20 Better Things

Bad days are inevitable. Here’s what I do when they happen:

  1. Stop doing work. I won’t be productive, and I won’t feel any happier when I’m doing it.
  2. Down a bowl of pho. Or ramen, depending on the day. Choose your comfort food. Then eat it.
  3. Watch an episode of The Office. Fire drill episode highly recommended.
  4. Listen to Blonde. Poolside convo ’bout this really bad day that’s almost over soon.
  5. Take a walk. Or a run. Depending on your energy level.
  6. Take a nap. They help.
  7. FaceTime a friend. 
  8. Get a mani/pedi. I’ve never done this, but four of my (male) friends did this. They said it was dope.
  9. Grab a scoop of Mint Mountain. Current favorite flavor from the Charmery. Speaking from personal experience, this is a cure-all.
  10. Clear my desktop. Highly satisfying.
  11. Edit photos. This might be a very Quan-specific favorite pastime.
  12. Play Catan. I haven’t played a game of Catan since the summer, and I could really go for one right now.
  13. Clean my living space. Clear space, clear mind? People say that, right?
  14. Plan a trip. #SB2K17 must live up to #SB2K16.
  15. Watch cooking videos. Or just binge-watch @emmymadeinjapan taste snacks from around the world.
  16. Find new music. There’s a lot of new albums I still need to listen to. Perfect time to go through them!
  17. Cook a meal for myself. Once I finish watching cooking videos, I usually feel the need to attempt something in the kitchen for myself.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.

What’s On My Google Chrome?

I’m a Google Chrome tab hoarder.

When I have a lot going on, I keep my tabs open, thinking that I’ll need to look at them in the near future, so there’s no point in closing them. But most of the time, I don’t really need them open. I should probably just close them all out and keep Chrome looking clean and not like this:

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This is a personal problem that I have addressed and I am working on it. I acknowledge that. A student’s stress level is directly proportional to the number of tabs they have. Here is a graph for the visual learners out there:

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There is indeed, no better feeling than closing out all of my tabs after I finish a big assignment or project. And today, after I turned in my first big project for one of my classes and am about to finish my first paper in another one of my classes, I am ready to close out those tabs and metaphorically start anew with a single, fresh, blank “New Tab”. But before I do this, I decided that it might be interesting to dissect what exactly it is that is clogging up my Chrome (and potentially my RAM? My computer has been kind of slow lately — I would not be surprised if this was the issue).

Spotify Jobs

Being a junior means actually, tangibly worrying about what you want to do after graduation. I always thought it would be the coolest thing to work for Spotify doing data analytics or something along those lines. I think I want to work at a start-up or a young company — I’m imagining somewhere where you everyone sits on exercise balls in the office and you get yoga or rock climbing breaks. I’ve had this tab open to join their “student talent community” so that I can get updates on openings and events near me. I’ve kept this tab open for a really long time now because I’ve been procrastinating on updating my resume — and that’s a whole story in itself.

The Environment and Your Health reading schedule

Pretty self-explanatory, I’ve kept this tab open to keep myself on track for the readings we have quizzes on in lecture for The Environment and Your Health. The problem with all of my class syllabi and schedules is that they’re all in different formats and in different locations — I still am trying to figure out the most efficient way to centralize all of these so that I can finally close out this tab. Or I’ll just have it open all semester.

Half-marathon training schedule

I’m been training for my first ever half-marathon since July! I’m participating in the Baltimore Running Festival, where runners from all over (and outside) Baltimore race in events of different distances in a big, city-wide celebration. I was not a runner in high school; the longest race I’ve ever run was a charity 5K back during sophomore year of high school. I’m actually extremely impressed at the literal lengths I’ve gone to make sure I’m ready for these 13.1 miles, and surprised at how enjoyable some of my longer runs have been. Two Sundays ago I did an 8 miler from Charles Village all the way down to the Inner Harbor, around, and back, and it was absolutely fantastic. I’ve been sick this past week so I haven’t been on my running game, but since the half is on October 15th, I definitely have to catch up on my training. I have my last long run this Sunday, a 10 miler!

Men of Principle Scholarship planning documents

I’m in charge of a scholarship my fraternity awards every fall, so these are just some spreadsheets and polls and things to help me organize the logistics of applications, interviews, and planning the scholarship dinner!

Hopkins Creative Design product order

The student business I’m a part of (alongside JHU_Aneek!) is getting ready for a the sale of a new item, so I’ve been researching vendors and products, and finally decided on a product to order!

This blog post!

Duh.

