THE JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY NEWS-LETTER WELCOME GUIDE FOR FRESHMEN.
AUGUST 29, 2019
Photo by STEPHANIE LEE
WANT TO PLACE AN AD WITH US?
Contact Business at firstname.lastname@example.org
TABLE OF CONTENTS
home at last! W
ELCOME TO THE NEST! We at The News-Letter are particularly excited to welcome you, the Class of 2023, to Johns Hopkins University and everything it has to oﬀer. There are a lot of resources Hopkins has provided to ease you into college life — Orientation Week being one of them — but we know there’s no substitute for actual experience. Even though we editors can’t provide you with experience, we want to help you out. We’ve compiled this magazine, called the Cover-Letter, to give you advice about the places to go, sights to see and places to eat. We know that the transition from home to college is tough, so we also have advice on adjusting to your new nest. Learn how to navigate the fast paced track of academics using tips from our Sports Editor Eric Lynch’s article, “Study Hard, Study Smart.” Our Managing Editor Katie Tam recounts her experience with choosing a major in “What’s the Best for Me?” to remind those struggling with picking a major that it’s okay to be indecisive. And staﬀ writer Jessica Kasamoto writes to her freshman self in “Dear Freshman Jessica” that struggling is normal, and that everything will work out in the end. Academics aside, living with others may be a struggle. After all, I’m sure many of you have spent a large portion of your lives having you own room or space. Luckily, our Your Weekend Editor Jesse Wu has shared his dos and don’ts when it comes to sharing space in “Roommate Guidelines” to help you out. Voices Editor Sam Farrar talks about adjusting to the Hopkins social scene as a limited-income student. And it’s always a good idea to take a breather from campus. Pop the Baltimore bubble and step out once in a while for some fun with friends. Experience Baltimore by visiting some of the vibrant neighborhoods listed in Science & Technology Editor Laura Wadsten’s article, “B’more’s Neighborhoods,” and get to these lovely destinations with a guide by Managing Editor Emily McDonald to Baltimore’s public transportation in “How Do We Get There?” Though this by no means will make college transitioning easy, we do hope it will help you have an easier time adjusting. You’ve made it past high school, you’ve moved out of home, you’ve landed on your feet in college. It’s now time for you to spread your wings to ﬂy. And we hope that the Cover-Letter will help give you the push you need into the blue sky. Best of luck!
Stephanie Lee, Magazine Editor The Cover-Letter is a special publication of The Johns Hopkins News-Letter, the student newspaper of Johns Hopkins University. For general inquiries or information on how to join, email email@example.com or ﬁnd us at the Student Involvement Fair. The News-Letter can be found online at jhunewsletter.com, in print every Thursday during the school year and on the social media sites below. Facebook: JHU News-Letter Twitter: @jhunewsletter Instagram: @jhunewsletter
Letter from the Editor
Dear Freshman Me
Picking a Major
Navigating Hopkins for Limited Income Students
Surviving the FFC
Welcome, Blue Jays!
Neighborhoods of Baltimore
Gems of Baltimore
Regrets of Freshman Year
Highlights of Freshman Year
Guide to Public Transportation
Why You Should Join The News-Letter
Meet the Staff
HAPPY START OF CLASSES! THE COVER-LETTER
DEFINING THE MOST POPULAR TERMS USED ON CAMPUS By STEPHANIE LEE
THE BEACH Behind the Hopkins sign lies a large grassy expanse. Though nowhere near the ocean, this ﬁeld is called “The Beach.” In warmer weather, students hang out and have picnics. In colder weather, students build snowmen, go sledding and have snowball ﬁghts.
THE JHMI Pronounced “Jimmy,” this bus connects various Hopkins campuses including Peabody Institute, the medical school and Homewood.
THE HOPKINS BUBBLE An imaginary (though very real) bubble separates the University from the rest of Baltimore. Do try to pop this bubble by venturing out into Baltimore! Check out the rest of the magazine for food suggestions and things to do in Charm City.
CHARMAR/THE FFC The Charles Street Market, located under Wolman Hall, is where you spend dining dollars for delicious sandwiches and crepes. The Fresh Food Cafe, located under AMR II, is where you use meal swipes in a buﬀet-style cafeteria.
