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Today is Monday, January 4th and I have officially returned to campus for Intersession and second semester. Winter break was wonderful and much needed: in the just last week before break began, I had 3 exams and a final paper due. Needless to say, I slept on my plane home that Friday night, and then slept until noon on the Saturday after. Even though I was exhausted from almost nonstop studying, I couldn’t wait to come back to campus.

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My family took a trip to Florida over break, drove 24 hours from Chicago both ways, and I spent my week swimming, lounging about the pool, and reading for pleasure. Funnily enough, the place we stayed in Florida – Siesta Key – was the same place we came for Spring Break right after I found out I was accepted into Hopkins!

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Skating in Patterson Park with Neha and Emma

Even though the beach was wonderful – in the 70’s and 80’s all week! – I couldn’t wait to come back to school, and not just because my dorm bed is more comfortable than my home bed. When I was first accepted to Hopkins, dreaming about my future life in Baltimore at the same beach on which I sat just last week, I never imagined the feeling of belonging that I do while at school. Hopkins students are really my type of people – dedicated to their work and passionate about their interests, but also the type of people who explore the (excellent) Baltimore food scene and go duckpin bowling with you on a Saturday night. For lack of a better word, Hopkins students are normal. We are all brilliant – I am studying alongside future doctors, lawyers, intellectuals, and innovators, but no one is haughty or condescending when they discuss their latest research or study abroad trip for the upcoming summer. I talk about the theories of international relations with the same people I discuss Star Wars. 

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Birthday collages from R, Emma, and Neha. A pretty good summation of the amazing times I’ve had in just my first semester here.

And now I’m back on campus! I have made so many amazing memories with incredible people since I came in August, and I’m looking forward to so much more! Over Intersession – Hopkins’ optional January academic period – I am taking a class about International Relations and the Civil War and co-facilitating an alternative break through our Center for Social Concern, where I will spend the week learning, discussing, and doing service related to immigrant and refugee rights (and spend a day in DC!). My schedule for next semester is packed with fascinating classes, and I am especially excited for my class on Ancient Egypt where I will get to work with the objects in our Archeological Museum in Gilman. Outside of class, I am looking forward to Sorority Recruitment at the end of January and JHUMUNC, Hopkins’ high school Model United Nations conference, in the middle of February. Beyond that, Spring Fair and lacrosse season is still to come. All in all, if it’s supposed to get better from here, I can’t wait to see what other amazing things I will do here at Hopkins.