Three times a semester, the signs and banners go up around campus for an event that causes mass joy amongst the Hopkins population.

“What do these banners advertise?” you may ask.

A meet and greet with puppies?

A trip somewhere exotic and warm?

Free Chipotle? (I wish)

The answer is Sterling Brunch.

If you live anywhere in the realm of modern times, chances are you have a pretty firm grasp on the concept of a brunch. Everyone’s favorite TV characters and rom-com protagonists are frequently depicted dressing up and laughing together over plates of lox, brie, and fruit salad on Sunday mornings, an image not drastically different from the reality of Sterling Brunch here at Hopkins.

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Two words: Chocolate. Fountain.

A few times every semester, usually around major seasonal holidays, the FFC pulls out all the stops to treat the students to a wonderful, gourmet meal, including themed decorations, a live band, and fancy table linens.

But really. If the kid sitting next to you in his pajamas wasn’t the same kid you see across your Calculus lecture, you would think you were at an upscale restaurant.

This past weekend was the Valentine’s Day occasion, a theme reflected in both the food and décor. The food selections ranged from short ribs to heart-shaped French toast and even a chocolate fountain. These were in addition to the traditional favorites, such as an omelet bar and buffet of breakfast pastries, appropriately adorned in pink and red sprinkles (because if I’ve learned anything else in life, it’s that sprinkles make everything better).

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An anatomical depiction of my heart

If that hasn’t sold you on the magic of the occasion, take note of the fact that every student was also given a flower in the spirit of the season. C’mon. Where else does food love you like that? (Answer: nowhere. The foodporn tag on Instagram will never give you a flower, no matter how wonderful that pizza looks).

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Hello, my pretty.

Sterling Brunch is a true testament to the Hopkins community. The event draws people from all grades into the FFC to bond over a mutual love of breakfast food and lazy Sunday mornings and the place to see and be seen (spotted this past weekend: JHU_Girija looking fly in Mickey Mouse PJs).

As an added bonus, the next time a friend form high school tries to brag about the food at his/her school, you can just bring up the fact that there is a live band in your dining hall. All other arguments are therefore invalid.

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I wasn’t kidding about the band.