So it’s been a while. A while since I arrived at Hopkins three and a half years ago, a while since I’ve been home, and a while since I’ve had to think about the next steps in my future. And that’s really scary because now I have to start thinking about all of those things again. Over the course of the last three years, I’ve joined clubs and organizations that have strengthened my Hopkins experience and ultimately made it what it is, but this year a lot of that has faded into the background. It’s a weird dynamic; I’ve kind of come full circle because I’m an RA in a freshman residence hall, but a lot of my focus has been on what I’m doing after undergrad.

For those of you wondering, What does one do with a chemical engineering degree after graduation? that’s exactly what this chemical engineering major is trying to figure out. I know that I’m applying to graduate school in hopes of pursuing a PhD in chemical engineering but I have no idea where I’m going, where I’m qualified to go, and how to write a serious but personable statement of purpose. (This is not the same thing as a personal statement, friends.) Despite all of these things that I am scared about and do not know, I have started realizing that as important as it is to come up with a detailed plan of attack for my applications, it is equally as important to savor all of the little moments I’ve had here, because my time at Hopkins is running out.

As I’m packing up to leave Hopkins for my fourth college Thanksgiving, I wanted to write about some of the small things that come to mind when I reflect on the last few years:

  • 4pm fall sunlight scattered on the brick and marble buildings coming through the trees next to Maryland Hall
  • The first time I really worried about my future plans in Hodson at 11:30pm while studying for biochemistry
  • The PhD students in my lab poking fun at me but also inviting me to go to a conference with them because I think we’re friends
  • Playing musical chairs in the library (but not actually – actually just leaving for meals on Sunday and trying to get another seat when I come back)
  • The grasshopper on the chalkboard in Maryland Hall
  • Making friends based on who is willing to kill bugs for me when I stumble across them
  • Walking to Olin to see what it looks like in real life (my senior year)
  • Going to Levering and promising myself that I won’t get a grilled cheese and then getting a grilled cheese
  • Placing bets with RJ on who has to walk who home when we leave Brody
  • Laying in Paige’s bed and letting her solve all of my problems
  • The feeling of seeing the people I love when I come back from break

As I write this, most of my friends and residents have gone home for Thanksgiving. I’m counting down the hours until I get to leave, because my favorite thing about Hopkins (and the thing that all of these moments have in common) is sharing these moments with my people. To my people, I want to thank you for everything and tell you that even though I haven’t left yet, I can’t wait to come back and squeeze you all real tight.

Much love and happy Thanksgiving.