Every year, a little something called the Freshman Plague attacks the student body at JHU. It starts with one innocent freshman who thinks they have a run-of-the-mill head cold. “It’s just the adjustment to Baltimore’s climate,” they say. “It’s the cake I ate yesterday at the FFC. Too much chocolate for me to handle.” “Allergies.”

And so, this unsuspecting freshman continues to go to class, despite their incessant sneezing/coughing/misery. One thing leads to another, and suddenly, entire dorms full of freshman are making appointments at the Health and Wellness Center, downing bags full of Ricolas, and throwing jealous glares at the remaining healthy students. That was me once, the sick ones think to themselves. I was so happy then.

Until a few days ago, I was plagued with the FP (Freshman Plague, in case you’re not keeping up with the times). This is my story.

A little over a week ago, I went to Late Night at the FFC with JHU Aneek. At the time, he was suffering from the FP, and due to his congestion/sore throat, he spoke with his “husky voice,” as he called it. I clearly remember laughing at his husky voice, thinking, Poor guy, he’s so sick. Thank GOODNESS I’m not sick. Aneek then proceeded to pile honeydew and plain yogurt on granola in a gross-looking attempt to eat the healthy way. He ate about two bites and then went back to his croissant. Cue me laughing again.



Alas, I laughed too soon. I went to my first two classes the next day and returned with a pounding headache, a fever and chills. I took the weakest “power nap” I’ve ever had and went to my last class of the day. After that ended, I ran for my life to the FFC, grabbed a to-go box, filled it with as much fruit as it could hold, and…well, this was basically the rest of my night.



And so it began. I had fallen victim to the Freshman Plague, that silent menace that has touched every Hopkins student’s life at one point or another. I stayed in from dinner that night (that’s how you know I’m not feeling well), but my lovely roommate brought me a cup of soup and some fruit for when I felt up to it.



The next few days were filled with a vicious cycle of classes, homework, congestion, and NyQuil-induced comas. Baltimore’s heavy rainstorms rounded out the melancholy mood of the ordeal. Sometimes, when I felt up to it, I would cover myself in some scarf-sweater-boot combination, trudge over to Gilman, and park myself in The Hut with hot tea from Alkimia to do some work. It was a very moody-acoustic-indie-music few days. Don’t roll your eyes. I KNOW you know what I mean.

Sick Molly basking in the melancholy

Because I have the best luck in the world, Fall Break Day happened amidst my battle with the FP. Several of my friends took the train to D.C.; alas, ya girl was still too sick to fully enjoy a day trip off campus. However, I was feeling a bit better than I had felt before, and I refused to do any work on my day off from class. It was about 11am, and no one was awake yet to quell my impending boredom. What is there to do when you’re a congested FP victim who’s restricted to moderate indoor activities during fall break day?

After a few minutes of pondering, the answer was clear. I threw on some warm clothing, shoved a bunch of cough drops in my bag, and went to the ART MUSEUM.



Hopkins is #blessed enough to have the Baltimore Museum of Art located just at the edge of campus, only a 10 minute walk from my humble abode in AMR II. I remember dorking out about it when I first visited the campus back in April, and I hadn’t had the chance to explore it since moving in. As I walked through the museum, I ate Ricolas like it was my job, read every caption, and snapped some photos of a few pieces I liked. For a little while, I forgot I was still technically on campus.

Claude Monet, Charing Cross Bridge, Reflections on the Thames 1901-4

Claude Monet – Charing Cross Bridge, Reflections on the Thames 1901-4

Robert Rauschenberg, Johanson's Painting

Robert Rauschenberg – Johanson’s Painting

Jimmy Joe Roche, Greater Black Astral Dripper

Jimmy Joe Roche – Greater Black Astral Dripper

The rest of my weekend was spent well, as I slowly but surely regained my health. I performed in my first show for Throat Culture, did some homework with the spirit of Hermione Granger to help me power through, and NyQuil-d myself to sleep each night to keep my obnoxious FP whooping cough at bay. By Wednesday of this past week, I was pretty much cured. Over the past few days, I’ve relished in my newfound health: I went to Mt. Vernon (with some helpful directions from JHU_Joseph) to write a News-Letter article on the Guerrilla Girls, took my family around campus and Baltimore for Family Weekend, and breathed in through my nose for the first time in what felt like years.

I’d like to thank NyQuil, Ricola, “Gilmore Girls”, my roommate, the FFC fruit bar, BMA, hot tea, and the big jar of Women’s Gummy Vitamins that my mom packed me for college (they’re like fruit snacks for the immune system!!!). I can proudly say that I survived the Freshman Plague of 2014. #unbreakable