BRODY/MSE Chances are, you’ll be spending most of your time studying in one of these buildings. The Milton S. Eisenhower Library, or MSE for short, was opened in 1965 and is Homewood campus’ main (and only) library. Brody Learning Commons opened in 2012 as a collaborative study space and is open 24 hours. Do spend more of your time sleeping in your dorm than studying in Brody.
DADDY BLOOMBERG MEMES FOR MONEY NEEDING TEENS In mid-November, Hopkins alum Michael Bloomberg donated a jaw-dropping 1.8 billion to the university. To thank him for his support, students have renamed the unoﬃcial university Facebook meme page from “Hopkins Memes for My Lost Hopes and Dreams” to the above title. The page is a great way to share memes, laughs and feelings of misery as your GPA falls.
Dear Freshman Jessica A LETTER TO MY FRESHMAN SELF: WHAT I WISH I KNEW By JESSICA KASAMOTO
EAR FRESHMAN JESSICA,
I have decided to take the time and eﬀort to write you this letter because I know you need it. Really. You think you know better but you’re wrong. I can see through the smiles and the small talk and the social media posts and “everything-is-great-why-would-you-think-otherwise” facade. You’re homesick. You’re stressed. You dread large social gatherings. You sleep ﬁve hours a night (on a good night). You really hate calculus. You hate the rain and the humidity and the snow and are really starting to regret not going to sunny UCLA with the rest of Glendora High School. And I’m not judging you; I get it. I’ve been there. And despite what you think, a lot of people wouldn’t judge you either. Because (even though you’re too stubborn to believe it), you’re not the only one who feels this way. You don’t need to feel ashamed for not having the time of your life because everyone else is. Please stop scrolling through Instagram, stop comparing your life to other people’s and stop letting societal expectations on college life make you feel like you’re a loser for struggling a little bit. This isn’t Legally Blonde; undergrad isn’t glitter and butterﬂies and rainbows and waltzing unicorns in ﬁelds of poppies and chrysanthemums. College is hard. Moving across the country to a strange city is hard. Being 18 years old and trying to pick your major that is supposed to guide the rest of your professional life (spoiler: it probably won’t) is hard. Making new friends can be hard. It’s supposed to be hard. The people who constantly post pictures on Instagram about how much they love college life and how many friends they have and how life is so easy and amazing are either very, very lucky or lying because they feel just as scared as you do and try to hide it. College isn’t a complete and utter misery either. The people who tell you that you’re in for four years of woe, tears and torture are probably just like you. They haven’t ﬁgured it out yet either. Like everything else in life, you need balance. In this case, balanced expectations. There will be bad days. And there will be extremely bad days: you’ll fail a midterm and feel homesick and out of place. You’ll get the ﬂu during ﬁnals and start crying during oﬃce hours. It happens; c’est la vie.
But you’ll have good times — great times — too. You’ll also go on spontaneous UniMini trips at 2 a.m. and jam to loud music while “studying” with friends. You’ll stay up too late talking about life with your roommate, get roped into joining random clubs and have all sorts of fun on Saturday nights. You’ll do all these things and more. I know — you feel like you need to spend every hour of every day studying because you don’t belong here, but please (for the love of god), just relax. Imposter syndrome is more common than you think. You’re a hard worker, and although maybe not every midterm, paper or problem set will go your way, you’ll bounce back because you deserve to be here, life is more than school and momma did not raise a quitter. And low-and-behold, you probably didn’t ﬁnd comfort in any of that. Cause, again, I know you, and it’s always the same thing when other people give you great advice. I know, older-wiser person, but you don’t understand you’re not here right now you’re not me you don’t know my life. And that’s where you’re wrong. I do understand. I was there, I am you and I do know your life. And I’m telling you, right here, right now, that you’ll be okay. I’m not saying junior year Jessica won’t have her own share of crap she’ll have to deal with; she too will have her good days, bad days and very bad days. But even though she can be stubborn, anxious, stressed, pessimistic and over-dramatic, at the end of the day, her life goes on. Although she has a tendency to blame herself too often for the pitfalls of life, at the end of the day, she knows that she’s just a small bean trying her best and tries her hardest to ﬁnd joy, even in her bleakest hours. And trust me, she will ﬁnd it. Go easy on yourself. Everything will turn out to be alright. So please, sit back, try to relax and make the most of this new, scary situation (and spoiler alert: You’ll begin to pull it together a little during the spring!)
