Cover Letter 2021: Back in Baltimore

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Welcoming the Class of 2025

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August 26, 2021

Letter from the editors We’re going to be honest, you guys caught us at a weird time. Over the past three semesters, us upperclassmen have weathered some pretty unorthodox college experiences. Our extended spring break turned into a worldwide pandemic, sending us headfirst into a world of spit tests and remote learning. But despite what was thrown at us, whether we were a few blocks off-campus or in a different time zone, the Hopkins community survived and has made it back to Homewood. And now you’re here, to experience what comes next alongside us! Believe us, after quarantine, it’s nice to see some new faces (even if they’re under some masks). To help you acclimate to your new college lifestyle, we at The News-Letter have compiled as much advice as we could fit into this year’s Cover Letter. By this point, you’re already head-first into Orientation Week (Some of you even have our own Editor-in-Chief, Laura Wadsten, as your FYM!), but there’s still more to learn! There’s a lot to read in here, but as incoming Hopkins students, we know you’re up for the challenge. Scared of living alone for the first time? Get the need-to-know from our girl Ellie Rose on page 8. Want to venture off-campus but don’t know where to start? The wonderful Eunice has all the answers on page 12. We’ve got information on picking your major, attending sporting events, exploring the Baltimore restaurant scene, and learning Hopkins lingo, just to scratch the surface. Before you enter any 101 classes, let us teach you about the basics of student life! Starting college during a pandemic is certainly a challenge, but it is one that we are sure we can face together as a strong Hopkins community. We hope this Cover Letter can help you as you begin your journey at Hopkins and perhaps even at The News-letter!

We’ll see you in class! — Muhammad Abidi & Claire Goudreau Magazine Editors 2021-2022


Your guide to Hopkins Need-to-know Hopkins Catch-up on Campus slang ................................3 news.................................18 COVID-19 and your Spotlight News and why college experience...........4 you should use it............19 Upperclassmen answer Finding our niche at your burning questions....6 The News-Letter.............20 Living Alone Survival Tips Why we joined The News.........................................8 Letter and why you should too......................21 Picking my major.............9 Meet the editors............22 A look at the Class of 2025...............................10 Popping the “Hopkins bubble”...........................12 Get a taste of Baltimore........................15 A sampling of local sports & how to watch them......17 The Cover Letter is a special publication of The Johns Hopkins NewsLetter, the student newspaper of Johns Hopkins University. For general inquiries or information on how to join, email or find us at the Student Involvement Fair on Sept. 7 from 2 to 5 p.m. in the Rec Center. The News-Letter can be found online at, in print every Thursday during the school year and on the social media sites below. JHU News-Letter

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August 26, 2021

Your guide to need-to-know Hopkins slang By REBECCA MURATORE Now that you’ve arrived at Hopkins, there is a lot you need to take in all at once. It is certainly overwhelming, especially when people are throwing around lingo and jargon that might as well be in a different language. Here are the explanations behind some of the most common Hopkins lingo to help you get the hang of things.

FFC: First and foremost: food. The Fresh Food Cafe is the main dining hall on campus, and it’s where you’ll eat many of your meals and run into many of your fellow freshman classmates. One meal swipe gets you access to the all-you-can-eat buffet with a variety of options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Nolan’s: Nolan’s is another buffet-style dining hall located in Charles Commons. Open for dinner, it’s an option for when you want to change things up from the FFC, or if you live close by and are too lazy to walk elsewhere for food. Dining dollars: Along with the meal swipes you can use at the FFC, dining dollars also come with every meal plan. These can be used to buy food at various dining locations around campus, such as Levering Kitchens in Levering Hall (which is open for lunch Monday through Friday) and CharMar. J-Cash: J-Cash is money you can load onto your J-Card like a debit card. It can be used to make purchases at any of the dining locations or coffee shops on campus, as well as at locations on St. Paul Street, like Barnes & Noble.

CharMar: At The Charles Street Market, you can buy groceries, get premade meals and even get tasty treats like crepes from the Crepe Studio. Along with accepting dining dollars, J-Cash and other payment options, CharMar also has the Meal-ina-Minute option where you can use a meal swipe on a grab-and-go lunch. Located right across the street from the Beach, it’s where you’ll most likely get all of your food when you get sick of the FFC or have too many dining dollars left at the end of the semester. The Beach: The Beach is the grassy expanse right behind the Hopkins sign. Sadly there are no ocean waves and sandy shores at Hopkins, but like other beaches, you’ll find many students lying out on blankets, tossing frisbees and soaking in the sun on bright days. Brody/MSE:

The Brody Learning Commons is the study space attached to the Milton S. Eisenhower Library (MSE). With private study rooms you can book along with open collaborative spaces, Brody is the perfect place for you and your friends to meet up and work on assignments together (or to socialize and pretend to get work done). MSE has multiple levels that become quieter and more secluded as you go down. Choose M-level or Alevel if you don’t mind some chatter or want to collaborate with others, and venture down to D-level if you prefer a silent studying experience.

up for. PILOT sessions act as small study groups that meet weekly with a trained student PILOT leader. During these sessions, the PILOT leader helps the group to review class material, work on supplementary problem sets and facilitate collaboration with classmates.

The Breezeway: The Breezeway is the open walkway at the top of the stairs between the Keyser and Wyman Quads. It’s a great place to stop and take in the view of the picturesque Wyman Quad below you. Be warned, though: If you stop for too long, you might get hounded by a student group fundraiser, as this is a popular spot for groups to set up and tempt you with Krispy Kreme donuts or boba. JHMI: The “Jimmy,” as it’s pronounced, is a free bus that goes between Homewood Campus and the medical campus. With a stop right in front of Barnes & Noble, it’s a convenient option for getting to and from locations along the route, such as Penn Station. The Charm City Circulator, a Baltimore bus system, is another free bus option to take you around the city.

BME: Biomedical Engineering is a very popular major at Hopkins. You either are a BME major or will meet people who won’t let you forget that they are BME majors Ronny D: No, Ronny D is not a cousin of Ronald McDonald but the nickname many students use to refer to Ronald J. Daniels, the president of Hopkins. The Hopkins bubble:

Far too often, Hopkins students get trapped in the “Hopkins bubble” and rarely venture outside of the safety net of campus and Charles Village. It’s easy to get caught up in campus life, but while you’re in Baltimore for the next four years, try to make the most of it and explore! There’s plenty to see and do in Charm City, whether it’s trying a new restaurant in a neighborhood you haven’t been to before, going on a bike ride along the Jones Falls Trail or spending the afternoon wandering through one of the city’s many interesting museums. This list only scratches the surface of things to know about life at Hopkins, but hopefully it will help you feel a bit more confident in navigating your new home!

PILOT: The PILOT program is one of the best resources for academic support at Hopkins. At the beginning of every semester, certain classes offer PILOT sessions that you can sign

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COVID-19 and college life How to stay safe and have fun By MICHELLE LIMPE

Dear Class of ‘25, Congratulations on getting into Hopkins! We are so excited to finally resume a sense of normalcy this coming school year and welcome you on campus. However, with cases on the rise and new variants spreading, the fight against COVID-19 is not over. Here is a checklist of a few important University rules (as of Aug. 23) to keep in mind to best PROTECT JHU as everyone returns and begins a new year in-person:

Prodensity First and foremost, everyone must download the Prodensity app, available on iOS and Android devices. Through the app, created solely for Hopkins affiliates, you will be able to submit the required daily health checks, receive COVID-19 test results and report COVID-19-related violations. The health checks, which must be completed every 12 hours, ask you to confirm that you have been compliant with all testing and vaccine protocols and have not been exposed to the virus nor experienced any of its symp-

toms. After completing your daily health checks, you will receive your campus pass, which is necessary for accessing on-campus facilities. If you are unable to download the app, you can also complete the daily health checks online.

Remember to mask up In light of the surge of cases, the University has reinstated its mask policy, requiring all affiliates to wear masks in indoor spaces. If you are in your dorm room or apartment, you may remove your mask as long as your roommates are the only other people with you. Masks have been proven to be one of the most basic but effective measures of protecting yourself from the virus, so please adhere to this simple guideline. In fact, they can even be used as a fashion accessory, as Marque Magazine explored in its 2020 issue After. You can opt to use the Universityissued mask or expand your unique mask collection to elevate and coordinate your outfits. Just remember to never sacrifice protection and comfort for style when choosing a mask!

Observe vaccination and testing protocols Everyone who returns to campus must be fully vaccinated, and all Hopkins affiliates were required to submit documentation of their full vaccination through the Vaccine Management System last August 1. In addition, undergraduates living on campus still need to be tested once a week, even if they are fully vaccinated. However, asymptomatic testing is not required for fully vaccinated undergraduates living off-campus. All unvaccinated Hopkins affiliates on the Homewood Campus must be tested twice a week. On the Homewood Campus, there are three testing sites open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Shriver Hall, AMR II and Charles Commons.

