Category Archives: Student Activities

Hymns of Hopkins


When a slew of midterms rush in and heaps of responsibilities from extracurriculars seem endless, the only way that I find a sense of refuge is through the vessel of music. There’s something so visceral about it that makes an experience not only void of anchoring thoughts but also so full in its dimensions of feeling. Something about it brings you to the forefront of the moment, instilling within you the power of feeling the fluidity of the past, present, and future. To me, music is the most abstract yet pure mechanism to digest time. 

What fascinates me the most about music is that it is a felt language that goes beyond what is just heard through the ear – it involves the subjective creation (and recreation) of visualization in our minds both for the listener and the artist. Our minds can, in fact, “see ” music. Though music is essentially just a compression of the pressures of molecules traveling through the medium of air, music has the capacity to take hold of the hidden crevices of the heart by communicating what is the ineffable. 

This semester, I’ve tried something new and joined the Peabody-Hopkins Chorus. We meet bi-weekly at the Peabody Institute to prepare our concert for the winter and this semester’s focus is on R.Vaughan Williams piece of Dona Nobis Pacem. Along with the technical choral skills that we rehearse, each practice teaches us how to listen to others to find balance as a choir and challenges us to grow a deeper sense of understanding for the purpose of each component of the music, imagining what Vaughan Williams had in mind while composing the song. I walk out of most practices with a newfound sense of inspiration and the urge to improve.

Thus, in hopes to share with you my deep-running love for music and its significance, here is a list of tunes handpicked by Hopkins students that you can vibe to at your leisure.  

Intro / Stronger Than MeAmy Winehouse


For those want a little bit of soul and funk by Amy Winehouse




What You Don’t Do – Lianne La Havas


For those who want a contemporary groove with many musical elements and a voice-like-honey


Can’t Take My Eyes Off You – Joseph Vincent Cover


For those of you want someone to warm the cockle’s of your heart, Joseph Vincent is your man.


Cranes in the Sky – Solange Knowles


For those who seek an ambient sound for the perfect backdrop while studying


Cold Water ft. Justin Bieber – Major Lazer


For those who want to stay ahead of the curve in the music scene, here’s a cool, vibe-y tune that is on our radar


In The Name Of Love – Martin Garrix & Bebe Rexha


For those who crave the jittery feeling of hearing a loud, clear, and fun song


Going the Extra Mile

What the formal admissions sites don’t disclose, this blog will do. This blog is dedicated to all you prospective students who want the inside scoop of the lives of students who go the extra mile and devote their time to extracurricular commitments:


Charm City Science League (CCSL)


Club’s Objective:“We strive to enhance the stem education of inner city Baltimore students of the secondary school level (mostly 7th to 8th graders). We provide them opportunities in the science field that occurs outside of the class room. We hope to stimulate their scientific interest and expand upon their potentials.”

What do you do as a member?: “All members of the CCSL sign up for a school and a day that they want to mentor. I interact with the kids at my specific school at my specific day and help them with their projects that are in preparation for regional science olympiad competitions.”

Commitment Level: “Each member can choose how much time he/she wants to commit to the club. If you have a lot of time, you can go on multiple days and multiple schools. I, specifically, go every Wednesdays with three other people on a zip car (20 minute drive there, 20 minutes coming back). Each meeting is about two hours long.”

Why would you recommend this club to a prospective student: “I would recommend this club to a prospective student because it’s definitely a fulfilling experience. Giving younger people the same science opportunities that you had in your high school years and helping them share their passion for science is an unbelievably rewarding feeling.”

Favourite Moment: “One of my kids claimed that a hollow tube was heavier than a solid tube. I had to explain to him for hours that a solid tube was heavier than a hollow tube. It was entertaining to have a riveting, heated debate about science.”


Lotus Life Foundation

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Club’s Objective: “The Lotus Life Foundation is a student-found organization that empowers disabled women in India through physical therapy and self-sustainable training. We strive to reduce the stigma that is associated with disability in India. In fact, we teach the parents the methods of sustainability in hopes that they can help their children without intervention.”