And I’m telling you now, right here, right now, that you’ll be okay.
Love, Current Jessica
What’s the best for me? REFLECTING ON CHOOSING A MAJOR AT HOPKINS By KATIE TAM
RE YOU PLANNING ON GOING to medical school?” This question has plagued me since my decision to attend Hopkins. The University is known primarily as a science, technology, engineering and mathematics — or STEM — school. We have an outstanding, world-renowned medical school, fantastic research opportunities at various labs around campus and no shortage of a multitude of science and engineering advances made by Hopkins researchers. So when I told people that I’d be going to Hopkins, they would always assume I would be studying something science related. It was almost an expectation that I do so. Despite this, I entered Hopkins as an economics major. Economics was an interest of mine that I was excited about pursuing. Yet in the months leading up to my departure to Baltimore, I would get remarks from people asking why I wasn’t majoring in something science related. It seemed strange to others that I was attending a school that excelled in STEM, but choosing not to pick a major in the ﬁeld. My mom still, to this day, asks me why I chose not to pursue something in STEM. I began to question myself as well. And so my answer to “What are you planning on majoring in?” morphed from “economics” to “economics and public health.” Public health was something I had considered in the past, and it paired well with economics. The strength of the University’s public health department made me less anxious about the thought that I was choosing the “wrong major.” Unfortunately, these plans fell through when I failed to enroll in any classes related to public health my freshman fall. But while public health was erased from my plans, my desire to fulﬁll the expectation that I would major in something STEM-related was not. My freshman spring, I took Introduction to Java, which piqued my interest in computer science. My mom had always pushed for me to pursue a degree in computer science, so she was ecstatic when I told her I decided to declare it at the end of my freshman year along with economics. She wasn’t so excited when I told her I was dropping it less than halfway into my sophomore fall semester, though. While I had an interest in the subject, I just wasn’t good at it. I couldn’t wrap my mind around data structures and the homework assignments stressed me out so much I probably lost a few years oﬀ my life.
Art by STEPHANIE LEE During this time, I had also been taking several writing classes on the side. I’ve always liked writing; I liked reading about, analyzing and writing about books. I was also good at it, which was a major plus after my failed foray into computer science. I began to realize that just because I go to Hopkins doesn’t mean I have to major in something the school is known for, especially if it’s not something I am interested in. Hopkins has great programs in whatever major you decide to pursue. I ﬁnally declared English as my secondary major at the end of my sophomore fall semester and haven’t looked back since. Thinking back, I realize that I only added public health and computer science because I felt as if I needed to justify my choice in major to friends, family, teachers and even myself to an extent. It wasn’t because I was truly interested in the subject, but rather because of the expectations of attending a STEM-oriented institution like Hopkins. I liked the idea of being a public health or computer science major more than actually being one. Through lots of trial and error I discovered that economics and English were the majors I truly wanted to pursue. It took time for me to ﬁnd my path, and there’s no shame in that. You shouldn’t feel bad if you don’t have a plan yet either. Take time to explore your options. Your time here does go by fast, but that doesn’t mean you have to rush into choosing a major you’re not sure you actually want to pursue. Most of this article has been reﬂecting on why I chose not to major in a STEM ﬁeld. All of this isn’t to say that you shouldn’t major in STEM — what I am saying is that you shouldn’t be afraid to explore and even embrace subjects you may have never considered before. Whether it be chemistry or philosophy, don’t be afraid to take a class in something you ﬁnd interesting, even if it’s completely unrelated to your intended major. Don’t be afraid to change your major if you ﬁnd that your passions have changed. And most importantly, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help. Advisors, professors and other Hopkins students are great resources when looking into majors. You’re only a freshman; you don’t have to know exactly how the next four years are going to go. That’s part of the fun of college.