Mathematical Modeling and Consulting project assignment

I’m only taking one Applied Math class this semester, and it’s called Mathematical Modeling and Consulting. So far, I’m really enjoying this class. It’s taught by my advisor, Dr. Castello, who I also took Discrete Math with, another class I really liked. The class is different than any other AMS class I’ve taken, because there’s a strong emphasis on written and verbal communication skills, and I can really see the “applied” in applied mathematics. For this group project, we were assigned a case study in which we acted as consultants analyzing the status of a construction project. We turned in our project today, so I can now happily close out this tab!

Journal articles for Sociology of Health Illness paper

In one of my public health classes, we’re looking at health disparities among different socioeconomic classes and different racial and ethnic groups. I’m currently in the midst of writing a paper on disparities in exposure and treatment of HIV/AIDS between races, so I’ve got a lot of tabs open of different journal articles and sources I can cite in the paper.

Absentee voter affidavit

Register to vote! I need to get this affidavit notarized and sent over to the Department of Elections back in Delaware so I can receive an absentee ballot to vote in November. It’s my first ever general election vote so I’m pretty excited!

On Being 57% Done College

When it’s this time of year, the campus is buzzing with talk of summer plans, semesters abroad, internships, and job placements. And all of the talk had me feeling way too introspective and I remembered that I’m through 4/7 semesters here at Hopkins, meaning that I’m roughly 57% done college. During Spring Fair, I asked one of my friends who’s a senior:

“Have you done everything you’ve wanted to do at Hopkins? What’s left?”

That got me thinking — I’ve covered a lot in my first 57%. I’ve learned about the world through numbers and data and functions and models. I’ve read countless papers about health policy and epidemiological surveillance data. I’ve written poems and short stories, forming narratives I never thought I had the creative capacity for. I’ve designed graphics upon graphics for way too many clubs than I can handle. I’ve found myself in one of the most close-knit group of friends I could ever ask for. I’ve gotten my hands dirty with some research, and an internship (or two, hopefully). I’ve learned about the real world — the history, the injustices, the changes we need. I’ve eaten my weight in UniMini steak, egg, and cheese hoagies, Brody Cafe veggie burgers, and Alkimia banana bread.

I feel things ending and changing.

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I look at the courses I need to take to graduate — there’s not many more. Two more classes for AMS, four more Homewood classes for PHS. I remember that I won’t see some of my friends going abroad until junior spring — for some, not until senior year. I think about the clubs and organizations that I’m in — how soon enough, I’ll be the oldest, the most experienced. It’s scary to me to think that in about a year, none of my fraternity brothers will be ones that I knew before joining myself.

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But there’s still more. In these next two years, I’ll hit more milestones. This summer, I’m moving into a house on St. Paul with five of my best friends. By senior year, I’ll be taking classes at Bloomberg to finish up my public health major. Hopefully, I’ll have spent one summer interning somewhere on the West Coast. I’ll have two more Spring Fairs, two more homecoming games, two more opportunities to welcome the incoming freshmen classes. I’ll have some sort of plan for life after college. And when I graduate I’m going to take the most savage picture jumping on the Gilman Seal.

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A Couple of Moments…

It’s hard to believe that midterms have already begun and we’re about a week away from spring break. As I procrastinate on studying for my exams this Friday and next Monday, enjoy some GIF-worthy moments of these past few weeks:

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On the night of the blizzard a few weeks ago, my friend Jill and I trek back to our dorms after hanging out at a friend’s apartment. Don’t fall Jill!

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Piper Kerman, prison reform activist, writer of Orange is the New Black, which the Netflix series is based off of, came to speak at Hopkins as a part of the Foreign Affairs Symposium (FAS) this spring! I wasn’t able to get a video — but FAS also Skyped in Edward Snowden for a virtual discussion a week later, and that was pretty incredible.

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Enjoying a sirloin panino at Carma’s Cafe, a popular eatery just a block away from campus, as a study break. A much needed change of pace from dining hall food.

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A picturesque Gilman Hall on a snow day this semester. There’s nothing much better.

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My buddies Frank and Andrew join me for an excursion to Hampden for fresh fades at Old Bank Barbers and dinner at Grano Pasta Bar. The walk to Hampden from campus takes only about 20 minutes, especially when you cut around back of Mason Hall on the south end of Homewood.

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A great view of Baltimore from the rooftop of the Telephone Building, an apartment building near campus. The weather’s been super nice recently, and when the wind calms down, you get nights like these.

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Ah, the first game of KanJam on the Beach this spring. Spring at Hopkins is the best because the weather gets so much nicer, the campus looks green again, and of course -Spring Fair and Homecoming. I enjoy three things above all else: 1) nice weather, 2) good food, 3) live music. And we got all three.

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And of course, my favorite round, marble table in Gilman Atrium, gettin’ some good study time in. Sometimes, I think that if I write my poetry assignment here, at the center for humanities, it’ll turn out better.