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Month: December 2015

New Year, New Me

New Year, New Me

My New Year’s Resolution(s)

We’re finally here –  2016 is upon us! It sounds so futuristic doesn’t it? “2016” – only 4 more years until 2020. It seems like just yesterday it was 2011, and I was a freshman in high school. Now, four years later, I’ve already finished one semester in college… in college! Seeing that 2015 is coming to a close, I’ve been spending some time coming up with my infamous but annual “List of New Year’s Resolutions”. They are infamous because every year I go through the same routine. I think to myself- What do I want to do differently next year? – and come up with a long, long, long list of things. Unfortunately, trying to improve so many things proves too difficult, and after a week or so I find that I haven’t done justice to any one resolution. And so the wait begins until the next “New Year” to re-attack these failed resolutions. 

This year is different, however. This year I’m motivated to not only come up with a smaller list of resolutions (three seems solid), but also to do justice to them all. I’m lucky because living at Hopkins makes some of these rather easy! So here goes…

Resolution 1: Go to the Gym/Eat Healthy

Going to the gym is something I’ve preached multiple times in my blogs. Even though it was one of my many resolutions last year, I id not really start working out until spring break. For a couple months I routinely went to the gym after school. However, during the summer I broke this routine because I found it easier to spend the free time I had resting instead of lifting. At the beginning of this semester, I made it a point to go to frequent the gym (still not as much as I would’ve liked to). When the amount of work I needed to do for final exams became apparent, I stopped going to the gym all together. At the same time, I stopped eating healthy and the effects of this began to show on my body (I gained around 10 pounds). I now know that the only way I can commit myself to going to the gym is by setting specific dates and times and sticking to them. In 2016 I plan to do just that. It’s so convenient that the gym is less than a 5 minute walk from my dorm, and that it has extremely flexible hours. Of course me working out means nothing if the food I eat isn’t healthy. Looks like I’ve got to learn to love salad!a1c1b0fc18b15900ec7764247f4c8e61

Resolution 2: Read More (for leisure)

Reading was a big part of my life when I was young, and I guess to some extent it still is. When middle school came along the things I read evolved- I was forced to say goodbye to Harry Potter and simple readings and hello to textbooks and dense literature. At first, I thought I would have time to continue reading the books I liked, but I slowly started to dislike reading anything more than what was assigned by a teacher. In 2016 I hope to do a lot more reading, and by this I mean reading things I actually like and am interested in. I won’t deny that this is going to be tough especially because the assigned reading in college is much more than what it was in middle and high school. To be honest, I haven’t given much thought to how I want to set up a reading schedule. Whether I decide to read for a certain amount of time each day or save reading for the weekends, I am determined to make reading (for leisure) a much bigger part of my life in the upcoming year!tumblr_mv0xo2jcgS1s6zpepo1_500

Resolution 3: Less Procrastination More Concentration

In 2015 the things that lead to my procrastination included (but were not limited to) Netflix, Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Yik Yak, and group chats. If somehow the time I spent on each of these were calculated and summed up, I would not be surprised even if it exceeded 1000 hours (that’s almost 42 days). In 2016, this has to change. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not planning to renounce technology all together (this wouldn’t even be possible). What I am planning to do, is to limit the amount of time I spend procrastinating via these outlets. Spending less time on these apps will help me concentrate on my work and will free up time for me to pursue independent projects that I find interesting (like film production and dj-ing).cnsntrtnIn closing, I know that a bunch of these resolutions sound cliché, but I think what makes them this way is that they are hard to stick with and quickly end up becoming resolutions for the proceeding year. Don’t worry, I will keep you updated on where I stand with these resolutions. Wish me luck!

Happy New Year!!

One Down, Seven To Go

One Down, Seven To Go

One Semester Down, Seven More To Go:

A Farewell to Covered Grades and a Hello to Second Semester

After living on campus for more than three months, I have successfully completed my first semester as a college student. (Only seven semesters to go!) I must say, my time at Hopkins has been everything I’d expected. From the people I’ve met to the the classes I’ve taken, it seems more likely that my expectations have been exceeded. Looking back, I remember the anticipation I had when I first arrived on campus at the end of August. I was so excited for orientation, and I couldn’t wait to meet new people and explore all of campus. I was no longer just a “prospective student” or an “admitted student” I was a Blue Jay! For months now, I’ve been doing just that – meeting and exploring. In fact, the friends I made during orientation are still some of my closest friends today. Even though I’ve only known them for a couple of months, it most definitely feels like a lot more.

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Myself and my 1,309 peers in the class of 2019 came to Hopkins not knowing exactly what to expect. I’m sure we all had a general idea of what college would be like, but there was no way of knowing the individual experiences we would have. I constantly had questions on my mind: Should I be taking pre-med requirements? Am I really interested in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering? Where will I stand compared to my peers academically? I have learned that from one semester at Hopkins, it is not easy to know the answers to all of these questions, and this is perfectly okay.jhu_2019

I dedicated my first semester at Hopkins to exploration. The most unique class I took, one that I never would’ve foreseen myself taking was Expository Writing: Love and Morality. Since my high school had a strong focus on math and science, this course took me out of my comfort zone. To add to the unique subject matter, I found out that my overall grade in the class was not based on my participation in the class or my performance on mid term and final exams. Rather, it was determined by an average of four essays that I would write over the course of the semester. Essentially, the class combined moral philosophy with various theories on love, and reading philosophical literature on these topics were in fact very interesting. So interesting that for my fourth and final essay for the class, I wrote a seven-page paper solely on love (and got an A!). My teacher really enjoyed reading my paper, and she said it made her think of love in ways she hadn’t previously considered.

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For the other fourteen credits I took this semester, I am thankful for covered grades. This is not because I did poorly in any of them, it’s rather because covered grades allowed me to adjust to my new college life to the point where I didn’t have to solely concentrate on my GPA. I was able to join clubs, my favorites being SAAB (Student Admissions Advisory Board) and SGA (Student Government Association), and was even able to get a job at the DMC (Digital Media Center). That’s why I think that covered grades for first semester freshman at Hopkins are a great thing, especially if students take advantage of it; I know I sure did!

Back home now, I have a couple weeks to relax and reflect on how far I’ve come since the beginning of the year. I get to spend time with my family over the holidays and rejuvenate my brain after reading period and final exams. During the second week in January, I’ll be heading back to Hopkins for intersession, and can’t wait to see my friends once again.

Happy Holidays!