Testing positive


If you test positive for COVID-19, don’t panic. You will be sent to a different housing that has been designated by the University for quarantine and isolation (if you’re lucky, you’ll even be able to stay at the Inn

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at the Colonnade, which has some nice amenities as reported by students last year). If you give the University consent to inform others, the administration will release an announcement to the student body. If not, public health officials will evaluate your case and the extent of the risk you pose to others to determine if a University-wide announcement is necessary.

Eating options At the moment, the University has once again suspended all indoor dining services, except for takeout options at the Fresh Food Cafe and Nolan’s at Charles Commons. Even though you won’t be able to sit and enjoy your meals with friends indoors like before, you can take this opportunity to organize a picnic outside at the Beach or take up an interest in cooking! You can even use this time to burst the Hopkins bubble and venture around the city to find restaurants to try. Eat well and keep your energy up to keep your immune system strong against the virus.

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Classes and clubs Despite the University’s fall reopening, classes with more than 50 students will remain online to further protect students by reducing large gatherings. According to the University, in-person classes will not be required to provide an online option. Fortunately, Brody Learning Commons, Milton S. Eisenhower Library and the Hutzler Reading Room will be open, though with restricted hours and capacity. You can use these spaces to organize group study sessions with friends while adhering to social distancing protocols! With everyone returning to ​​campus, student groups are excited to start hosting in-person events and activities again. However, the University’s limit for in-person gatherings remain capped at 50 people indoors. So, make the most out of Zoom events and any in-person gatherings to connect with your fellow Blue Jays and find people who share the same interests and passions as you! Register for the Student Involvement Fair on Sept. 3 to learn about the hundreds of available organizations on campus (including The News-Letter, wink wink)! If you are nervous about attending a large in-person event, there will also be virtual fair booths available on CampusGroups.

ble, explore Baltimore, make friends, take a class purely out of curiosity and step out of your comfort zone to pursue new interests! Despite everyone’s eagerness to return to campus, we do acknowledge that the uncertainty of the pandemic exacerbated by the stress of academics can take a toll on one’s mental health. Mental health is a serious issue that should not be discounted nor stigmatized. If you need professional help, you can contact the Health and Wellness Center at (410) 516-8270, the Counseling Center at (410) 516-8278, the Office of Multicultural Affairs at (410) 5168730 or Religious & Spiritual Life at (410) 516-1880. Also, remember that

you have the entire Hopkins community to lean on for support and encouragement!

Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Call Center (JHCCC) All students can contact the JHCCC at (443) 287-8500 every day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. if they are feeling ill, experiencing symptoms or concerned about exposure to the virus. Everyone on campus is responsible for each other’s health and wellbeing, and preventing COVID-19 outbreaks on campus will require the joint effort of all Blue Jays! Don’t forget that these rules are constantly changing and may still

be updated in the coming weeks, depending on the situation’s progression. You can stay updated by checking The News-Letter’s website for breaking news on the University’s latest broadcasts. As the world continues to recover from the pandemic, always remain vigilant and practical about the decisions you make. Most importantly, do not view these rules as limitations but rather as precautions and opportunities to work with your fellow Blue Jays and make the most out of your time at Hopkins!

Welcome to the nest!

Take time for yourself Though Hopkins is infamous for its rigorous workload, most students can vouch that there are many opportunities for leisure and entertainment as well if you consciously make the time for it. Because it is very easy to get drawn into the daily grind, it is important for students to balance academia and responsibilities with fun and personal growth. College is the time to explore and develop one’s passions to truly find yourself. Break the Hopkins bub-

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Freshmen ask, seniors answer Surviving day-to-day at Hopkins By LAURA WADSTEN and CLAIRE GOUDREAU Incoming freshmen asked; we answered! After collecting the Class of 2025’s top questions and concerns, seniors Laura Wadsten, Claire Goudreau, Adelle Thompson, Amal Hayat and Izzy Geada pooled their minds together to tell you what you need to know. What are common misconceptions about freshman year? Laura: That your roommate will be your best friend forever (maybe they will be, maybe they won’t, and that’s okay!). Claire: It can be really easy to fall into the mindset of “everyone knows what they’re doing except me.” Let me promise you: Most of them don’t. I’m in my senior year, and everyone’s still largely winging it. That’s adulthood! Similarly, it can be easy to think that “everyone’s having a better/easier/ more fun time than me.” College is hard, and we all struggle in our own ways. You’re not as alone as you might think. What are some things freshmen are typically told to avoid that they should actually do? Adelle: Explore Baltimore. Whether it be older students, administrators or faculty, freshmen are often warned against going to certain parts of Baltimore. As a result, they often end up spending their entire four years inside


the “Hopkins bubble.” These aren’t usually overt warnings but covert suggestions. Freshmen should go out and learn and judge Baltimore for what it actually is, not based on the biased perception of another person. Claire: Drop clubs. Freshman year is your time to experiment with your interests. If you’re even moderately intrigued by a club, go to their interest meetings and events! Maybe it’ll be your new favorite thing on campus, and you’ll make some friends with similar interests! If not, no hard feelings! Clubs don’t expect everyone that shows up to the first few meetings to be a long-time member. What’s important is that you find activities and groups that you enjoy, even if it means cutting activities that no longer interest you. Laura: Do what YOU want to do, not what anyone else has told you. Also, don’t just focus on knocking out major requirements; try a variety of classes so you can figure out what you actually like before it’s too late to switch your major (you do have time, though — just don’t put all your eggs in one basket!). Amal: Actually hang out with your resident advisor (RA) and First-Year Mentor (FYM) leader. They are there to provide you with help and also free stuff. Also, eat vegetables so you don’t get scurvy.

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What common things should freshmen avoid doing? Laura: Don’t pull all-nighters (sleep is really important). Adelle: Don’t consume media about Baltimore to learn about it if you’ve never been there before. The fictional representation of a city is not going to be a good judge of character because movies and TV are curated to keep people watching, meaning everything is created to provoke a reaction. Do you have any advice when it comes to mental health in the classroom? Laura: Be honest and open with professors if you need extra help. Reach out to Student Outreach & Support. Also, try not to be too hard on yourself. You WILL get bad grades and have bad days, but they don’t define you. How do you manage to balance all aspects of your life while in school? Laura: I don’t think anyone has this down 100% (if you do, please contact me lol), but make sure to plan free time and downtime into your schedule. It’s just as important as your other commitments. Mindfulness has also been super helpful for me! Pay attention to how you’re feeling, and if you’re having a bad day, don’t beat yourself up over it. Go for a walk around campus, watch some Netflix, grab a coffee with a good friend or whatever else will fill you up.

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Izzy: Join clubs to find new people, but it’s not high school. You don’t need to book every hour of your day. What is your favorite way to relax during the semester? Laura: Hang out with friends, go for a walk at Stony Run (behind the lacrosse field) or spend an afternoon at the Baltimore Museum of Art (it’s free and amazing). You can also explore the city. One relaxing option is to head to Patterson Park and grab a cone at Bmore Licks (they have hundreds of flavors). Amal: Go to the Rec Center. It’s a FREE GYM. AND DO A ZUMBA CLASS. How do you stay motivated? Claire: Take a variety of classes! If all of your courses are in the same field, you can get bored or burnt out really easily. I make sure to take at least one class every semester that’s entirely unrelated to my majors and minor. It makes you a more well-rounded person while also keeping things fresh and varied! Laura: Remember why you wanted to be here. Remember that each semester is only 12-ish weeks. Remember that you’re awesome. How has being a Hopkins student changed you? Laura: I do feel like a completely

