I finished my last final on the last day possible of finals – December 18th. And since I wanted to take my time packing and because I had a lot (a lot) to clean before I left my dorm for a month, I decided to take a train the next evening so that I could take it easy for a night and have a slow, blissfully free morning.

But I made a big mistake, because I fail to read notices and check mass emails at a basic level. Although my train was at 6pm, all students needed to move out of Charles Commons (home sweet home) by 12pm so they could close up for the holidays.

There was no open trunk room, no secret place I could stash my two bags, and also a pen exploded in my backpack so I could only carry it on one strap to add to the massive inconvenience that was those 6 hours between move-out and my train.

BUT but but but I took the time to make the best out of my newfound post-finals free time to do some things in Baltimore around campus that I hadn’t really been able to do during finals. And so for the first time in a very long time, I got to take a new look at Hopkins with absolutely no reminders to finish a paper, read a text, or print some notes. Here’s how I enjoyed my first day of freedom.

At 12, I dragged my bags out of Commons and hobbled over to One World Cafe. For one thing, the building on top of it is 99% going to be where my friends and I will be living next year (so we can be neighbors with JHU_Emily), and I wanted to check out the cafe I will probably soon befriend the waiters at. One World is a vegetarian and vegan cafe with this dusty vibe to it, and I’ve heard many a tale of their brunches. I’m not exactly a vegan, but I don’t eat eggs, and so I sat down with my bags strewn around me and ordered a tall glass of milk and the vegan french toast. I hadn’t been so happy in a while as I made it disappear.

one world brunch

After the life changing experience that was bananas and oranges and strawberries and powdered sugar and syrup, I headed to the Baltimore Art Museum (the BMA). It’s pretty much on campus, which makes it even more embarrassing to say that I have hardly gone this year. It may not be massive, but it’s a joy to wander for hours on end. It’s got the largest Matisse collection in the world, but that’s just the beginning.

some art on the wall

some #art on the wall

If anything, the small size is cool because you can find yourself wandering from 4th century Syrian mosaics to American Impressionism to Warhol in a matter of minutes. I spent my time as usual, adding obnoxious captions to masterpieces across time and space and adding them to my snap story.

From the BMA, I walked over to Mattin Center with hopes of snagging a key to a piano practice room to end the 6pm wait, but I realized (as I gazed into a dark Mattin) that everyone was gone. Like, I shouldn’t have been at school at that time. I was probably the only one at Hopkins you guys.

I spent the next hour lamely sitting at Barnes and Nobles constantly shifting my glance in search of an outlet. I looked over an answer key to a final from the day before because I couldn’t help myself. I ate a banana. I bought a hat for my dad. And in an hour, I took the 5pm JHMI shuttle to Penn station, where my train soon arrived. And now I’m home, where the pursuit of the perfect homemade french toast begins.