Study hard, study smart STUDY TIPS TO HELP YOU GET THROUGH THE SEMESTER By ERIC LYNCH
F ALL OF THE THINGS THAT Of all of the things that can overwhelm incoming freshmen, the academic rigor of Johns Hopkins is one of the more common ones. Even though the students here are among the best and brightest that high schools have to oﬀer, it’s no secret that a prestigious university like Hopkins is a challenge for everyone. Grades are a popular ﬁxation among students everywhere, and there’s really only one way to get the ones you want: studying. Whether you’re a student who studied well in high school or a student who hasn’t had to study in their life, preparing for tests in college can be intimidating. So, to hopefully make studying less scary, I’ll share some of my tips for more eﬀective test prep.
Find a study location. Johns Hopkins students are known for their ability to study for extensive — and sometimes excessive — periods of time. Because there are so many students studying at once, there are a ton of study spaces to choose from. The Milton S. Eisenhower Library (MSE) and Brody Learning Commons are the two most common and most traditional choices. Even within those two, there are so many diﬀerent types of study spaces: reserved study rooms, quiet cubicles, Brody Atrium and the tables for groups on A and M-levels, just to name a few. Some people prefer a bit of a diﬀerent vibe. Perhaps an empty classroom in any of the various academic buildings can provide an even quieter space. Maybe a table at Starbucks is better for those who need to be drinking coﬀee at all times. Even sitting on the beach in the sun can suﬃce for an outdoorsman. And for those who don’t like to stray far from their bed, there are study spaces in each dorm, and of course, desks in each room. But the main takeaway here is that everybody is diﬀerent. Some people love to collaborate with their classmates while others can’t focus that way. Either way, take a walk around campus and scout out some of your potential study spaces. Trial and error is important, but once you ﬁnd a place that helps you focus, consistency is key. Pick a study method. As I said before: Everyone is diﬀerent. There are a lot of diﬀerent ways to study and not every
method works for everyone. The typical methods of reading the textbook, reviewing class notes or looking over the professor’s slides are pretty common and for some people. They get the job done suﬃciently. In fact, most, if not all of you, will have tried at least one of these methods in high school. If they have worked well for you in the past, then keep it up. But if it hasn’t worked or you aren’t sure, I would encourage you to experiment with some other styles of studying to ﬁnd what is best for you. I know that for me, active participation helps me retain information. Reading a textbook is far too passive for me to eﬃciently store facts. My professors often supplied me with practice exams or even their tests from previous years. Taking these practice exams has worked very well for me and it also helps me see what kinds of questions the professor likes to ask. I have friends who similarly like active studying, but for them, rewriting their notes, or at least the important parts of them, is their preferred method of refreshing their brain. To pick a method that’s right for you, you need to know yourself and understand how you learn. If you don’t know that yet: don’t worry! You have time to ﬁgure it out, and you can still do well on exams, even if you haven’t found the perfect method yet. But usually what is best is a combination of a few methods. Reviewing the slides and then doing a practice test is one example. Or reviewing slides and supplementing it with textbook reading. A little bit of everything could even work if you’re that type of person. Take breaks. People at Hopkins like to push themselves. Sometimes we all go a little overboard. But burning yourself out with unending hours of studying has diminishing returns. There’s only so long you can study before your brain starts to get overwhelmed. An hour of studying followed by a 20 minute break before returning is a great way to pace yourself and make studying more tolerable too. The key here is moderation. Don’t do 20 minutes of studying followed by an hour-long break. But please don’t be one of those people who stays in MSE until 4 a.m. studying for a 9 a.m. test — it just isn’t worth it.
FACT-CHECKING COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS AT HOPKINS By ARIELLA SHUA
ONGRATULATIONS! You’re a Hopkins freshman! Get ready for the next four years to be ﬁlled with… well, what do you want them to be ﬁlled with? Really, you can ﬁll in the blank however you want. Great classes. New friends. Exciting adventures in Baltimore. The freedom to drink. The freedom to not drink. College provides everyone with a blank slate. No one knows you here. And yet, everyone assumes that they know Hopkins before they’ve even walked in. Some of the Hopkins stereotypes are accurate. Most are not. It took me months to ﬁgure out which ones I had wasted time in believing. So to shorten that process for you, I’ll break some down right now. These are the myths that I believed in… and that turned out to not be entirely true.