August 26, 2021

different different person person in in some some ways ways than thanI was I wasfreshman freshmanyear, year,but but II would would dedescribe scribe the the change change as as growing growing into into who who II really really am am and and who who II want want to to be. be. At At my my core, core, I’m I’m still still me me — — but but aa more more curious, curious, more more accepting, accepting, more more thoughtful thoughtful verversion sion of of myself. myself. Take Take advantage advantage of of evevery ery opportunity opportunity and and try try to to learn learn from from every every experience experience (especially (especially the the BAD BAD ones). ones). What What is is the the most most valuable valuable lesson lesson you you learned learned as asaastudent studentatatHopkins? Hopkins? Adelle: Adelle: It doesn’t make you dumb dumb or or weak weak to to ask ask for for help. help. Everything Everything isn’t isn’t supposed supposed to to come come easy; easy; you you don’t don’t better better yourself yourself by by coasting coasting through through life. life. It’s It’s gonna gonna be be difficult, difficult, so so don’t don’t be be ashamed ashamed of of struggling. struggling. Ask Ask for for help. help. Reach out for support. Make Hopkins earn all that money you’re giving them. Amal: The big, black round thing in the FFC that I thought was a weight for the panini press actually has TORTILLAS INSIDE. How/when do we start building relationships with professors? Laura: As soon as you want! Professors want to meet you, and there are so many research opportunities, so if you’re interested in a professor’s research, hit them up! Also, go to office hours! I started this

way too late in my Hopkins career, and Reach out for support. Make Hopkins I regret it. Professors are just in their ofearn all that money you’re giving them. fice waiting for you, so take advantage Amal: The big, black round of this! thing in the FFC that I thought was a weight for the panini press acWhat is the most important piece tually has TORTILLAS INSIDE. of advice freshmen should know? Izzy: It’s actually super helpful to How/when do we start buildhave friends within your major to get ing relationships with professors? extra support, especially as a woman in Laura: As soon as you want! STEM. Also, if you’re in STEM-heavy Professors want to meet you, and classes, use paper notebooks or get a there are so many research opportablet. Taking notes with graphs and tunities, so if you’re interested in a equations on a laptop is, like, imposprofessor’s research, hit them up! sible. Also, go to office hours! I startClaire: Buy a wristwatch. For some ed this way too late in my Hopreason, almost none of the classrooms kins career, and I regret it. Profeson this campus have wall clocks (and sors are just in their office waiting some don’t even have windows). Purgafor you, so take advantage of this! tory is being in a three-hour class with no sense of time. Laura: Stay true to yourself, but venture outside of your comfort zone. Everyone here is coming from different places and on different paths. You should not compare yourself to others. I guarantee that if someone else seems to have it all together, they don’t. We’re all just figuring stuff out.

What is the most important piece of advice freshmen should know? Izzy: It’s actually super helpful to have friends within your major to get extra support, especially as a woman in STEM. Also, if you’re in STEM-heavy classes, use paper notebooks or get a tablet. Taking notes with graphs and equations on a laptop is, like, impossible. Claire: Buy a wristwatch. For some reason, almost none of the classrooms on this campus have wall clocks (and some don’t even have windows). Purgatory is being in a three-hour class with no sense of time. Laura: Stay true to yourself, but venture outside of your comfort zone. Everyone here is coming from different places and on different paths.


Questions sourced by Zachary Bahar via the Class of 2025 Discord.


You should not compare yourself to others. I guarantee that if someone else seems to have it all together, they don’t. We’re all just figuring stuff out. Questions sourced by Zachary Bahar via the Class of 2025 Discord Channel.

Student Affairs Digital Media Center

See our NEW HOME at 3003 N. Charles Street (Homewood Apartments, next to FedEx and 7-Eleven) Join us on Hopkins Groups & @dmcjhu

The Digital Media Center is a multimedia lab space and equipment, printing, and knowledge resource for all Homewood students. audio recording & editing • videography • post-production • photography • gaming • VR • graphics • simulation & modeling • electronics • workbench • tools • sewing & embroidery • photo & poster printing • 3D printing • AND MORE!

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August 26, 2021


How to live alone for the first time By ELLIE ROSE MATTOON They annoyed you on the car ride to school with their music choices, fumigated your dorm down with Lysol and possibly cried while they hugged you goodbye. But now that your parents have gone home, what are you to do with no adult supervision? The realization that an actual grown-up is not in the next room to help with an unexpected crisis is a scary one, but it’s one that most every freshman is facing right now. Even though I’m a sophomore, I’ve yo-yoed between living independently and with my parents since I was fifteen thanks to both boarding school and COVID-19. While a lot of living alone has become second nature, there are some things I still forget every time I leave the nest. Hopefully, these tips can help you settle into your new lifestyle with minimal complications. 1. Stick to a cleaning routine. A clean room is a clear mind. This is easy to say and apply now, but when midterms roll around you might slowly lose all motivation to keep a neat space. If some of your classes or exams are online, trust me that you do not want to take them from a dorm that looks like the Room of Requirement. The secret to avoiding this is to make a list now of chores you need to do every week, every other week and every month. You can also talk to roommates about alternating on some chores. For me, I make sure to declutter, wipe down all surfaces


and vacuum every week. Every other week, I do my laundry and clean the bathroom (switching off with my roommates). Whatever schedule you make for yourself, make sure you buy the cleaning products you need and stick to it in the first few weeks of school so it becomes a habit. 2. Get your money in order. If you’re moving far away from home, don’t make the mistake I first made when I came to Baltimore. I realized too late that my bank back home did not have a single branch on the East Coast, which meant I wouldn’t be able to deposit money or get cash from an ATM. Yikes! One of your first priorities should be getting an account at a local branch so that you can better manage your finances. Hopkins has a credit union with a location next to Barnes & Noble, and new students get a $25 Amazon card for opening a checking account. It’s worth the peace of mind should an emergency happen. If you don’t already have one, Venmo is also a really big part of college life. You’ll appreciate it for everything from splitting a pizza with your roommate to buying a club T-shirt. It’s best to make sure your account is set up before you need to use it! 3. Make sure you have all important documents/information. If I told you how many times I had to text my dad for a picture of my health insurance card, you would probably lose some respect for me. Now that you live alone, you may find

yourself making doctor’s appointments or filling out forms alone for the first time. Even if you don’t bring the originals, make sure you have information about your health insurance and Social Security number in a secure location, either on paper or in the Cloud. Depending on how COVID-19 progresses in the fall, some places may ask for your vaccine card; I have a picture of the front and back of mine saved to my phone. Lastly, now is also a good time to forward any prescriptions to the nearest pharmacy and make note of any special medical needs or history you have in the event you need to fill out forms alone for the first time. 4. Part of living independently is being alone. Living in a dorm in a new city may be an adjustment for you, especially if you’re used to having siblings to bother or friends to call up. In the first few weeks here, there may be some times that you feel lonely. That’s completely normal! While you will make friends in time, it’s important to get used to only being with yourself sometimes. Most college students will regularly end up eating alone, walking alone and studying alone; that is completely ok. Don’t get into the comparison trap of counting how many friends everyone has on their Instagram stories. If you do find yourself craving social interaction, try reaching out to your roommate

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or even random people in your classes. While I am a firm believer in the power of doing some activities alone, this proverb does not apply when it comes to safety. Try not to go out or walk alone at night. 5. You’re allowed to ask for help. Just because you’re an “adult” now, it doesn’t mean that you can handle every situation life throws at you. While friends and upperclassmen you meet at Hopkins will be able to help you with some favors, there might come a point where you need a real live adult to step in and take the reins. This depends on the person, but try and reach out to see if you have any family or family friends in Baltimore. Even if you have never talked to these people, ask some of them for a coffee date or even offer them a tour of campus one afternoon! If you make these connections now, you might feel more comfortable calling them up for a ride to the airport or an emergency place to stay. At one point you may have to call your guardians for help or advice. Even though this might feel like a blow to your new I-can-do-it-myself ego, you’re not expected to know everything about living alone right off the bat. Most parents understand this, and hopefully they will be as patient with you as possible as you navigate this new space.

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What you should look for in your major By SOPHIA LIPKIN I stumbled upon my Mathematics major in a manner only describable as an accident. I had always taken hard math classes in high school, and I became accustomed to math taking up most of my time, so it just seemed natural that I would continue to take those classes in college. And it sort of never stopped. Even though I am, by most accounts, terrible at mathematics. People will look at me a little wryly when I explain this and ask why I would major in something I’m bad at. It’s taken me a long time to even come close to an answer. You shouldn’t do things for the sake of being good at them. It’s a lesson that I think is extremely difficult to internalize at a school like Hopkins, where everyone is obsessed with being the best. Where everyone has gotten the best grades in high school and expects to get the best grades in college and advance to the best postgraduate degree and get the best job. In an environment like that, math has been a welcome reprieve, a way to acknowledge that sometimes I don’t get to control everything. You do things for what they teach you and because you love to do them. I like the struggle — I like the late nights spent in Brody obsessing over a line in a proof. I like the way math teaches you to think; it makes me fit my ADHD thoughts into a

linear fashion. More often than not, the answer is one I would have never thought to do or one I would never have come up with on my own. I like that you’re forced to rely on others, that what seems like a solitary activity is actually collaborative. I like it because it's taught me that natural talent means nothing in comparison to hard work. I will always be proudest of an 85 I once got on an analysis exam — despite better grades I’ve gotten elsewhere. There’s no such thing as being bad at math; there are only people who give up too soon. I don’t give up anymore if I don’t understand a concept immediately. Math has taught me a lot. I probably couldn’t tell you all that much about topology or differential equations despite my moderate success in both of those classes, but the lessons I’ve learned will hopefully stick with me a lot longer than any of that accumulated knowledge has. My advisor once asked me if I wanted to pursue a career in math. When I laughed and said no because I’m bad at it, he shook his head. But you love it, right? So why should anything else matter? I would not have gotten this far if I had not loved the subject itself. There’s a logic to the universe that we can’t always understand: theorems that have been proven to be unprovable. There are different

sizes of infinities, but we will never know if there are more than two. Sometimes I can’t tell if mathematicians are discovering the secrets to the universe or inventing their own. Being bad at math is a way of projecting my insecurities onto an easy public face. It’s something that is simultaneously true and untrue, something I can joke about in a selfdeprecating way. But loving math has forced me to come to terms with that contradiction, and it has forced me to realize how many people there are who want me to succeed: profes-

sors who refuse to give up on me, friends who help me through the homework. More importantly, I want to succeed for myself. Because my desire to understand outweighs the growing pains of learning. Don’t do something because you’re bad at it — do it because you love it.

