I was born and raised in Queens, New York, and I couldn’t be prouder (ask anyone — seriously). Naturally, the second that Bolt Bus schedules went up for the weekend of Fall Break, I purchased my ticket and anxiously awaited my trip home. One of the great things about being a New Yorker at Hopkins is that home is just far enough away that leaving is usually a planned event, but it’s a reasonable one day excursion if need be.
As a freshman nearing the two month mark, taking a trip home for Fall Break was a necessity. I missed my city, my block, my mom, my friends, my cats, and my bed, not to mention New York bagels. I spent the weeks leading to my trip in a frenzy of midterms, so when Thursday, October 16th rolled around, I didn’t even see it coming. After my last class of the day, I picked up my suitcase and hopped on the bus. At 8PM on Thursday night, I was back in the city that never sleeps.
My mom began to drive through the city, and I was home. I couldn’t stop my excited chatter as we made our way to my favorite Halloween-themed coffeehouse.
Here’s what I wasn’t expecting: after getting a good night’s rest in my own bed (more glorious than you could imagine), I was already starting to miss Hopkins. It had taken me almost two months to start feeling homesick, but I was Baltimore-sick by Friday afternoon, fewer than 24 hours after I had left.
My hopes for going home were mostly simple: see my cats, see my friends, see my mom. I almost suffocated my cats in hugs and treats when I walked in to my house on Thursday night, and a successful falafel and frozen yogurt adventure was a quick fix that allowed me to catch up with one of my best friends in the world. The last part was trickier though.
All double degree students enter Hopkins and Peabody knowing that what they’re about to take on is colossal. For a while, I’ve been grappling with not knowing if this program is truly right for me. I love to sing, I’ve been singing classical music for ten years, and music is not something I could live without. But recently I’ve been asking myself: do I need a degree for what I want to do and is it worth it to potentially sacrifice study abroad, intersession, and involvement in all of the clubs Hopkins has to offer? As a student in the double degree program, it is absolutely possible to take advantage of some of these things, but definitely not all of them.
When I got back to Hopkins on Saturday night, I still wasn’t sure. On Sunday, I think I knew. So without further delay, I decided to leave my place in the double degree program. In the spring, I will no longer have dual enrollment. I am sad, happy, and relieved all at the same time. I’m not leaving because the work is too hard (though that’s not to say it isn’t challenging), but I have had a change of heart. It boils down to where I see myself in the future, and as cool as it sounds, I just can’t see myself belting out an aria from Wagner’s Ring Cycle when I’m forty years old.
Beethoven will always be my savior, I will still fangirl over Eric Whitacre, and Ravel’s Sonatine will continue to be my favorite piece ever composed. So this Fall Break wasn’t all pumpkin spice frappucinos and changing leaves for me, but I definitely turned over a new one and I’m eager to see where it will take me.