What with the infamous “freshman fall semester” coming to a close and the curtain rising on spring’s shenanigans, I thought I’d list some of the crazy revelations and quiet conclusions I’ve come to as a mere freshman at the grand old Johns Hopkins University.
I’ve separated these thoughts into two categories: Things I Can, and Things I Can’t.
THINGS I CAN:
1. Write creatively/recreationally and SHOW PEOPLE. Ok so here’s the thing about pre-Hopkins Molly. She had a few journals. She liked writing in them. She sort of always wanted to start her own blog but thought “I’m too boring to have a blog/I’m not a yuppy mom with 2 kids and a yoga class to write about.” Halfway through the summer, she entered the Freshman Blog Contest for Hopkins Interactive on a whim — and was one of the winners (????) She then got a nice li’l email from JHU_Genevieve about possibly applying for SAAB. One nervously written application, a VERY nervously-executed interview and 4 months later, I’m JHU_Molly. *drops mic + thanks baby Jesus for the opportunity*
And then, there’s Throat Culture, Hopkins’s best and only sketch comedy group. Never in my life did I think I’d be capable of/get the opportunity to be in anything remotely close to SNL. Lo and behold, I discovered TC. I auditioned – yet again – on a whim, which I’ve realized is the way a lot of my growth at Hopkins has begun: through Nervous-But-Excited Molly’s shenanigans. I’ve written my own sketches, acted a fool for laughs, done some weird accents and had a wonderful time doing it. Here’s to hoping Amy Poehler would be proud.
2. Explore B’more whenever possible. Little old freshman Molly does not have a car! She knows only one freshman person at Hopkins with a car, and that person is certainly not going to drive her from restaurant to restaurant to museum to restaurant over and over and over. Day trips were made possible for baby Jays such as myself by several gloriously free modes of transport:
a. The JHMI, the Hopkins bus that stops 5 minutes’ walk from Homewood and goes to Mt. Vernon (among other places), which is probably my favorite neighborhood in B’More.
b. Blue Jay Shuttles, for when I’m too gosh darn lazy to walk to Hampden, Giant, or pretty much anywhere within a certain radius of campus. VERY HELPFUL FOR THOSE COLD, WINDY B’MORE NIGHTS. I can just give ’em a ring, and they will come to my rescue like Tide To-Go.
c. Charm City Circulator, a free shuttle that runs all around Balti, perfect for trips to Fell’s Point (home of Sofi’s Crepes, Goodwill, and a great view of the harbor) or Inner Harbor, if you’re like JHU_Aneek and love Inner Harbor to the death.
3. Eat my way through B’more. This is sort of in tandem with my point about free (I’ll say it once more, with feeling) FREE public transport. No, I don’t have unlimited funds. No, I don’t have a campus job yet (SPRING SEMESTER I PROMISE). In light of this, I’ve prioritized my scant $ in accordance with my stomach’s wants and needs. Here are three of the many transcendental taste adventures I’ve embarked on as a Hopkins freshman in Charm City.
Not gonna lie – I got a snack midway through posting those pictures because they made me hungry-sad. I MISS YOU, B’MORE FOOD CIRCUIT.
4. Slay the homework away. Yeah, yeah, cheesy cheesy rhymes but it’s TRUE. The Hopkins work ethic is a thing, and although ya girl may not adhere to it 100% of the time, it’s left an impression on the kind of student I am. Procrastination will never cease to occur because, well, I’m just an imperfect human, okay? But I do it a whole heck of a lot less here somehow. Maybe it’s because I’m surrounded by some pretty inspiring, hard-working peers who set a standard I’d like to uphold myself. Maybe it’s the grace of President Ronny D. It’s probably because I’ve settled on my favorite study spot in Gilman, where the coffee/food/bathroom is just around the corner and the natural light is always a-flowin’. Regardless, Hopkins has this weird, magical tendency to bring out the excellence in people, and I’m proud to say it’s done the same for me.
THINGS I CAN’T
1. Box myself in. For some reason, freshman fall included a whole bunch of self-doubt — about my major, potential career paths, you name it. I limited myself by questioning myself, and that mentality needs to go jump in the lake before spring semester. Something that recently got me out of that funk was checking out the Career Center‘s resources — the list of internships for a writing/arts/possibly marketing -minded person like me is a lot longer than I expected, and the lovely people at the Career Center know how to hook a brother or sister up with the knowledge necessary to get where you need to go. I’ve got an appointment during Intersession, and I’m ready for it.
2. Stop writing for the News-Letter. This one’s pretty straightforward. I was excited to start, I did it once and had a blast, and just let it fall by the wayside. Hear ye, hear ye! Spring semester shall be the rejuvenation of my career as an arts journalist for the Hopkins News-Letter! Because this was fun to write but a little sloppy and I’d like to get better at this and simultaneously have an excuse to explore the B’more arts scene!
3. Wait for a kick in the pants to take initiative. Unfortunately, this did happen every now and then: I’d be too lazy to go investigate a cool opportunity to go on this trip or find out about that club or free lecture and end up missing out on what could have been some good old-fashioned adventures in intellectual growth. I definitely stretched myself, but it’s time to continue that tenfold into spring — marketing classes? News-Letter writing? More volunteer work through the CSC? Actually learning photoshop a la the Digital Media Center? Let’s get down to business !!!
And so, there we have it. I’ve learned a thing or two as an autumn novice Blue Jay, and I’m anxious to learn a few more before freshman year concludes.
Freshman spring, here’s to you.