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August 26, 2021


A peek at the Class of 2025 By REBECCA MURATORE Artists and athletes, scientists and scholars, hailing from across the world and just around the corner, the members of the Class of 2025 are bringing plenty of interesting perspectives to Hopkins. Here is a quick introduction to some of the new faces you might see around campus this fall. Resham Talwar is a Biomedical Engineering major from New Delhi, India. Hopkins was always Talwar’s top choice, and she was drawn to the University for its abundant research opportunities and flexible curriculum. After interacting with approachable and welcoming students, professors and communities, she knew for sure that Hopkins was the place for her. This summer, Talwar prepared for college life by connecting with fellow members of the Class of 2025 and making a college checklist. She also spent this summer preparing for the Resham Talwar transition between India and the U.S., recognizing the cultural and academic differences between the two countries. Talwar is excited about the people and opportunities that await her at Hopkins. “I hope I can develop a strong network and a community of people who can teach me so much more about the world and build an environment of mutual trust and compassion toward not just each other but the community at large,” she said. Emma Anderson, another Biomedical Engineering major, is from Palatine, Ill. Anderson has played soccer her entire life,


and she also loves hiking and cycling. Other hobbies include playing clarinet, reading, cooking with her sisters and exploring new places with her friends. Anderson stayed busy this summer, conducting research at the University of Southern California’s Biomechanics Research Lab. While there, she and her lab performed data analysis for track and field athletes during the Olympic Emma Anderson trials. “Learning how to use digitizing software and expanding my programming knowledge was an extremely rewarding experience,” she said. “It was also amazing to get to provide feedback to the athletes and coaches and then watch those same athletes compete in Tokyo.” Anderson is looking forward to the research opportunities at Hopkins as well, and she is particularly interested in performing research at the medical campus. Anderson is also looking forward to meeting her fellow classmates. “I am also excited to meet such a diverse, driven and welcoming group of Manas Joshi peers who will push me to be the best version of myself,” she said. Manas Joshi is a Public Health and Writing Seminars major from Long Island, N.Y. Like Talwar and Anderson, he was interested in Hopkins for its

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August 26, 2021

research focus but also likes the deep-rooted humanities that the University has to offer. Joshi stayed busy this past summer volunteering with the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Las Vegas to help with COVID-19 relief. In his free time, Joshi likes to listen to podcasts, play basketball, run and write. Joshi values the personal connections he will make during his next four years at Hopkins. “[I’m looking forward to] cultivating relationships with peers and professors,” he said. Nasreen Naqvi is a Molecular and Cellular Biology major from right in Baltimore. Naqvi loves to explore Maryland’s nature sites and parks and took her love of nature on the road this summer. She spent a weekend at Deep Creek Lake in Maryland, she also Nasreen Naqvi safely took trips to Dallas and Cancún, Mexico. Along with its close proximity to home, Naqvi decided on Hopkins for its diverse community, and she looks forward to having insightful conversations with her peers. “I fell in love with the academic culture that is facilitated at Hopkins and am looking forward to being motivated by the ambition and desire to pursue knowledge of my peers,” she said. Anika Mistry is a Computer Science and Cognitive Science major from Santa Cruz, Calif. For Mistry, when she visited Homewood Cam-

pus this past year, she instantly realized that it felt like home. “I had the opportunity to see JHU’s vibrant campus, even amongst a pandemic, and get unbiased answers from students,” she said. Mistry spent Anika Mistry this past summer pursuing some of her most favorite activities and interests. Mistry is passionate about music, and along with creating niche Spotify playlists, she set a goal to listen to a new album every week this summer. In addition, while in high school, Mistry led the construction team for a 5,000 square foot haunted house that raises money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. This summer, she helped recruit a new construction manager and train them before she left for college. After attending a small high school with little variety in classes and teachers, Mistry is looking forward to being in an environment that allows her to explore new topics. Mistry also recognizes how challenging finishing up high school in the middle of a pandemic was and how it helped her grow and prepare for college life. “It made me realize the importance of connections and taught me how I can stay connected with people even when I might not see them every day — an important life skill now that I’m moving across the country for college,” she said.

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August 26, 2021


Getting more out of Baltimore How to pop the “Hopkins bubble” By EUNICE PARK It can be difficult to explore outside your college campus whilst managing a busy schedule. But, But itit is possible to timetotospend spend with friends outfind time with friends outside side the tight confinements the of theoftight confinements of theofHopJohnscampus. HopkinsEvery campus. Every year,one at kins year, at least least one senior you something senior will tell will youtell something along along theoflines of,get “Don’t stuck in the lines “don’t stuckget in the Hopthe Hopkins bubble.” does kins bubble.” But what But doeswhat this even this even mean? mean? Given that the campus is located in a cultural city with plenty of food vendors to visit and unique architecture to see, it would be a shame to not experience the city outside of campus during your undergraduate years. Grades tend to play a major role in a lot of our identities; it’s too easy to get sucked into work and without realizing it, and school, school and, find that the time has flown by. So, I’m here as an upperclassman to give YOU some simple tips on how to venture outside of this tabooed “bubble” and gain the most memorable — and yummy — experiences possible. First and foremost, it’s helpful to take note of the areas surrounding Homewood as well as the totally accessible means of transportation that await at your fingertips. The University operates two major means of free transportation for all of of its its students students— —the theBlueBlue Jay Shuttle and the JHMI shuttle bus. Upon downloading the Transloc app, you will be able to easily track both shuttles and their estimated times where you of arrivals arrival in accordance accordancetowith where are. The has curated a sysyou are. University The University has curated a tem of JHMI shuttle buses that that run on a system of JHMI shuttle buses run 15-20 minute basis onbasis weekdays and an on a 15 to 20-minute on weekdays hourly on basis weekends. All Hopkins and anbasis hourly on weekends. All affiliates and guestsand are guests encouraged to Hopkins affiliates are enutilize this free transportation system.


The nearest Homewood couraged to stops utilizeright thison free transporare located at Charles Commons, the tation system. The nearest stops right Interfaith Centerare and the Barnes and on Homewood located at Charles Nobles. Commons, the Interfaith Center and JHMI& shuttles Barnes Noble. make several stops between South Baltimore JHMI North shuttlesand make several stops and will take youand directly Penn Stabetween North Southto Baltimore tion, Peabody areas and will take and yousurrounding directly to Penn in MountPeabody Vernon. After going down Station, and surrounding to the medical campus, it will come all areas in Mount Vernon. After going the way up and campus, until it reaches down to back the medical it will Homewood again. But be carecome all thecampus way back up and until it ful, and don’t be late! Since they run on reaches Homewood Campus again. an tight theySince tend Butendlessly be careful, andschedule, don’t be late! not wait last minute stragtheytorun onfor an any endlessly tight schedglers, andtend thennot you to lastwait ule, they to will wait have for any for the next shuttle.and Thethen Transloc app minute stragglers, you will also to glitch it’s havetends to wait for theoccasionally, next shuttle.soThe best to arrive yourtends preferred bus stop Transloc appatalso to glitch ocearlier thanso theit’s shuttle’s arcasionally, best to anticipated arrive at your rival time via app.earlier than the preferred busthestop In addition to thisarrival is thetime beloved shuttle’s anticipated via BlueJay the app.Shuttle system; you may book a ride in the vans with friends In addition to this is your the beloved through the Transloc app.may Though Blue Jay Shuttle system; you book the waitintime tends with to beyour a bit friends longer, a ride the vans if you and friends areThough in no parthrough theyour Transloc app. the ticular rush,tends this istoa be great opportunity! wait time a bit longer, if Whether you friends are going the you and your are to in dinner, no particugrocery a friend’s or lar rush,store, this is a great apartment opportunity! drinks, Shuttle will help Whetherthe youBlueJay are going to dinner, the as long as youra destination is roughly grocery store, friend’s apartment or within oneBlue or two radius. drinks,athe Jaymile Shuttle willIt runs help from 6pm 2amdestination every night. as long as to your is roughly With athese free, safe, radius. Universiwithin one two or two-mile It ty-operated means transportation, runs from 6 p.m. to 2ofa.m. every night.

