random ideas, recipes, doodles, sketches, angry rants. I already set up my journal like a Bullet Journal, a system that seems easy, efficient, and very flexible, so let’s see if I stick with it.
Random ideas in my journal turn into side projects I want to get my hands dirty with. From graphic design, to data analyses, to apps, there’s so much I want to do that’s not really a part of (but definitely has been influenced by) my coursework.
Described on their website as a “launch pad for Baltimore’s most exciting chefs”, R. House is a newly opened food hall (like a food court, but better?) in Remington (right next to campus!) that features new chefs on the food scene. From what I’ve learned, it’s like a market with a bunch of different individual stalls that feature a different chef and their cuisine. Funny enough, someone described it to me as “kind of like the FFC”. Sounds accurate.
I am 100% serious that this is a real goal of mine.
Inspired by the many demonstrations, protests, and marches happening around the world, I want to help out at a local organization for a cause I support, whether it’s through Hopkins or just through the city itself.
Some of my friends and I have preliminary plans of going to the West Coast for spring break and visiting San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle, but we haven’t settled any details yet. I really don’t want anything to fall through so we need to get on this!
This is the last semester I’ll get with my senior friends, and I need to spend as much time with them as I can before they get annoyed with me and then graduate… and then I become a senior myself…
film a short documentary about food deserts and swamps (… eventually! This is for my term project in one of my classes this semester.)
filled out a week-long food diary to discuss food waste
This last one was for one of my classes this semester, The Environment and Your Health. The intended takeaway from the assignment was for me to become more cognizant of my own personal food waste. And I did! But I also realized that I am just weirdly fascinated by learning what people eat. This makes sense, because I lovewritingaboutfood and almost all of my YouTube recommendations are cooking or those “what I eat in a day” videos. So, similar to this food diary assignment, I decided to take note of what I ate in the last 5 days. Let’s see if there’s anything interesting about my eating and cooking habits.
I know I’m just about out of groceries when I have to buy breakfast. I try to always eat breakfast at home to save money, plus it also encourages me to wake up earlier. But, on this day I think I was running late for work, and plus I had no more breakfast food, so I bought a breakfast sandwich from Eddie’s Market, which is a small grocery store just a block away from my house. They have this great deal where you get a free coffee with the purchase of a breakfast sandwich. I was sold.
I usually eat pretty light for breakfast, so I wasn’t super hungry for lunch before my class at 1:30. I grabbed a pre-made pasta salad and a yogurt from Levering, and ate it right before class started. Quick and dirty.
For dinner, 3/6 of the guys in my house had a treat-yo-self Friday and we made ourselves some steaks. Some roasted potatoes and steamed green beans on the side and we were food coma KO’d for the rest of the evening.
Saturday – 10.29.16:
Breakfast: everything bagel + hummus + coffee
Lunch: turkey/havarti/tomato/arugula panini
Dinner: butternut squash soup
Again, still no groceries, so I got a bagel with hummus and a coffee from Brody Cafe and was working on a group project on Saturday morning. After a bit of struggling, our MATLAB code finally worked (@JHU_Emily was a witness!) We tried to interpret our output but got stuck so we decided to call it a day.
Immediately after, I went to Trader Joe’s in Towson to stock up on groceries finally and made myself a panini when I got back home. I tried out my housemate’s George Foreman panini press for the first time and it was a complete sandwich-game-changer.
For dinner later, I heated up some leftover butternut squash soup I had from earlier in the week, and got into costume for Halloween festivities. My friends and I went as, you guessed it, Trader Joe’s workers. Low effort, maximum wow factor.
I slept in, so I made myself a nice, sizeable brunch with all of my new groceries. My group needed to continue working on our project, so I packed myself some snacks for the library and made a pit-stop at Carma’s Cafe for literally the best cold brew coffee in the Charles Village area.
Back at home, I made myself another George Foreman panini before hanging out my friend’s place for a small potluck gathering. I baked some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, she made some homemade sushi, and another friend brought some pita and hummus. We feasted.
Monday – 10.31.16:
Breakfast: granola bar + grapes
Lunch: pumpkin soup + bread
Dinner: sausage + potatoes + green beans
I realized that running late to things in the morning was becoming a pattern, so I decided to load up on granola bars and portable breakfasts at Trader Joe’s. This morning, I tried out one of their bars and it’s pretty darn good! They’re the Trader Joe’s Raises the Bar ones, if anyone really cares. I ate a side of grapes at work, while @JHU_Genevieve and I worked on designing some pages of this year’s Insider’s Guide!
I didn’t pack lunch and I needed to find food that I could eat while doing some last-minute review of material for a quiz I was taking that afternoon. I settled on some pumpkin soup and fresh baked bread from Levering and chose a seat at the bar in Levering Lounge, one of my new favorite study spots.
