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In terms of finals, I was one of the lucky ones on campus. I only had two real finals during finals week, as my Spanish class had its exam the week before, and they were both during the first week, which meant I was done December 16th! Though I was happy to be back in Richmond, Virginia (we’ll call it RVA from now on!) it was strange being apart from my Hopkins friends while they stayed to finish up finals. However, I didn’t have much time to be too homesick for Hopkins, as I made sure my week off was jam packed with swimming, working a little bit, catching up with old friends, and Christmas festivities!

RVA's finest

RVA’s finest

Before writing this, I just finished packing my ~barely under 50 lbs~ suitcase for my training trip to Florida. Basically, training trip is when most college swim teams travel to some warm, tropical location during winter break to do some really hard, high quality training. In the swim world, winter training is used as an opportunity to make massive gains that we’ll see not only at our championship meets, but even into the summer. However, as I like to see it, the real reasoning for a training trip is because the workouts are so demanding and grueling, that to do them in cold, wintry Baltimore would be borderline cruel.

Though I know it will be tough, I truly couldn’t be more excited. We’ll be going to West Palm Beach, and between workouts, we’ll get to lounge on the beach and simply enjoy great weather with great friends. Fun fact: My lane (lane 6!!) will be donning matching friendship bracelets, so let’s hope for some sick tan lines.



After training trip, I’ll be going straight back to Baltimore, where I’ll spend intersession swimming, and training at my research lab next semester! That’s right, your girl has officially secured a research position! I’ll be using my time off during intersession to learn the skills I’ll be expected to do next semester, and I couldn’t be more excited. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before on my blogs, but I am a recipient of the Woodrow Wilson Research Fellowship, which means the school provides me $10,000 to dedicate towards completing a research project, which I am hoping to eventually do at this particular lab. It is a really awesome program, and if you have any interest whatsoever in doing research on a particular topic, you should definitely apply!

But now I’m getting ahead of myself. In the interim between now and when I board my 5:15 AM flight tomorrow, I can actually take the time to reflect on what my first semester at Hopkins has meant to me. I’ve had more opportunities than I can imagine, like blogging for Hopkins Interactive, teaching adult swim lessons at the Rec Center, and to representing my university as a college athlete, I truly couldn’t be more fulfilled.