there really aretwo a lot of safe, placesUniversito visit. With these free, Baltimore an extremely cultured ty-operatedismeans of transportation, food and happens to therecity, really areHomewood a lot of places to visit. be right next popular Baltimore is to anHampden, extremely a cultured neighborhood for studentshappens who want food city, and Homewood to to dishes. Don’t be grab right some next todelicious Hampden, a popular hesitate to go out to Hampden neighborhood for students who every want weekend and hit up onedishes. of theirDon’t resto grab some delicious taurants! the hypeevery that hesitate toIt’s goworth out toall Hampden you’re bound to hear sooner later. weekend and hit up one of itsor restauAnd, better, range of rants! even It’s worth all it’s the within hype that you’re the BlueJay Shuttle! bound to hear sooner or later. And, If you’re the JHMI shuttle to even better,taking it’s within range of the Mount Blue JayVernon, Shuttle! do make sure to visit theIfPeabody Institute Musicshuttle campus, you’re taking theofJHMI to home the famously beautiful George MounttoVernon, do make sure to visit Peabody Library. Peabody is ranked as the Peabody Institute, home to the faone of thebeautiful top 10 music conservatories mously George Peabody in the U.S. and is located right to Library. Peabody is ranked as next one of Baltimore’s Washington Monument, the top 10 music conservatories in the as well asismany more diverse opU.S. and located right next food to Baltitions. with cafes and providing more’sLoaded Washington Monument, as well aashint of amore downtown vibe, many diverse Brooklyn food options. Mount is certainly worth stopLoadedVernon with cafes and providing a ping by. aThe neighborhood alsovibe, feahint of downtown Brooklyn tures Walters Art Museum, Mountthe Vernon is certainly worthwhich stopoffers many of artworkalso thatfeathe ping by. Thekinds neighborhood Baltimore Museum Art — located tures the Walters ArtofMuseum, which right Homewood campus — offers next manytokinds of artwork that the does not. Museum of Art — located Baltimore Some towns that are right nextneighboring to Homewood Campus — often frequented by students are Ellidoes not. cottSome City and Towson. Those neighboring townswho thathave are their on campus or are willing to often cars frequented by students are Elliorder an Uber ride visitThose Ellicott City for cott City and Towson. who have their BBQ joint Iron Age their hot carsKorean on campus or are—willing to — andan their local grocery store. order Uber rideHmart visit Ellicott City for Otherwise, located within is its hot Korean barbecue jointTowson Iron Age the and Towson the localshopping H Mart center, grocery Trader store. Joe’s and hotpot. Luckily, Baltimore Otherwise, located within Towsonhas is

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its transportation system, includtheown Towson Town Center, Trader Joe’s ing Charm CityBaltimore circulator has routes andtheir hotpot. Luckily, its and Baltimore Collegetown Shuttle. ownthe transportation system, including living in routes Baltimore, its While Charmyou’re City Circulator and there are two Collegetown places that every Hopthe Baltimore Shuttle to kins must frequent at the bare help student you get there. minimum: Inner living Harbor/Fells Point While you’re in Baltimore, and D.C..that every HopthereWashington, are two places With a beautiful and Inner refreshing wakins student must visit: Harbor/ terfront, Inner is linedD.C. with resFells Point andHarbor Washington, taurants a picturesque backdrop. With aand beautiful and refreshing waPerfect out to is dinner with terfront,for thegoing Inner Harbor lined with friends or your it also harbors restaurants and date, a picturesque back(haha) ice skating during winter drop. Perfect for going outthe to dinner and National with Baltimore’s friends or your date, itAquarium, also harwith a student on Fridays, too! bors (haha) icediscount skating during the winAnd nearby, of course, is Fells with Point, ter and the National Aquarium, a where of ageon goFridays, out for its hotAnd bar studentthose discount too! scene. nearby, of course, is Fells Point, where Lastly, Washington D.C. You be those of age go out for its hot barmay scene. wondering how we went Lastly, Washington, D.C.from YouJohns may Hopkins all the way D.C.,from but Hopit rebe wondering how wetowent ally kinshas all become the wayatonecessity D.C., butonit almost really every Hopkins student’s on college bucket has become a necessity almost evlist! Baltimore Penn Station right ery With Hopkins student’s college bucket there, you Baltimore can get tickets D.C. via the list! With PenntoStation right MARC train, and only $9 there, you can getit’stickets to one-way! D.C. via So you want a Area weekend getaway or a theif Maryland Regional Comone-day trip, hop on any train muter (MARC) train, andMARC it’s only $9 and spendSotheif day D.C.a with your one-way! you in want weekend friends! you’re lucky, youon might getawayAnd, or a if one-day trip, hop any just runtrain into the MARC andpresident. spend the day in D.C. Baltimore definitely its quirks, with your friends! And, has if you’re lucky, and there are to explore you might just simple run intoways the president. theDon’t area. Don’t find yourself in find yourself stuckstuck in the the “Hopkins bubble” untilit’s it’stoo too late; late; “Hopkins bubble” until after the after all, grades and school aren’t the end-all-be-all. beginend-all-be-all. College is just the beginning, much ning, and there will always be so much to to enjoy enjoy and and experience. experience.

August 26, 2021


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August 26, 2021


University Experiential Learning Enriching the learning experience of students by providing part-time work experiences and internships that foster leadership, career development, and transferable life skills. • • • • •

Earn While You Learn! Current jobs database (SMILE) Guides for Student Employees Guides for Employers Assistance with hiring and onboarding

Study Abroad

The Office of Study Abroad provides transformative global learning experiences for Hopkins undergraduate students that foster the intellectual, professional, and personal qualities necessary for success in a diverse and increasingly interconnected world.

• Mentor database

• • • • • •

Presentation events Interdisciplinary seminars Funding and award programs Support for research mentors Workshops, classes and tutorials Assistance seeking mentors and opportunities

• 40% of JHU undergrads engage in global learning • 400 credit and non-credit programs in 60+ countries • Financial Aid applies and scholarships are available • We’ll help you make the most of your adventure • Opportunities for all years, majors, languages, and budgets

HOUR: Hopkins Office for Undergraduate Research Ensuring equitable access to meaningful research experiences for all JHU undergraduates. There’s no one way to move through Hopkins, or to live your life. A Life Design approach empowers you to explore the various resources, opportunities and networks available to you as valued members of our community. • Explore your interests • Find a mentor We'll help you use life design tools and exercises to • Present yourself well explore, experiment and develop experiences over the • Career and internship fairs next four (or more!) years at Johns Hopkins to find • Funding opportunities your ideal post-graduate opportunities.

LDL: Life Design Lab

A taste of Baltimore: where to eat in Charm City by BRODY SILVA

Moving to a new city presents the opportunity to explore a brand-new culinary landscape. Other than national trends, much of the identity of a city’s food culture is characteristic of its economic history, immigration patterns and community bonding through food. Though it can be daunting to find all the best places to take friends to show your local know-how, hopefully this guide gives you an updated look at what’s good and what’s special (all for a night out under $15). If I were to host an impromptu weekend visit from family, the very first place I’d take them is Federal Hill, around the southern edge of the harbor. The neighborhood is one of the oldest in the city, with beautiful brick townhomes and a historic-yet-updated vibe. Along the area of Light and Cross Street you’ll find a packed block of diverse foods, including some personal favorites like Byblos Lebanese (a great middle-ground between Middle Eastern and Mediterranean) in a warm and inviting space with local artwork for sale. Though I’m personally more of a carnivore, I cannot pass up on the Maza Platter, a (vegan!) tasting menu of hummus, baba ghanouj, tabbouleh and grape leaves. A minute away, Kiku Sushi has some of the best sushi I’ve ever had. Unique platters and super fresh fish make for an elaborate and flavorful variety of rolls to explore. Get the L-1 Combo,

