For the second time ever, I am on the train back “home” to Hopkins. I don’t know when this transition happened, when I realized I was comfier in my dorm bed, more used to automatic sinks, or more familiar with the FFC than my own kitchen. After a few months I guess it happened. My new home is Johns Hopkins. I now live in AMR I, Wilson House; I now live in Baltimore.
I think the strangest part of this whole transition is that everything about Woodbury, CT has remained relatively unchanged. It’s me who has changed. I can’t imagine what it must be like to not see someone you love for a few months, and then see them again. Except it’s not them, it’s a different person.
The very first night I came back to Woodbury for break I met with my three closest friends from home. I was surprised to experience how they had changed, and I’m sure it was strange for them to see me as a different person. This whole time I’ve been at school I had naively thought that all my friends were now having similar experiences. It was clear right away that all our schools were different. Compared to their stories, I realized that Johns Hopkins is much more challenging. At first I was a bit jealous that they only had 4 classes each, that they could do their homework during the day, and that they had a lot of down time on the weekends. Down time?? My life at Hopkins has never been busier, never been crazier. If not studying, my friends and I are exploring Baltimore or going to events on campus. I’m grateful for the opportunities Baltimore provides, and I’m grateful for the rigorous classes. I am challenged everyday, and I know I am learning everyday.
Another huge difference between Johns Hopkins and most other schools is that although we are in an urban area, we have an enclosed campus to call home. One of my friends goes to school in Boston and doesn’t really have a campus. Living on Homewood I feel much more connected to my class. On the other hand, we don’t live in the middle of nowhere. Since arriving in August, I have learned to navigate the sometimes-complicated bus system of Baltimore, I know when a taxi is charging too much, and I have a sense of the different neighborhoods of the city. It’s the best of both worlds here at Hopkins. None of my friends live in such a unique situation.
As my train continues down the coastline towards Baltimore, I can’t help but feel like I am coming home from vacation. I’m looking forward to going back to my schedule, and I’m even more excited to see my friends. Life at Hopkins can be very stressful, but I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.