For dinner, I needed to whip up something quick in order to get to a meeting. In under 30 minutes, I had myself some delicious chicken sausage, a side of potatoes, and some green beans! The sausage is again, from Trader Joe’s, and I swear to you — it’s the best chicken sausage on this entire planet. It’s their Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage and it’s delicious sweet and savory and maple-y — ugh, they’re amazing.
Tuesday – 11/1/16:
Breakfast: coffee + free doughnut
Lunch: yogurt + granola
Dinner: soba noodle stir-fry
And today! This morning was rough and I needed to treat myself to a coffee from Brody. I saw that a student organization was handing out free doughnuts outside on Tyler Terrace, so I snagged one and settled on a seat in the library to knock out some work. A bit later, I got hungry again, so I ate some yogurt with granola I packed for myself that morning. I had actually packed it for breakfast, but the free doughnut changed the status quo.
During classes, I snacked on an apple while ironically, learning about pesticide use. By around 5, I was about ready to make dinner, and so I whipped up my go-to soba noodle stir-fry, pictured here:
made a purchase for 1/3 of my meals
visited on-campus dining options 5 times: twice at Brody Cafe, and three times at Levering
65% of my meals were vegetarian
drank coffee 4 out of the 5 days
enjoyed free food 3 times
In conclusion, it is indeed possible to cook for oneself the majority of the time, especially living off-campus with access to real, big-people kitchens. I find that I enjoy my meals so much more when I make them myself. Cooking is also a great stress-reliever for me, and I always try my hardest to carve out 1-1.5 hours for dinner on most nights. Plus, it’s always fun to cook and eat with people, like I did with my housemates and my friends at the potluck!
However, eating on-campus is inevitable just because it’s convenient and pretty good! As a junior, I don’t have a meal plan, so I frequent Brody Cafe, for coffee and snacks and Levering Food Court, for lots of quick lunch options. Other common on-campus dining options for me are Levering Cafe and Bamboo Cafe.
Eating more vegetarian meals was kind of an unofficial goal of mine; I’ve been trying to explore different types of proteins, both animal and non-animal, and plus eating less meat is, besides having fantastic health benefits, cheaper! Eating less meat also reduces my carbon footprint, so that’s always good, too!
Honestly, coffee is a very important part of my morning ritual nowadays. I think I should start making my own coffee though to save money, because it does add up… but speaking of saving money, it’s great when you’re a college student because there’s so much free food on and around our campus.
Bad days are inevitable. Here’s what I do when they happen:
Stop doing work. I won’t be productive, and I won’t feel any happier when I’m doing it.
Down a bowl of pho. Or ramen, depending on the day. Choose your comfort food. Then eat it.
Watch an episode of The Office. Fire drill episode highly recommended.
Listen to Blonde. Poolside convo ’bout this really bad day that’s almost over soon.
Take a walk. Or a run. Depending on your energy level.
Take a nap. They help.
FaceTime a friend.
Get a mani/pedi. I’ve never done this, but four of my (male) friends did this. They said it was dope.
Grab a scoop of Mint Mountain. Current favorite flavor from the Charmery. Speaking from personal experience, this is a cure-all.
Clear my desktop. Highly satisfying.
Edit photos. This might be a very Quan-specific favorite pastime.
Play Catan. I haven’t played a game of Catan since the summer, and I could really go for one right now.
Clean my living space. Clear space, clear mind? People say that, right?
Plan a trip. #SB2K17 must live up to #SB2K16.
Watch cooking videos. Or just binge-watch @emmymadeinjapan taste snacks from around the world.
Find new music. There’s a lot of new albums I still need to listen to. Perfect time to go through them!
Cook a meal for myself. Once I finish watching cooking videos, I usually feel the need to attempt something in the kitchen for myself.
Watch some stand-up. I am not a big stand-up guy, but recently my friends have been showing me some fantastic HBO specials. I highly recommend Sarah Silverman and Louis C.K.
Take a long shower. To date, two of my housemates have vouched for showering in the dark? Is that weird? I might have to try it.
Leave if needed. Sometimes, you just need to leave campus. True story.
I think everyone reaches a point in the semester where everything just piles up: school, clubs, life in general. Fall Break seems to come at the perfect time — right when everyone just about needs it. Including me.
In an unexpected turn of events, I left the Mid-Atlantic region of the east coast. Traveling has never really been a big thing for me; I’ve been to a couple of conferences in high school around the country, and once, my family took a summer vacation to Cancun. When deciding on Hopkins, I liked how it was only a one and a half hour drive down I-95.
