A week ago, I packed my bags, cleaned my room, and boarded my train returning to my hometown of Richmond, VA! Hopkins is generous enough to give us an entire week off for Thanksgiving, which is absolutely wonderful. Trust me, all my friends that go to other schools are extremely jealous.

As a return to campus today, I am absolutely amazed that I only have 3 weeks left of the first semester! Now that I can almost officially say I’ve survived my first semester of college, and finals are the only thing standing in my way. So, to wrap up the semester, I thought I’d share some of my favorite aspects from my first semester at Hopkins.

Favorite Class: This is actually pretty hard to pick, as I’ve pretty much enjoyed all my classes from this semester. If I had to pick, I’d go with Spanish Conversation, an upper level Spanish elective I’m taking for my Spanish in the Professions Minor. Before class started, I was really nervous for this one. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the other people in my class, and that maybe my Spanish speaking skills wouldn’t be up to the level of the course. Though the course is definitely challenging, our amazing professor creates a really welcoming environment and encourages us to be comfortable making mistakes, because that’s how we improve!

Second Favorite Class: Told you I couldn’t pick just one. I really love my freshman seminar called The Nobels in Chemistry and Medicine. It meets once a week, and is student led. Every couple weeks, we are assigned a Nobel Prize laureate to present on, and get to teach the class about our laureate and the science behind their prize! It is awesome being able to learn from my classmates and I always look forward to going to class.

Favorite Place to Study: Hopkins is a really beautiful place, and it is filled with great places to sit and study. Though I really love getting coffee from the Daily Grind in Mudd, and sitting in their cozy red chairs before I go to my chem lab, I have to give this one to MSE. The library is a classic. If I want to do homework and still be social, I can sit with friends on M Level, but if I really need to hit the books and study, C Level is just a few flights below.

Favorite Thing at the FFC: Probably not a surprise, but I’ve got to go with the ice cream. It’s exciting to check the ice cream flavors as you walk in, and there’s no better feeling than seeing honey graham, coffee oreo, cheesecake, and cookie dough in the ice cream freezer.

Favorite (Not FFC) Place to Eat: The FFC is awesome, but sometimes its good to change it up. Recently, I’ve been loving Honegrow, a new restaurant that serves stir fry and somehow can make a cup of fruit taste like the best dessert you’ve ever eaten. Another standout is Pizza Studio. (Get the pesto!)

Favorite Memory: Okay, so I may have a million favorite memories, but here is one that stands out. (Maybe that’s because it just happened recently.) My friends and I were walking to the FFC for Late Night, still slightly zoned out from a study marathon. Out of nowhere, we heard a loud noise, and saw something flying at us. Chaos ensued. We screamed and ran away in panic. Turns out, it was just the sprinkler system turning on at 9:00 pm (why) and the only harm was a bit of water. Traumatic, but hilarious.