In the thick of exam season, I’ve found that the best way to deal with stress is just to get away from it all.

There’s a perception in the Hopkins community that students never get off campus; that they spend all their free time holed away in the library, but I can assure you that perception is a hundred percent false. Personally, I go off campus several times a week for research, my job, and one of my classes, but lately I’ve also been getting out of the neighborhood at least once every weekend for some recreational/non-academic activity as well.

Earlier this month, my aunt came to visit and took me to see the Navy vs Air Force football game at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, where my cousin is in his second year. I know absolutely nothing about football (despite having been in marching band for 4 years), but the weather was gorgeous and there was an insane amount of food. Navy was up until around the middle of the fourth quarter, when Air Force made a surprising comeback–but Navy managed to score in the last few seconds to win the game.


A couple weeks ago, I went out for dinner with a few friends to Taco Fiesta in Harbor East. I’ve already written about tacos once this semester, but I’ll say it again–Baltimore has amazing tacos. After we ate, we visited some of the shops in the neighborhood and took the long way back to the Circulator stop to enjoy the night. Despite staying relatively close to home, and despite the fact that we got back early enough for me to go to the library and finish my Biostats project, the trip kept me from going crazy the weekend before my midterm.

Last weekend was fall break, so we didn’t have class on Friday. Granted, I did spend most of my free time on Friday and Saturday in the library, but on Sunday I woke up a 5:45 am to go to New York City, where the company I interned for last summer was participating in a charity walk for lung cancer. We walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and back, which was crowded with tourists but the view was spectacular. After the walk we went out for brunch, and after that my coworker and I walked around the city until I had to go back to the train station.

New York is absolutely awe-inspiring and I wish I could’ve spent more time there–it’s a completely different vibe from Baltimore. It served as another reminder that there’s an enormous, constantly-changing world out there that I’m missing out on if I never leave campus, and that all I need to calm down and drastically improve my mood is a change of scenery and a new perspective.