Ever wonder what my favorite parts of Hopkins are? Probably not, but here they are anyway, formatted in extreme particularity.

favorite thing to do on campus

MSE Symposium and Foreign Affairs Symposium bring some amazing guest speakers to Hopkins. This past fall, MSE Symposium brought R.J. Mitte from Breaking Bad and B.J. Novak from The Office, and this spring, FAS will bring feminist and political activist Gloria Steinem and founder of Humans of New York, Brandon Stanton. The symposiums are always fantastic, and they are free and open to the public!

Cons: only getting to talk to B.J. Novak for five seconds while he signs your copy of his book just when you realize that a true friendship could blossom there between you, him, and Mindy Kaling.

Look how beautiful this lineup is. *bows down to FAS*

favorite on-campus food

There’s another Sterling Brunch this upcoming Sunday, which reminds me of possibly the best thing I’ve eaten on campus – the baked brie. It’s doughy, it’s cheesy, it’s calorie laden, and it’s pure joy. Something more everyday that I really like – noodles from One Bowl in Levering – they satisfy me when I’m craving “Americans-trying-to-make-something-Asian-tasting” food and the pineapple tamarind is the best out of all the sauce options. Close runner-up – fresh squeezed orange juice at the FFC.

Cons: calories, guilt.

Sterling Brunch, photo credit Jilliann Pak.

Sterling Brunch, sans baked brie, feat fresh squeezed OJ, photo credit Jilliann Pak.

favorite place to study

B Level accommodates whatever type of assignment I’m doing: problem sets, readings and response papers, or computing exercises. When I’m in the Brody atrium, I try to snag one of the normal-height tables and chairs (I’m sorry, but I just can’t get work done on those dinky coffee-table height excuses for adequate study space). The movable whiteboards are perfect for groups tackling tough linear algebra questions or when you want to write out some example problems to study for an upcoming exam. There’s a variety of other seating I like to use for when I’m doing readings and don’t require a lot of desk space. And if I find myself not focusing enough in the more open environment of Brody, I can easily walk over to MSE B Level and get jiggy-with-it in a quiet cubicle. It’s not eerily silent like in C or D Level, but not as loud as A Level can be.

Cons: two flights of stairs up to the Daily Grind, the scarcity of reachable outlets, the draft every time someone opens the door to the cold, outside world.

favorite caffeinated beverage

Before college, I never really drank coffee, so the dirty chai was like the perfect stepping stone from tea to coffee for me, and it’s now my go-to drink. I like it iced, even in the winter, just because it’s easier to drink and I burn my tongue on almost every hot liquid. When needed, I go for a redeye. It saves the day (or night, rather) and also I think I sound super cool when I order one.

Cons: being over-caffeinated, finishing half of your drink before you sit back down.


My friend Karina, modeling a dirty chai. Backdrop: Brody B Level, of course. Photo bomb: Michael Korn.

favorite study music

I had this great Spotify study playlist before I switched to my individual account that was full of my all-time favorite solo piano, wind band, and orchestral pieces. They are great to listen to because you have nothing you can sing along to that will distract you. For the band geeks out there, I’m really enjoying some of Joseph Curiale’s stuff, partially because it allows me to reminisce about being in marching band my freshman year of high school.

Cons: reminiscing so much you start back-stalking your Facebook profile to 2010, browsing Spotify for too long looking for new study music.


Music on my study playlist that also happens to be music we’re playing in JHU Wind Ensemble.

favorite place to eat in charles village

I don’t want to sound cliche, but Carma’s Cafe. Per JHU_Genevieve’s suggestion, I have come to accept the fact that the TCB (turkey, cranberry, brie sandwich) is the food of the gods and I actually bought a bag of Carma’s cookies to take home to my family for Christmas because they were just that good. Also, the grilled cheese and tomato soup combination never fails me.

Cons: can get crowded, you’ll always want more, finishing your food too fast, lighting not prime for Instagram.

Not Insta-worthy :(

Not Insta-worthy 🙁

favorite baltimore neighborhood

I hate this question because I have yet to explore every Baltimore neighborhood, so I don’t even know why I included it, but I think so far, I really like Mount Vernon. It’s free and easy to get to using the JHMI shuttle and there’s so many places to eat. Mekong Delta Cafe is the place to go when I need my Vietnamese fix, and TenTen has great ramen. Also in Mount Vernon: Iggie’s Pizza, the Bun Shop, Dooby’s, plus the original Washington Monument, and Peabody!

Cons: going to the Peabody Library when it’s closed, forgetting to try new restaurants, losing that feeling of awe when seeing the Washington Monument in D.C.


Peabody Library is located in Mount Vernon and just look at it. Photo cred: Regina Ferrara.

favorite class

Surprisingly enough, right now I’m really liking my “Introduction to Computing” class. My mom is a computer programmer, so I think it’s in my blood to think that this class is actually fun. The class itself is fast-paced, but I find myself learning a lot, and enjoying what I’m learning. The professor is sweet and approachable, and there’s so many open lab and office hours to get help and ask questions. 

Cons: forgetting a character, “command not found”, almost accidentally rmdir-ing your entire homework folder, having people not understand your Unix jokes.

Following this post, I have come to the realization that:

  • I am extremely excited to hear Brandon Stanton speak.
  • I am really hungry and want Sterling Brunch.
  • I might be spending way too much time on B Level. Like right now.
  • I should probably start my computing homework.