Art by STEPHANIE LEE Myth: Hopkins has no school spirit and is too serious. Reality: It’s true that we’re no University of Maryland. If you want thousands of screaming face-painted fans, they’re few and far between. If you’re not a sports fan, don’t worry — you’ll never have to think about sports. If you do want to cheer at the games, though, you’re in luck. Hopkins has 24 varsity sports teams. In general, our school isn’t crazy about football; lacrosse is where it’s at. However, all our games are free! You will, however, want to get to lacrosse games relatively on time, especially during Homecoming weekend. Over 7,000 alumni came back in 2017. If you want to play a sport, you’re even luckier. There’s dozens of club sports and intramural sports. And if you ever need a dose of school spirit, wait for a Blue Jay mascot to come by — he’s often around. You can even try out to be a mascot yourself. As for the rumor that no one here has fun: it’s wrong. Some people will study all day, every day. But they would do that in any school. Most students like to let loose once in a while (and for some, much more often than that). Find the deﬁnition of what is fun for you — Super Smash Bros, a frat party, going to DC, checking out Baltimore nightlife, or any combination — and you’ll be set.
Myth: Everyone at Hopkins is pre-med.
Myth: Everyone at Hopkins has their whole lives ﬁgured out. Case in point: Everyone in your FYM group announces their major without hesitation, making you quickly decide that X is the way to go, at least right now. Reality: The above situation is not an isolated one. It happens to many of us. I wanted to claim undecided, but when it was my turn during the rapid-ﬁre FYM ice-breakers, I quickly said I was Writing Seminars and Psychology. At the time, I was relatively comfortable with my decision. I had partially chosen Hopkins for Writing Sems, and had always liked Psych. But if everyone else had said they didn’t know their majors yet, there’s no way I would have said I knew what I was doing. As it turns out, I bounced around over the last two years. I dropped Psych for International Studies. Then I went to Near Eastern Studies. Then I decided not to double major at all, but to pick up some minors instead. I never could have guessed that I would be have Museums & Society and Marketing & Communications minors. But here I am, halfway through school, ﬁnally conﬁdent in those choices. The only part of that initial FYM statement of mine that stayed true was my Writing Sems declaration. I stuck with it, and am glad I did. But freshmen, you’re not the only one doubting your choices. Remember that nothing is set in stone. And it shouldn’t be. You’re in college. This is the place to challenge stereotypes and ﬁgure out your experience as you go.
Reality: This is a particular favorite among the peripheral adults in your life. It has good reason to exist: the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine is closeby. It’s a world-renowned med school. But let’s put things in perspective. According to the Pre-Health Application Trends & Outcomes page on the University’s Pre-Professional Advising website, the majority of students don’t plan on becoming doctors. In 2015, 403 out of the 1,714 undergraduates applied to medical school. So if you’re pre-med, great! You’re in good company. I’m no pre-med, but I saw the bonding ﬁrsthand. During my freshman fall, I typically studied in AMR II’s Blue Jay Lounge, a pre-med hotspot. Every night, I watched students come together through chemistry assignments and late-night FFC runs. They struggled at times, but they struggled together. And if you’re not pre-med, also fantastic! You are not alone, not by a longshot. Thousands of students are just like you, and you’ll ﬁnd them in your smaller classes. I’ll admit that it took me some time to become friends with humanities majors. But part of the problem was that I unwittingly took multiple pre-med electives.
DOS AND DON’TS TO CONSIDER WHEN COHABITATING By JESSE WU
Art by STEPHANIE LEE
ALL IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER, and that means returning to campus and living with other people. Let’s face it: Accommodating others is markedly harder than being by yourself. Here’s a list of dos and don’ts to help you navigate your social inadequacies!
