Unlike freshman year, sophomore year went out “not with a bang, but with a whimper.” There was no fanfare, no crossing-the-finish-line metaphor, no big freshman-y “YOU DID IT,” no house-wide group hug. There were just two weeks of sleepless finals nonsense, some painful goodbyes, and a general drifting toward an indefinite end. Sure, my darling father and I developed our own celebration in the form of Les Miserables (cried for days) on Broadway, but it wasn’t until I woke up this morning to an apartment empty of both roommates and sublet-ers that I finally understood: this is the end. I am an upperclassman, officially halfway through my time at Hopkins. And that scares the heck out of me. So instead of looking toward a bright, but dwindling, future, I’m going to do some reminiscing, end-of-the-school-year style.

Pre-sophomore year. So young, so naive, so well-rested.

Pre-sophomore year. So young, so naive, so well-rested.

**Cliché alert** Sophomore year had its ups and downs. I felt the pressure in ways I’d somehow managed to avoid as a freshie, which makes sense: greater experience, greater expectations. My position as Vice President of Studio Productions on the Barnstormers’ executive board tested me on a daily basis and not always for the better. My time producing the O-Showcase, FOAs, and I-Show was spent in a haze of constant stress as I grappled with work that was not only outside of my comfort zone and experience level, but, to be honest, my personal passions. I ended the year proud of myself and the job I had done, but relieved to have the weight lifted.

Spring semester seemed to vanish before my eyes with the arrival of The Addams Family, an off-campus musical I was lucky enough to be a part of. Addams was literally everything I could hope for in terms of the show itself and the exceptional people who made it a reality, but my life at school suffered. What little time I spent at Hopkins was consumed by schoolwork and herculean efforts to stay healthy in a world that seemed determined to repeatedly infect me. To be both a good Wednesday and a good student, I had to be a bad friend, roommate, girlfriend, Big, Little, SAABer. And it sucked to not be there for the people who could usually count on me. By the time I said a tearful goodbye to my Addams family (har har), my finals were upon me, and crossing the finish line of sophomore year felt more exhausted than celebratory.

The best-looking family in town.

The best-looking family in town.

But, as is usually the case, the highs were as high as the lows were low. I didn’t think I could become closer to the three roommates I never seem to shut up about, but here we are, essentially four crazy extensions of one awesome person. I took interesting, exciting classes and had great academic success, which is even more fulfilling when you’re in love with what you’re doing. I became a B’more host, landed my dream summer internship, and added a perfect human to my Alpha Phi family tree. And I ended my year-long musical theatre hiatus with a role I’ve always wanted to play, in a show that reminded me why I love performing in the first place. All in all, I’d call that a win. There were so many moments throughout these two semesters when I found myself wishing time away: “If I can just make it past this test, if I can just make it through tech week, if I can just survive SOHOP.” And now it’s all over, and I’m truly sad to see it go.

Or is THIS the best-looking family in town? Decisions, decisions.

Or is THIS the best-looking family in town? Decisions, decisions.

That’s the crazy thing about college. Every year, semester even, feels simultaneously totally different and exactly the same. Just when you get comfortable with a class, it ends; just when you get comfortable with an apartment, you move; just when you get comfortable with the idea of being a sophomore, summer hits, and you’re a junior, learning a whole new set of ropes. So as I sit here, growing prematurely nostalgic and gearing up to face Part Two of my college career, I’m more thankful than ever for what’s stayed the same, because I’d be lost without it. Thank you, AllNighters concerts. Thank you, Levering chicken tenders. Thank you, Norton Poetry Anthology. Thank you, Gilman Hall, Alpha Phi, and roommates. With these constants, the surefire changes of junior year don’t seem nearly as terrifying. In the words of one of the more sophisticated cartoon characters of my generation: I’m ready.