To say that I’m looking forward to spring semester is like saying I wouldn’t mind if Jennifer Lawrence were my best friend: a huge understatement. Though I have yet to personally experience the general merriment and excessive frolicking (the means through which I envision Hopkins students express their merriment) that accompany Homewood’s transition into warmer weather, I have been told by many of my elders that spring is the time when our campus is the most alive. And there are loads of reasons why. Baltimore in the spring is undeniably glorious, and I’m counting down the days to Spring Fair with the same evangelical zeal I used to apply to college decision dates. But I would be remiss if I didn’t give true credit where credit is due: spring semester marks the start of lacrosse season. And lacrosse at Hopkins is kind of a big deal. Don’t believe me? You can go ahead and ask our nine DI championships. (Thanks, Google!)
I’m a Baltimore native, so I admittedly have an advantage over some of my midwestern friends in terms of actually knowing that lacrosse exists. And I went to a high school where lacrosse was fairly high profile. But despite all of my opportunities to skip on down to the field, I confess that I never did. So I haven’t seen a lacrosse game. In fact, my knowledge of the sport extends little past three details: a) players carry big sticks, b) those sticks hold balls that feel like rocks when they make contact with your face, and c) I’m pretty sure you can hit others with the aforementioned sticks and people will be cool with it. My friends were often concussed.
I have nothing against sports. It’s just that our paths don’t frequently cross. General disinterest mixed with an overt lack of hand-eye coordination left my parents reluctant to force me into any sort of miniature soccer team, and musical theatre quickly moved in to fill the primary extracurricular activity gap. The only voluntary hands-on sports exposure I’ve had was one rousing game of Quidditch (where my seekers at?) the summer before fourth grade. Yes, I went to Harry Potter camp, and no, I do not feel shame.
Still, my dad and brother are both diehard Ravens fans, making football a large presence in our household. I typically go to one game a year, cheer when other people cheer/boo when other people boo, and enjoy the halftime show. But in terms of actually understanding what’s happening on the field, I’m forever lost. My poor father tries to explain a “touchback” every time we’re up in those seats. I couldn’t tell you what that is if my life depended on it.
So that’s how people knew me. I was the one the boys put in the middle of the volleyball court during gym class and told not to “do too much damage,” the one who dressed up as a lacrosse player for Halloween and had to borrow everything I wore. And that image certainly wasn’t wrong. But college is all about trying news things and blowing past reputations to smithereens, right? Right. So. Hello, Blue Jays! Meet your new number one fan.
I pledge to attend every home game, not only to see my darling floormate kick butt on the Lady Birds, but also to get the full JHU experience. If this is something that’s important to Hopkins, then it’s going to be important to me too. And though I may not be quite ready for the face paint, I’ve invested in some equally spirited blue nail polish over break. I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.