do Have the cleanest area. This will ensure your roommates never hate you for contaminating their living space with your week old FFC box. Be more accommodating when they’re sick. It’s direct patient experience for all you pre-meds! Stick that on your resume. Go to the programming the RAs make for you. There’s usually free food involved, and everyone loves free food. You get to meet people you would have never met. Establish rules. Have an agreement on general bedtimes, noise levels and alcohol use beforehand. It’s much easier for them to respect your wishes if you are transparent from the start. Collect all the free merch together. Career fairs and promotional events usually hand out free junk. While some of this you can throw away immediately (like the pop sockets and cheap plastic water bottles), some you can keep to engage in shenanigans. The Hat Tower is a personal favorite. By the end of the year, my roommate and I had amassed over ten hats, and wearing all at once was an eight out of 10 on the fun scale. Respect their alone time. They barely get any with you around all the time. Take care of them if they are acutely impaired. Blood ﬂows thicker than vodka. Get a vacuum. The ﬂoor can get real nasty, and your roommate will thank you. Engage in shenanigans. You’ll bond and make lifelong memories over the various rule-bending, attention-seeking and potentially unsafe behaviors around the dorms. Sear your steaks outside at the AMR I BBQ pits. Unless you want your smoke alarm going oﬀ and waking up everyone in the vicinity. Learn how to cook. It’s one of the most important life skills, and you’ll stand out from the crowd. Encourage them to write for The News-Letter. It’s one of the most awesome campus organizations you’ll ever be a part of! My favorite section is Your Weekend. It has the greatest editor!
Smother them with generosity. Especially if they don’t know you, they might find it strange and overbearing. Touch their things without asking. It’s pretty obvious, but respect your roommate’s belongings no matter how fun that bouncy ball looks. Be the last one there for orientation. Or else you’re stuck with the worst side of the room for the rest of the year. Eat the last slice of pizza. Many campus events and club meetings will order way too much Pizza Boli’s. You or your roommate will likely attend one of these functions or be present coincidentally after the conclusion, resulting in extra pizza in your hands. Just remember that sharing is caring. Burn things in the dorms. Or burn things inside in general. Or burn things outside. Just don’t burn things. Judge. If your roommate is different in an unexpected way, learn to appreciate it rather than antagonize them. Diversity is key to success in a team-based world and it’s what makes each of us interesting. Antagonize their parents. Or else you’ll be that bad inﬂuence that’s always around their child. Take the last of the toilet paper without changing it. After a long day at school and lab and sports and work and clubs, the last place your overachieving roommate will want to be is on the toilet without a wipe. Bottle up your issues. Just ask them to use headphones. Or to tell you next time. Or to get their own shampoo. Be weird about it. Just say hi. Otherwise everyone feels uncomfortable. Abuse the air conditioning. Just because it is 95 degrees outside doesn’t mean it needs to be “frosty” in here. Sweat it. Having a roommate may seem daunting at ﬁrst, but living in close proximity with other people means making friends is super easy. I hope you all have a wonderful year!
Your Place is Here Too
ADJUSTING TO HOPKINS AS A LIMITED INCOME STUDENT
By SAM FARRAR O MATTER WHERE YOU GO, or who you are, the beginning of a college career is always ﬁlled with anxiety. Am I smart enough to be here? Will people like me here? Did I make the right choice? These are ideas going through everyone’s heads, and for the most part, we are all aware of how they can shape our acclimation to Hopkins. However, there are other sets of anxieties that are not so universal. Although all are equally valid, someone from the other side of Baltimore will have diﬀerent anxieties to someone coming from the other coast, and those will both be vastly diﬀerent from someone coming from the other side of the planet. Our family, social and educational experiences all shape the way we approach a change as big as this. For me, my individual anxieties centered around the fact that I come from a single parent, limited-income family. Everybody knows Hopkins is an extremely high income environment. According to a New York Times article on economic diversity at Hopkins, the median income for a student’s family here is almost $180,000. That’s over three times the national average. I’ve heard stories of people having discussions about how poor they were because their house was only worth one million dollars, while all their friends had multi-million dollar homes. Of course, scenarios like this