What do you do as a member? “I work on operations that develop certain protocols and am involved in one of the partner foundations. We are specifically trying to create an AMR system which is an electrical medical system that can aid the disadvantaged children.”

Commitment: “We devote one meeting per week to consolidate everything that all the members individually accomplished. But in general, the workload is up to each member. We all have our own responsibilities.”

Why would you recommend this club to a prospective freshmen? “The work that the Lotus Life Foundation conducts is impactful on a global scale. This is because we yearn to change a rooted problem in India and in turn, other countries that face the similar dilemma . Seeing the changes unfolding before our eyes and improving the quality of life of these children is certainly empowering.”

Favourite Moment: “What is exciting about this club is that there are always new projects that any member can be involved with. A lot of times, many clubs often put on an active mask while actually being dormant. This club, however, is always working, always active, always involved in something. You have to be on your best game, and it’s what motivates me. This is the best part of the club.”


Humming Jays


Club’s Objective: “Our club’s main goal is to express the beautiful amalgam of Korean music culture and American music culture.”

Why would you recommend it to a prospective student?: “First of all, you get a close-knit family to spend time with and to cherish memories in a foreign environment. Not only does being a part of Humming Jay introduce you to a quick, immediate family, but it also serves as a stress reliever from the rigours of academic life. To me, singing with the Humming Jays is a healthy break amidst my studies, especially because I have a lot of intense classes.”

Commitment: “We practice three times a week, 2 hours each practice. When concert time rolls around, we try our best to meet as much as possible, most usually singing two hours everyday. But, because we all are devoted to and genuinely love singing, it’s no biggie.”

Favourite Memory: “My favourite recollection so far is the time we went to Inner Harbour and stayed overnight at a hotel. This was the ultimate day that all of the Humming Jay members bonded and truly got to know each other.”


Balance in life is crucial. Once the seesaw of academics and social life become lopsided, we are risking our mental, physical, and spiritual stability. Amidst our grueling study grind, it’s best not to neglect spending time in activities that’ll serve as a release valve. Consider taking a breath of fresh air by going the extra mile in pursuits other than academics. 

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The Art of Exploration

The crux of the beauty in Baltimore lies in the fact that its often masked. It’s hidden until you seek out for it. Mired down by the quotidian grind of study-eat-sleep, we’re all victims and perpetrators of our own blindness to the enchanting gems the city has to offer.

To step out of my habitual radius, I took the time to venture out with a good friend of mine this weekend. Our destination for the night was Inner Harbour. Inner Harbour is a historic sea port that was cited as “the model for post-industrial waterfront redevelopment around the world.” It’s a host to a myriad of activities like cruising on the Bay, unearthing dinosaurs at the Maryland Science Center, and getting close to nature at the National Aquarium.

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Ranging from elegant gourmet cuisines to ethnic foods to fresh seafood from Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay, the restaurants at Inner Harbour are, hands down, an experience in and of itself. My friend and I decided to dine in at Thai Arroy, an authentic Thai restaurant in Federal Hill. In its relaxed, informal setting, Thai Arroy offers its customers the comfortable vibe with contemporary music yet culturally rich food.

After plumping our stomachs with a heavy meal, we took a stroll around the waterside at Inner Harbour to digest the food and to walk off the food comma. What we saw before us was bewitching. Because we went at night, the stark contrast between the peaceful flow of the dark, tranquil water and the vibrant, luminous life of the city was at first captivating and beautiful.

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Only a walking distance away, our next venue was Vaccaro’s in Little Italy. Recommended by many, Vaccaro’s is an Italian pastry shop that serves delectable cannolis, biscotti, cake, and all the possible dessert that are near and dear to everyone’s heart. You know you’re in for a treat when you open the door and its packed with a queue of people waiting. Truly the icing of the cake, this dessert place spoiled my tastebuds with the scrumptious cannoli that we ordered. Certainly, the interior of the shop was aesthetically pleasing as well. Dazzling with bright coloured walls and eccentric fluorescent chandeliers, it was easily the best refuge from the cold weather in October.