which comes with miso soup and salad, a regular roll and big special rolls like the Dynamite or Hungry Andy rolls (you CANNOT be hungry after this meal). This place also offers other Japanese dishes that can be harder to find in the city, like okonomiyaki and poke. Thai Arroy next door also makes for a great dinner, blending spicy and fresh with the sweetness of coconut milk or Thai tea. If you’re the type to hit the town, there’s also plenty of beer gardens and sports bars & grills a block over on South Charles to get drinks and have fun without compromising the quality of food. Moving north/northeast along the harbor brings you to the busiest part of the city — the Inner Harbor — where you can find those familiar big chains that offer their own form of comfort. While Chick-fil-A, IHOP and Cheesecake Factory are a fun addition to plans downtown, I like to hit the Irish gastropub Tir na nÓg upstairs for some of the best artery-clogging-but-worth-it food anywhere. Short Rib Grilled Cheeses and Shepherd’s Pie make it well worth the trek even just for dinner (by the way, every place mentioned so far is directly accessible using the Purple Route of the Charm City Circulator that picks up in front of CVS for free). Even further to

the east, you’ll stroll through Little Italy for the inimitable Café Gia for a great celebration or date night out as well as Vaccaro’s Italian Pastry, THE place for tiramisu and cannoli (a great birthday gift?). Of course, a tour-deBaltimore wouldn’t be complete without Fells Point, a cobblestone Brooklyn-esque neighborhood with far too many places to count. Just walk down Broadway and you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for. I recommend also checking out Pitango, a small place near the water with a number of handmade sorbets and creamy gelatos to try (Mojito is my favorite). One last honorable

mention even further east (likely beyond the reach of walking distance) is Pho Bac, a modern Vietnamese place with great fried spring rolls, bahn mi and pho. I love this as comfort food, but delivery can be hit or miss. I’d make the trip and walk the friendly area of Highlandtown, an artistic center of the city that features the Creative Alliance (a venue for artist exhibitions as well as music and dance performance).

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...more eats in Baltimore

Resetting a little closer to home, Charles Village has its own places for weeknights and easy walk-to’s. Pete’s Grille is the answer to all diner needs for breakfast (pancakes, bacon and eggs, you name it) or lunch sandwiches. Since it closes at 2 a.m., also check out Charles Village Pub on St. Paul for dinner. Not just for drinks, this place has great burgers and bar food available late every day (a classier alternative to UniMini). If that’s not your thing, I think the Korean Ajumma is criminally underrated, with Spicy Chicken Bulgogi, warming Ramyun (similar to ramen) and Yukgae Jang, a spicy beef and rice soup. It’s right across from Chipotle (who sadly didn’t make this list). If you’re looking to at least leave the immediate Hopkins area, it’s a quick walk to Hampden for well-known


staples. Ekiben’s fried chicken (or tofu!) steamed buns are legendary, Grano Pasta Bar makes for a good Friday night and Avenue Kitchen has some of the best seasonal menus in the city. A touch south (but still accessible by Blue Jay Shuttle) lies Clavel, an amazing Mexicaninspired cocktail bar and restaurant with a beautiful exterior and an authentic menu, including savory meats, ceviches and shareable appetizers like Queso Fundido and Esquite (corn). Try the Cochinita Pibil and the Barbacoa de Borrego tacos for slow-cooked, deepstewed flavors of pork and lamb. Restaurants aren’t the only place in Baltimore worth the trek. I find it just as fun to explore an overlooked weekend activity: markets! Waverly

Farmers Market (32nd Street, open Saturdays from 7 a.m. to noon) is only a few blocks from campus (just look for the hordes of people between 7-Eleven and Papa John’s — it’s hard to miss). Fresh vegetables and local food vendors serving anything from $4 empanadas to ginger cardamom lemonade or, for the sweet tooth, canelés and indulgent fresh-made waffles. Do bring cash if you can, but most places take card. If necessary, you’ll have to buy tokens in $5 increments. Other options include Lexington Market downtown, the oldest market in the country. It has been operating since 1782 and offers a plethora of options for seafood, Asian, baked and fried goods and service stalls. This is a must-see at some point in your Hopkins life, along

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with Cross Street Market at the same aforementioned Light and Cross intersection in Federal Hill. Finally, Baltimore Farmers’ Market & Bazaar (open Sundays) has wonderful vendors of homemade products and food from around the world (seriously, try the Jamaican). It’s a fun weekend plan to kickstart your morning and see the city come together in a way you won’t find anywhere else (especially since it’s directly underneath a highway overpass).

August 26, 2021

From Babb Field to Camden Yards Making the most of Baltimore sports By CYNTHIA HU With the fall semester about to kick off, Hopkins students are slowly making their way back to campus. As the University begins to open up, the sports industry is beginning to open up as well. Many stadiums and leagues are permitting fans to return to games, which brings a whole other dimension to watching a sport. Attending sporting events is a great way to enjoy yourself outside the realm of academics and Baltimore is the perfect place to be. Ranging from top-notch sports leagues like the NFL and MLB to lesser known sports like horse racing to minor and local sports leagues, the opportunities are endless. Here are some great sports events that you can witness in person in Baltimore this fall semester. Get a group of friends and head down historic Oriole Park at Camden Yards, home of the Baltimore Orioles. Though the MLB season ends pretty early into fall semester, you can still watch them play at home against teams like the Toronto Blue Jays, the Boston Red Sox and the Texas Rangers. You can find tickets and more dates on Baltimore also hosts many minor league baseball teams, including the Aberdeen Ironbirds, Bowie Baysox, Frederick Keys, Delmarva Shorebirds, Hagerstown Suns and Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. Their games span un-

til the end of September and are a great way to watch the sport without the chaotic energy of typical MLB games. Football fans can go past Oriole Park to the M&T Bank Stadium, which just opened to welcome back fans of the Baltimore Ravens. Catch the highly anticipated prime-time game on September 19 in a showdown between the Ravens and the Kansas City Chiefs or witness a decades-long rivalry between the Ravens and the Cleveland Browns, also prime-time, on November 28. Find dates and tickets on baltimoreravens. com. Another popular Baltimore sport is horse racing. It takes place at the Pimlico Race Course where the Preakness Stakes occur every year. The Preakness Stakes plus the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes make up the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, or Triple Crown. Horse racing is a very interesting sport so do check it out if you haven’t seen it before. See more details on their website, If you’re up for a longer trip, hop on a train to Washington, D.C. where there’s a whole other world of sporting events. Baseball fans can catch a Washington Nationals game at Nationals Park. They close their season on November 3 at home against the Boston Red Sox. Find more tickets and dates on /nationals. The NHL is returning to its original

October-to-April schedule, making the first home game of the season on October 13 where the Washington Capitals face off against the New York Rangers. Tickets and dates can be found on Additionally, soccer enthusiasts can head to Audi Field, home to the Major League Soccer team D.C. United. With games having started in March, you can catch them almost every weekend until October 30 when they face off at home against the Columbus Crew. More tickets and dates are on Finally, five miles outside Washington, D.C. is FedEx Field, which houses the Washington Football Team. This upcoming season, they will appear in three prime-time games, two of which are at home. The first is a Thursday night game on September 16 against the New York Giants. The second is against the Seattle Seahawks on November 29. You can also see them play the last two Super Bowl Champions, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Bucca-

neers, on October 17 and November 14 respectively. Find tickets and dates on In terms of collegiate sports, there is also plenty to offer. The University of Maryland Terrapins, located in College Park, are a member of the Big 10 Conference, which always hosts exciting football games. Right next door are the Towson Tigers and to the south are the United States Naval Academy Midshipmen in Annapolis. Heading back to Homewood, don’t forget to support our very own Hopkins sports teams. With a plethora of games starting very soon, you’re bound to find events to attend right on campus. Hopkins Sports regularly updates the sports events happening around campus and what our athletes are up to.

