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I’ve never had an amazing memory. I misplace things easily and go through the “where are my keys” moment a few times a week–actually no, a few times a DAY if I’m being totally honest. I say to my roommate Nita all the time that she basically serves as my memory, since she’s always having to remind me of past stories that we’re both equally a part of.

So it’s particularly intriguing to me that these days, while I am studying abroad at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, I feel like the first day of my junior year at Hopkins was just yesterday. I remember that initial drive into the city of Baltimore, the intense feeling of anticipation in my gut, and pulling up to my new apartment, now that I had moved off campus as a junior.

I even have this clear image of what I was wearing the first day of class, the conversations I had with my friends during syllabus week, and all the details of our spontaneous day trip to Georgetown that first weekend back, down to the minute.

I’ve heard it here and there that junior year is “when things start getting serious.” I’m not even sure what that concept means, but even so, there was a certain level of anxiety that came with the start of my junior year at Johns Hopkins. Part of me just truly couldn’t believe it–that half of my college experience had already flown by and that I was OLD. I mean, I was the BIG 2-0. For some reason, being an adult and being in college can feel like mutually exclusive concepts.

My mom has always said that if you wait until you feel like you’re ready to do something, then you won’t ever do anything because that feeling only comes after you’ve already embarked on your new goal. Starting junior year at Hopkins in the fall took a hard inner-shove and so did boarding my plane to come to Scotland for my study abroad semester this spring, but I am so so happy that I am where I am now.

I am incredibly thankful for all the wonderful experiences I had in the fall at Hopkins, including continuing to teach a writing class at Federal Hill Elementary School, being involved with research at the Center for Autism and Related Disorders at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, living with my best friend Nita, getting closer with all of my friends, and working hard on all my writing.

This fall was crazy exciting and I feel like I vividly remember almost every moment of it. Just to name a few of those experiences…

  • I went to really fun date parties for my sorority
  • I had Tambers way too many times with my best friends
  • I went to BMA every Thursday
  • My big took me to M&T Stadium for a holiday party
  • Aminé came and performed at our school
  • So did the Plain White T’s.
  • My little and I went to Miracle on 34th Street in Baltimore
  • I did an Instagram Take-over for the Johns Hopkins Arts & Sciences Instagram account @jhuartsandsciences
  • I attended the Lorrie Moore reading

Being totally honest, I thought I would forget about Hopkins while I’m abroad, but the opposite has proven to be true. I think about my friends and experiences at Hopkins a lot and I’ve fully realized that it’s because of Hopkins that I am where I am right now–sitting in a cafe in St Andrews, Scotland, living out my wildest study abroad dreams.

The next time I write, I’ll catch you guys up on my time here in Scotland.

Until then, CHEERS.