Concluding the night at Vaccaro’s with my friend by my side, my day was complete. At the end of the day, it’s not the things you do but the people who you share those moment with that shape the experience the most. Being able to soak in the beauty of the Baltimore at night with someone you sincerely care’s certainly an experience you don’t want to pass up on. And that, is the beauty of exploration – of the city and of the people. 

F I R S T ‘ s

At this point in the year, I am caught in a state of limbo. Five months ago, I was gallantly tossing my graduation cap in the air with my friends by my side in South Korea. Fast forward to now, I am a full-time college student, studying for my first college midterm. With a month and a half of college out the window, a pell-mell of motley feelings – of perplexity, excitement and jadedness – rush in me. Summer still hasn’t left me. Every turn, every corner, I am constantly reminded of the surrealness of my being a college student in Hopkins.


Studying for midterms in the cushioned chairs at the exquisite Gilman Hall.

Along with the dream-like state of being away from home – feeling like an extended summer camp -, it’s slowly dawning on me how fast (or slowly) time has gone. Time, this mysterious force that we really only notice when we are its victims, has played its tricks on me. While studying for the exams, I felt that the pace of this week has been excruciatingly fast yet slow.

Recently I read a news article that posited that the more new experiences you have, the more longer time feels. Thus, I’d like to share my trough of new experiences, occurrences, sensations.

Without further ado. . .

#1st College Flu 

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Thank you FFC for the tea

The grisly Freshmen Plague hit hard for everyone around campus this week. Cough commotions and throat-clearing grumbles were the common currency of communication for most Hopkins students, as we shamefully infected one another with handshakes, uncovered sneezes, and unsanitized hands. To remedy this malady, my suite mates and I were constantly brewing tea and drowning it in a sea of honey to assuage our sore, swollen throats. Not to mention, my sweet friend surprised me with a pack of Get-Well Halls to save me from dying of coughs (s/o to Matthew)! Hopefully, the Freshmen Plague prevalent in the Hopkins community abates before mid-terms end.  

#1st Moon Cakes  
I’ve only heard about these “moon cakes” through Amy Tan’s books and have always wondered what makes them the traditional dessert for the August Moon Festival. This week was my first time tasting them, but it most definitely won’t be my last. They say, exam stressin’, food messin’.


Shoutout to Sarah Lee’s mother for sending us these mooncakes from Boston!

#1st Indian Culture

Baltimore was pulling some serious master chef skills on us in Masala Kitchen. To keep the quality dinner streak alive, my suite mates and I sallied forth St. Paul’s street to feast on warm buttered Indian Nan wallowed in buttered tomato sauce to spoil our palates. Excuse me while I die happy. 


Dinner at its finest.

Invited by my suite mate, I attended an Indian Social Gathering and constructed a clay figure of the best known and loved deity in the Hindu pantheon of gods, Ganesh. This elephant figure is the Lord of Good Fortunes who provides prosperity, fortune, and bonanza. I plan to place it in front of my desk as a good luck charm for the looming midterms. 


Cathartic, throwback experience to Kindergarten art class, making clay elephant figures with quality people.

#1st Festival 


The vibrant vibe of Hamden is palpable.

Riveting music reverberating through the air and the smell of authentic Baltimore street food wafting aloft, The Hamden Festival was the gasp of fresh air that was much needed. There, my friends and I shopped for handcrafted souvenirs and finally tried the famed crab cake. Needless to say, it was divine. The relaxed yet bustling vibe of the city of Hamden reflected the idiosyncratic culture of the district, a stark comparison from the other towns in Baltimore. 


Crab Cake…<3 Oh heaven, thou hath found me.

Being immersed in a culture so intimate and so true to the people that inhabit the place, I am constantly learning and craving for more knowledge – about Baltimore, people, culture, and myself. With such mental hunger, these past few weeks felt very long yet short. In the days to come, I hope that there will be more First’s, more new experiences that can edify and enlighten all of us, despite the illusion of times. 


The lovable Korean squad in Hamden