are certainly not the majority, but it does go to show how wide the spread of wealth is at Hopkins, and how heavily it skews to the top quintile. In the beginning of my Hopkins career, these facts intimidated me. However, as I’ve grown, I’ve not only learned how to mitigate the challenges I face as a limited-income student, but how to use that identity as a way to enhance my own personal growth. One of the privileges — and disadvantages — of this identity, is that it is almost invisible. Sure, someone could catch on that half of my clothes come from Walmart, or connect the fact that I’m growing my hair out with my inability to justify spending $20 on a haircut. But in reality, if anyone judges me for how I present myself, their conclusion is much more likely to be that I just have no taste (which is extremely true). This is one of the ﬁrst lessons I learned coming to cam-
Art by STEPHANIE LEE pus; no matter what tax bracket you are in, you can always be unfashionable. In regards to invisibility, what really came to bother me was the social sphere. I immediately noticed how many people were talking about their trips to Europe or Asia, or even wide across the States. Meanwhile, the farthest north I had ever travelled was to Towson Town Center (I grew up in North Carolina). Moreover, people on campus spend at a rate I simply couldn’t keep up with, despite deﬁnitely feeling a pressure to. In my mind, eating out for lunch, going to the Inner Harbor for dinner and taking a day trip the day after were crucial friend-building experiences. I felt left out of it. It seemed as if invisibility was destined to become my central identity during my four years. It is easy to feel powerless in these situations, but in reality you hold just as much power as anyone else. Wealth is no barrier to true friendship; all those activities that often structure socializing are not done in the name of burning money. You have the power to set the agenda. Here’s what I did. The second night of orientation week just so happened to be the night of the Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather ﬁght, one
of the biggest boxing matches of the 21st century. Now, I know essentially nothing about boxing, but everyone plugged into the sports world in some fashion knew about the magnitude of this ﬁght. I ﬁgured I have a screen on my desk and ways to stream that are cost eﬀective, so why not do something? That day I invited just about every person I saw, and by the time the ﬁght began there were 20 people squeezed into my AMR I dorm. We had a blast, we got to know each other a bit and I’m still close friends with many of them today. Of course, these kinds of anxieties don’t end the second you make a friend or two. One of the hardest things about coming in as a limited-income student is the fact that you likely come from a limited-income school system as well. In my freshman spring, I had to take Calculus I, and I was extremely embarrassed about it. At most schools this would be normal, but to me it seemed like it was standard to test out of it and go straight into Calculus II. When I told my friends, a joke or two came at my expense. But a few weeks into the course, when I ﬁrst went to the same friends to ask for help, they had no idea I was taking it. That’s when I realized this was going to be the only time I was ever going to be comforted by the fact that nobody cares about what I’m doing. The anxieties I was feeling led me down the narcissistic path of assuming everyone I knew was just waiting for the chance to harass me for my limited-income status. In reality, everybody else had their own stuﬀ to worry about. There’s no magic moment where you overcome these anxieties. Coming to Hopkins I was looking to expedite the process of adjusting to college so that I could experience the rest of my time here in peace. There’s no dichotomy between adjusting and being adjusted. In reality, it’s an ongoing process of personal growth. I was forced to overcome these challenges so that I would be prepared to face any future obstacles in life. What is the point of college if not that?
It is easy to feel powerless in these situations, but in reality, you hold just as much power as anyone else.
Surviving the FFC
HOW TO NAVIGATE ABOUT THE CENTRAL DINING HALL By SABRINA ABRAMS Art by STEPHANIE LEE
CANNOT PRETEND TO HAVE BEEN an FFC aﬁcionado as a freshman. I actively avoided eating there in favor of a combination of Levering Kitchens, CharMar sandwiches and veggie burgers from Brody Cafe. However, there’s still a lot to be said about having the freshman year dining hall experience and how you can make the most out of it. You can’t do the full freshman year experience without the FFC, so you may as well enjoy it as much as possible. Enjoy having unlimited food access at most hours of the day and constantly being able to eat with all of your friends. Like much of what happens in your ﬁrst year at Hopkins, it’s irreplicable and irreplaceable.