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The 2021 campus news catch-up A rundown of this year’s big news stories By CLAIRE GOUDREAU Over the past year, The News-Letter’s News & Features section has published approximately 250 articles. Even for Hopkins, that’s a lot of homework if you want to get caught up on campus current events. To save you some time, I’m here to catch you up on the need-to-know student talking points, from brand-new COVID-19 guidelines to centuries-old census records. Changing COVID-19 guidelines and hybrid semesters “I just hope that any student who is still convinced that they’re young and it won’t affect them... [will] reconsider their daily actions, since it impacts everyone in Hopkins and the surrounding community.” –Catherine Siu, Class of 2021 Since the beginning of the pandemic, COVID-19 guidelines have fluctuated wildly at the University, city, state and national levels. Most recently, the University has reinstated its mask policy, requiring masks inside its buildings and returning to social distancing requirements for indoor dining. On the city level, Mayor Brandon Scott similarly reinstated Baltimore’s mask mandate on August 9. From outbreaks to mandatory vaccination policies, the University’s reactions to the pandemic have been an obvious hot topic for students over the past year. To get the full timeline, check out the COVID-19 tag on Mattin Center demolition and new student center “As someone who’s in a lot of performing arts groups, Mattin is integral to the student organizations that I’ve been a part of... Being able to adequately replace what Mattin has been able to provide by itself would be very essential.” –Stephen Li, Class of 2021 Since 2001, the Mattin Center has been the hub of Homewood’s arts scene, featuring art studios, practice rooms for musicians, dance spaces, the Digital Media Center and Swirnow Theater. Now, the area is being torn down to make room for a new student center, which should be finished by fall 2024. Student reactions to this decision have been mixed. While much of the student body is excited to finally get a real student center, those involved in the arts are concerned that the University will not properly replace what Mattin Center offered. Look out for construction at the intersection of 33rd Street and Charles Street.

enforcement officers.” –Susan Ridge, former vice president for communications In 2018, University President Ronald J. Daniels announced the University’s intentions to create a private police force to increase public safety on and around its campuses. Since the beginning, this plan has been highly controversial amongst the student body and surrounding communities, with debates sparking a weeks-long sit-in and reaching as far as the Maryland Congress. Following the George Floyd protests, the University delayed its plans to instate the JHPD for two more years, disbanding the Police Accountability Board. While the current timeline is unclear, the University still intends to eventually move forward with its private police force. Johns Hopkins: potential slaveholder? “These newly discovered census records complicate the understanding we have long had of Johns Hopkins as our founder.” –University President Ronald J. Daniels Last December, the University discovered new evidence linking founder Johns Hopkins to slaveholding. Old census records revealed that Hopkins had probably enslaved at least four Black people in 1850 and one in 1840. This contradicted the University’s traditional narrative that Hopkins had been an avowed abolitionist. However, more recent research has challenged the validity of this evidence, making it unclear whether or not the University’s founder actually owned enslaved people.

The Johns Hopkins Police Department (JHPD) “The importance of establishing a University police department is based on numerous benefits to the Johns Hopkins community... Most of our peer institutions and the vast majority of public universities already have university police departments with armed law


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August 26, 2021

Putting student journalism in the spotlight By LEELA GEBO Over the course of the pandemic, The News-Letter transitioned from a weekly, print publication to a daily, online-only production. As shocking as it was for us to see the Gatehouse sit empty for nearly a year, the digital transformation of our production process matched current trends of news consumption — as of 2020, 86% of Americans reported that they accessed news from their smartphones. However, access to news is not the only thing made easier with smartphones. Online spaces are also extremely conducive to the spread of false information, whether intended to cause harm (disinformation) or not (misinformation). Most commonly, it is referred to as simply “fake news.” Despite the fact that this problem has made it into our everyday lingo, studies have shown that Americans overestimate their own ability to identify false information from true information in news studies. Furthermore, interaction with websites promoting articles with false information has increased in past years. Reading, believing and spreading false information is harmful to all involved. False information about COVID-19 vaccines, for instance, can dissuade someone from making the best decision for their health and those around them. Headlines including false claims can spur acts of racism or hate. The internet is full of information, true and false. Our mission at The News-Letter is to make sure that people

looking for information have access to credible reporting on the issues impacting students at Hopkins. As an independent, student-run paper, we generate our own revenue. This allows us to examine how the University functions from an outside perspective, publishing the perspectives not only of University officials but also of the students and community members who interact with the University every day. College papers are in the unique position to bridge the gap between the student bodies they represent and the populations of the communities they inhabit. Here in Baltimore where the “Hopkins bubble” is very real, The News-Letter attempts to put students and community members in conversation with one another, bringing campus news to the communities where students are living and bringing city news to students who are now a part of Baltimore’s vibrant population. Though we believe strongly in our mission, it is only effective when people are actively engaging with the stories we publish. For this reason, The News-Letter is excited to announce its partnership with Spotlight News. Founded by a Hopkins alum, Spotlight is a “Netflix for news” service which provides subscribers access to hundreds of publications through a single login. Not only can subscribers read The News-Letter, but they will also be able

to access typically paywalled publications such as The Baltimore Sun and Bloomberg News. As a Hopkins student, you will have free access to Spotlight and all of the publications it partners with. That’s right: thousands of stories typically guarded by paywall at your fingertips for FREE. As you settle into Baltimore and begin finding your place at Hopkins, make sure to download the Spotlight app and log in using your University

email address. By downloading Spotlight, you’ll also be supporting The News-Letter financially. Spotlight shares revenue with newspapers on the app, which could help ensure we can remain a fully independent student-run paper for decades to come. There is truly no better way to learn about the community you’re now a part of than to engage with the dependable reporting of your fellow Blue Jays at The News-Letter.

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August 26, 2021


Finding our niche at The News-Letter Ellie Rose Mattoon

After logging out of my Zoom class last November, my phone rang with an email notification. To my surprise, it was a reply to an interview request I had sent the day prior to a person I never thought would actually respond. I have some time before 11am. Here’s my number: My hands started to shake. It was 10:15. There was time. When I pitched a story to the SciTech Editors about Hopkins alumni’s roles in the new Biden administration, they understandably told me to keep my expectations low when requesting interviews. Nevertheless, they supported my idea. And now, I was dialing up Dr. Céline Gounder, one of the Biden administration’s top COVID-19 advisors. For a STEM nerd like myself, I was beginning to fangirl. Gounder picked up after two rings, and we proceeded to have a dense conversation with the precious minutes she had to spare. We touched on the


administration’s plans for vaccine rollout and the team’s difficulty in collaborating with the Trump administration, who at the time had not yet conceded the election. Even on the phone, I could tell that Gounder possessed a rare combination of both the directness that often accompanies expertise and an idealism that could not be taught. In some of the darkest days of the pandemic, I ended her interview with a spark of hope for the future. Since that magical interview, SciTech has given me the opportunity to talk with people from across the country about the things they are most passionate about. Whether it’s a team of Hopkins undergraduates working to design a better mask or a principal investigator hoping to study the human microbiome, I leave every interview refreshed with the opportunity to see the best of people for 30 minutes.

Will Blair

SciTech has immersed me in the incredible research and discovery that takes place at Hopkins. I clearly remember coming to my first Student Involvement Fair and being hopelessly overwhelmed by the number of clubs and opportunities for students. After some writing experience in high school and promises that science writing would look great as a pre-med student (it does!), I decided to join The NewsLetter. In our first meeting at the Gatehouse, the snug News-Letter office located on campus by the Baltimore Museum of Art, our editors asked us to explain why we were excited about joining The News-Letter. With no definitive answer, I asked, “Is there free merch?” Unfortunately, there was not, but I gained much more than any merch could offer. My first article was on the annual Henrietta Lacks Memorial Lecture, an event that serves to commemorate the contributions of Lacks to the scientific and medical community. During treatment for an aggressive form of cervical cancer, doctors collected some of her

The Cover-Letter

The Johns Hopkins News-Letter

cancerous cells. Now known as HeLa cells, they continue to reproduce to this day, nearly 70 years after her death. The highlight of the event was speaking with the family members of Lacks and hearing their emotional account of the person she was and the incredible legacy she left behind. As a News-Letter writer, I learned that I could gain access to the entire Hopkins ecosystem of researchers, doctors, professors, innovators and other students. My favorite article came at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic when I had the opportunity to cover the creation of the Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. I interviewed the founders of the center, a team of only three people at the time. It was incredible to gain an unfiltered perspective of one of the most important innovations of the COVID-19 pandemic. The News-Letter has gifted me amazing insights and conversations with Hopkins doctors, researchers, professors and even fellow peers and an opportunity to constantly learn outside of the classroom.