Studying abroad was never really in the cards for me. Not that it’s not possible, because it definitely is — I just couldn’t see myself leaving Hopkins for a semester. And it’s definitely not that I didn’t want to go abroad. In fact, I’ve always wanted to get a little taste of the world that’s not a Philly cheesesteak or Old Bay. So when a couple of my fraternity brothers and our friends had hopped on a killer deal (< $500) for round-trip tickets to Iceland this spring break, I just had to go. So I bought the tickets, back in January, and over the weeks we booked our Airbnb, and our rental cars, and researched things we wanted to do and see. And then we had midterms and I completely forgot that I was going to be thousands of miles away from Baltimore until I found myself, the night before my flight, stuffing random clothes into my backpack, careful not to exceed the 11-pound carry-on weight limit.
And then, I was in Iceland.
For the next six days, I just bowed down to nature. We found ourselves in some of the most beautiful landscapes I’d ever seen in my life. Waterfalls, geysers, hot springs, black sand beaches, volcanic craters, mountains — Iceland had it all. We wandered the streets of the little city of Reykjavik, dragged our jetlagged bodies to experience the nightlife and admire the art form that is the local Icelandic hot dog. We tasted shark that’d been fermenting in the ground for a year, met friendly (and not so friendly) locals and other tourists, and bathed in geothermally heated spas.
But sitting here, trying to describe what it was like to be in this strange country for a week, it’s not the same. Even the pictures, couldn’t really capture the beauty — the feeling. No matter how well I describe the utter beauty of the cliffs and the coast at the seaside village of Vik, you won’t be able to be there. No matter how much I rave about the mustard and remoulade smothered hot dogs, you won’t be able to taste them. I think that’s what they mean, when people talk about going abroad. You can’t get the experience anywhere else.
P.S. check out this awesome video my friend Wooyang made of our trip!
I’ve been finding it harder and harder to make time to really create something during the semester. Other than designing graphics for various student activities, and my pseudo-hobby of curating Spotify and Soundcloud playlists, I’ve unfairly pushed my creative side away recently. So first off, I’ve decided to take on a yearlong project: film 1 second of every day of the year, and at the end of 2016, piece together a 366-second documentary of everything that happened in the last 12 months for my own personal enjoyment.
I’ve started playing piano again. Listening to some contemporary works have inspired me to explore a part of piano repertoire I haven’t ever before in my 11 years of playing. Right now, I’ve been working on this piece by Ludovico Einaudi (arguably his most famous piece), and also just messing around with a radio-hit medley composed of “Sorry”, “Hands to Myself”, and “Hotline Bling”.
I’m excited for my classes this semester.
I’m taking 17 credits: Intro to Optimization II, Introduction to Probability, Data Visualization for Individualized Health, Global Health Principles and Practices, and Fiction Poetry Writing I.
“Opti II” is the second part of the optimization class I raved about last semester, and it’s taught by Dr. Fishkind again, which I’m really excited about. “Prob” is a required AMS class, and I hear it’s tough, but that the topics covered are really interesting. “Data Viz” is a class basically about what I want to do with my life – combining data/statistics with healthcare – and it’s a miracle I got in, considering I was 12th on the waitlist for what was originally a 12-person class. “Global Health” (I’m still working on a good abbreviation) is supposed to be one of the best public health offered at Hopkins, and “IFP” will help with the whole needing-a-creative-outlet thing.
Spring semester is one of my favorite times of the year.
Besides classes, springtime at Hopkins is just the best. First of all, the warmer weather will already make life better (but I’m not complaining about this blizzard giving us two snow days at the start of the semester). I’m going to Iceland over spring break in a group of 7 guys, which will be, to be quite frank, absolutely heinous. Then there’s homecoming weekend, and Spring Fair. Plus, a lot of grilling with my fraternity brothers, Beach lounging in the afternoons, and overall more happy-sighing.
Being productive has increased my sense of comfort.
My future housemates and I are in the process of signing a lease for our house next year. Mainly, it’s nice to know that I won’t be homeless next year. But better yet, I’m going to be living in a great house, with the greatest friends, with old-people responsibilities like paying bills and making sure the lawn is mowed. The last part probably won’t be fun, but right now it’s just exciting to feel like an adult.
And I’ve applied to different summer internships, crossing my fingers that someone will find me employable. I’ve also been in the midst of applications and interviews for a couple different part-time opportunities on campus to make some extra money and save up for that Iceland trip!
We just got 30 inches of snow, and it’s melting into that brown, slushy mess in the streets. I’m about to have my toughest semester workload wise since coming to Hopkins. I’ve been spending way too much money on food. I didn’t get to travel over break. I didn’t really do anything exciting at all over Intersession. But I’ve been enjoying the sense of normality that comes with being at Hopkins. I’ve been happy.
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