August 26, 2021

Why we joined The News-Letter, and why you should too By LEELA GEBO Editor-in-Chief

The first few days of 2020, I was completely unaware of the virus that was about to change our lives forever. I had no idea that, a year and a half later, I would be entering my junior year of college without ever having a spring break or that I had mere weeks left in on-campus housing. What I did know, however, was that I was completely apathetic to the idea of going back to school in a few weeks. Winter break was rapidly coming to an end, and I had come to the realization that, despite having gotten through the first semester, I was still much more comfortable at home in Brooklyn than at Hopkins. I didn’t miss school in the same way I had missed home during the fall, and the thought of returning to Baltimore at the end of the month was not exciting to me. Tired of dwelling in my apathy, I decided to look for opportunities that would make me more enthusiastic about my second semester of college. That is how I found The News-Letter. I sat silently through my first News & Features meeting in the Gatehouse, lacking confidence in my journalism skills as I had absolutely no experience. I was used to writing coming somewhat easily to me, but this was not the case with The News-Letter. The first few articles I did submit came back full of comments from the News & Features editors; the versions that appeared in the paper were virtually unrecognizable from my first drafts. I kept at it, though, driven by the feeling that I was finally contributing something meaningful to the campus and community around me. When we were sent home that March, I knew that I wanted to keep writing for the paper. Though I was back in New York, hundreds of miles from Baltimore, covering student groups’ transition to virtual events and COVID-19 updates from University leaders allowed me to feel a part of the University even though the Hopkins community was

spread across the globe. Over the course of that spring and summer, during a time when I could have given into January me’s wishes and completely disconnected from campus, I felt more involved than ever. I spoke to countless peers over the phone during interviews and learned more about my classmates, Hopkins and Baltimore than I had when I had been waking up there every morning. Even once I was back in Baltimore, The News-Letter allowed me to connect with the city I was living in beyond just the “Hopkins bubble.” During interviews with fellow students, I received restaurant recommendations, heard about the organizations they are involved with across the city and learned about how my peers have made Baltimore feel like home. Beyond that, I was able to speak with city representatives and residents of the communities surrounding Hopkins. I spoke with residents of Charles Village about how the University’s decision to bring students back in the spring impacted them. For The News-Letter’s 2020-21 Poynter College Media Project, I spoke with activists in the city about the role of the Hopkins Hospital in East Baltimore. I know with certainty that I would never have had these conversations without The News-Letter’s facilitation, and I am so glad that I did. Entering junior year, there are still a lot of unknowns: Mask mandates and social distancing guidelines are changing both at a campus and city level. The pandemic is far from over, and the only certainty with it, I feel, is its unpredictability. There are, however, some things I know for certain: The News-Letter will cover these changes as they come. Its dedicated, spirited, tireless staff will continue to inspire me. And, of course, my college experience has been forever improved because I joined this paper. I am happy to report, days away from moving back to Baltimore, that I am now very excited to return.

The Johns Hopkins News-Letter

By LAURA WADSTEN Editor-in-Chief

When I moved into AMR III on a balmy August day, I knew a couple things: 1) I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life and 2) I was ready to take advantage of all things Hopkins. I applied early decision way back in 2017 (I’m feeling old), essentially hoping Johns Hopkins himself would throw a “life plan” right in front of my face. That came true, kind of. An ad in the Public Health Studies newsletter piqued my interest during the second week of classes, and I decided to sign up for the SciTech section of The News-Letter. I figured it would be a good way to meet people and get experience writing about science. Little did I know that I’d get those things and much, much more. It wasn’t until January of my sophomore year (yep, right before youknow-what happened) that I realized some of the best experiences of my Hopkins career were late nights laying out pages in the Gatehouse,

interviewing students about their work and attending events I probably would have skipped if I wasn’t writing about them. The News-Letter pushed me out of my comfort zone and toward my passion. Now, as I enter my senior year, my sights are set on journalism (please, someone hire me). I’d never even considered this career before coming to Hopkins, so I guess my precollege wish came true! However, becoming the next Wolf Blitzer (hey Hopkins alum) isn’t the only reason you should join The News-Letter. Writing for the paper is the best way to get to know our University and all the people who make it great. Writing for the paper teaches you how to write and talk to strangers. Writing for the paper is rewarding — you will see the fruits of your labor published on the internet. And, of course, writing for the paper means you’ll form relationships working in the Gatehouse. We cannot wait to read what you write (or copy edit or design or draw)!


Gebo and Wadsten joined The News-Letter their freshman year and are now the editors-in-chief.

The Cover-Letter

August 26, 2021


Meet the editors The best of Hopkins (that showed up to the interest meeting) By ALL OF US AT THE NEWS-LETTER Muhammad Abidi, Magazine Editor

Molly Gahagen, News & Features Editor

What’s something “news-worthy” you’ve done? This was not exactly in the news, but I was excited when I appeared on the main website a couple times in the repeating video at the top!

Where is your favorite place to go in Baltimore? All the great independent coffee shops!

Junior Molecular & Cellular Biology

Sophomore Political Science and International Studies

David Baik, Sports Editor

Leela Gebo, Editor-in-Chief

What’s something “news-worthy” you’ve done? Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura read my chess article on his Twitch stream... word for word.

What’s your favorite non-News-Letter club? The Tutorial Project! Twice a week, me and other members tutor elementary school students in reading, writing, and math... [My tutee] always brings funny stories.

Junior Sociology and Writing Seminars

Junior Writing Seminars

Will Blair, Science & Technology Editor

Claire Goudreau, Magazine Editor

What’s your favorite non-News-Letter club? Charm City Science League. It combines my passions of working with youth and science.

What’s your favorite non-News-Letter club? I’m the editor-in-chief of Zeniada, a student-run literary and arts magazine here at Hopkins. I’m a sucker for a good poem.

Junior Neuroscience

Senior International Studies and Political Science

John D’cruz, Graphics Editor

Marv Gutierrez, Public Editor

What’s your favorite non-News-Letter club? Studio North, the JHU student film production company. It’s such an amazing and creatively talented group of people... It is such a rewarding experience.

What’s your favorite part of being in The News-Letter? The commitement of the editors... I’ve seen a lot of people come and go, and it’s amazing to see all the innovative ideas and late nights people are willing to spend.

Senior International Studies and East Asian Studies

Sophomore Film & Media Studies and Computer Science

Anju Felix, Opinions Editor

Cynthia Hu, Sports Editor

What’s your favorite article that you wrote last year? “Morally and practically, we need equitable vaccine distribution...” I think this was a really important story to put out there, and it was extremely timely!

Where is your favorite place to go in Baltimore? Ceremony Coffee in Mount Vernon!

Junior Neuroscience, Political Science and Harp Performance

Sophomore Voice Performance

Josh Felton, Sports Editor

Rosie Jang, Cartoons Editor

How did you pass time in quarantine? I host a weekly sports podcast! Search “PFTJ Media” on all streaming platforms to listen.

What’s something “news-worthy” you’ve done? I was a medical assistant as part of the COVID team over winter!

Sophomore Sociology


Junior Molecular & Cellular Biology and Psychology

The Cover-Letter

The Johns Hopkins News-Letter

August 26, 2021

Ishan Kalburge, News & Features Editor

Rebecca Muratore, Managing Editor

What’s something “news-worthy” you’ve done? I have drunk a bottle of mustard!

What tips do you have for incoming students? Don’t spread yourself too thin - find a few things you truly enjoy and stick with those.

Sophomore Biomedical Engineering and Economics

Senior Computer Science

Min-Seo Kim, News & Features Editor

Eunice Park, Leisure Editor

What’s your favorite article that you wrote last year? The one that announced Hopkins was returning to inperson classes for fall semester; it was my first breaking news article.

What’s something “news-worthy” you’ve done? I juggle 23-25 credits per semester!

Sophomore Public Health

Senior Writing Seminars and Violin Performance

Romy Koo, News & Features Editor

Sophia Park, Magazine Editor

What’s your favorite article that you wrote last year? “APIDA community calls for more University support following Atlanta shooting...” I hope to contribute to a more vibrant Hopkins community by uncovering truth.

What’s something “news-worthy” you’ve done? I once knocked over a tree while parallel parking.

Sophomore International Studies

Junior Behavioral Biology

Michelle Limpe, Managing Editor

Neha Sangana, Public Editor

How did you pass the time in quarantine? I co-founded a nonprofit organization to help marginalized communities affected by COVID-19.

What’s your favorite non-News-Letter club? JHU SEDS! From chill star parties at the Bloomberg Observatory to cool engineering design projects, it’s a great organization for all space enthusiasts.

Senior Engineering Mechanics

Junior Chemistry and Public Health

Sophia Lin, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Isabel Thomas, Copy Editor

What’s your favorite part of being in The News-Letter? Getting to write about what I love... every week!

What’s something “news-worthy” you’ve done? I was featured on a local Instagram for m poor parking skills.y

Sophomore Cognitive Science and Film & Media Studies

Junior Mathematics

Ellie Rose Mattoon, Science & Technology Editor

Abbie Tuschman, Voices Editor

What’s something “news-worthy” you’ve done? I have an IMDb page from my minor stint as a child actor.

What tips do you have for incoming students? Take advantage of office hours and afternoon naps!

Sophomore Molecular & Cellular Biology

Sophomore Writing Seminars

Laura Wadsten, Editor-in-Chief

Paige Maultsby, Copy Editor Junior English and Writing Seminars

What tips do you have for incoming students? Use meal swipes on CharMar lunch.

Senior International Studies and Medicine, Science & the Humanities Where is your favorite place to go in Baltimore? The Waverly Farmers Market on Saturday mornings!

The Cover-Letter The Johns Hopkins News-Letter

August 26, 2021


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