❊ You can never go wrong with pizza, fries and grilled cheese. ❊ Omelette bar. Located front and center, there’s a DIY omelette station where you can fry eggs up with a variety of toppings and mix-ins ranging from sausage to spinach. Get creative with what you put in there; it’s just a saucepan and can be used to heat up a variety of foods if no one catches you. Learn how to cook eggs comfortably and properly because this station is very public. ❊ Further on eggs: The FFC will typically have scrambled eggs at breakfast and at late night and these are consistently excellent. ❊ Panini press. Use a tortilla wrap and ﬁll it with cheese from the sandwich station’s other ﬁllings to make quesadillas. ❊ Microwave. Take the Rice Krispies, a little bit of butter, and the marshmallows from the ice cream toppings bowl. Put it all in a bowl, stir and toss it in the microwave for DIY Rice Krispies treats. ❊ Go to late night midway through getting ready to go out on a Thursday. There is no late night on Fridays and Saturdays. ❊ Always send one friend to late night so they can report on whether chicken tenders are being served, because occasionally it will be listed on the menu and not actually served. Make sure this friend has unlimited swipes. ❊ Whenever there is cheese sauce at the Blue Jay Bar, put it on the french fries. ❊ Sterling Brunch is overrated and the line will take forever; go to steal the lox. ❊ Dessert hack: Get yogurt, sun butter and granola from the salad bar. Then mix in the chocolate chips and coconut from the waﬄe station. ❊ Don’t let anyone make fun of you for eating the kielbasa with peppers and onions. ❊ The graham cracker ice cream is the best ﬂavor. ❊ More on ice cream: Put ice cream in a to-go cup to eat later. No need to steal an entire tub. ❊ Bring your plate close to the food when you’re serving yourself, otherwise you risk spilling everywhere and incurring the wrath of the FFC workers. ❊ Pickles are always an excellent and nutritious option.
❊ The cookies/brownies/dessert options in general are often vegan but they are still very good. ❊ The cookies in the fridge are gluten-free and delicious. Put peanut butter in between them to make a sandwich. ❊ The Global station, which rotates on a weekly basis and can oﬀer anything from customizable donuts to stir fry, will have a really long line. It’s normally worth it; the food here tends to be higher quality. ❊ Fill a water bottle with the waﬄe mix and you can make pancakes at home. ❊ Get used to hearing Ed Sheeran on their Spotify playlist. ❊ If you don’t have a lot to do (or even if you do), go to the FFC at noon on a Sunday with your friends; sit at a table in the middle and you will slowly see everyone you have ever met. It’s a fun way to meet your friends’ friends and generally catch up after a weekend’s festivities. ❊ Similar timing note: The FFC will be incredibly full at exactly 5 p.m. when it starts serving dinner. Go at this time to sit with your friends and run into acquaintances.
Welcome to the Nest! Art by ELIZABETH IM
B’more’s Neighborhoods HIGHLIGHTS OF SOME NEIGHBORHOODS OF CHARM CITY By LAURA WADSTEN
Art by STEPHANIE LEE
F YOU NEVER STEP FOOT OFF OF Homewood campus or leave the Hopkins bubble, then you will never really take advantage of all your opportunities here at Hopkins. All students should get to know the city that they’ll be calling home for the next four years, but it can be intimidating to know where to start in a new place. I have been living in Baltimore for exactly one year now. Because my summer job required me to travel all over the city, I have explored more than the average Hopkins student. As a newly-minted resident, I do not claim to be an expert, but I feel somewhat qualiﬁed to at least give recommendations on some of my favorite places to venture. Charles Village The area surrounding our Homewood campus has a lot to oﬀer. A trip to the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) by yourself or with some friends might just open your third eye. On top of that, the BMA has free admission, so you don’t have to worry about paying for the museum visit. The museum, conveniently located on campus, has the largest collection of Matisse paintings in the U.S. and has an excellent selection of both older and contemporary art. Recently they have been taking steps to feature more art from people of color, including an installation devoted to black creativity and imagination. They also feature interesting temporary installations; one of my favorites was the collection from ﬁlm director John Waters, a Baltimore native. Hampden Perhaps the most hyped neighborhood in the city, Hampden is arguably cool. With hipster and ‘50s vibes, the restaurants and stores lining “the Avenue” will entertain you for any period of time. If you’re into vintage or antique stores, boy, oh boy will Hampden deliver. Personally, I found a vintage Bulls jersey for $20 in one store and an ancient copy of Tolstoy in another. There are also tons of great restaurants, including Grano Pasta Bar (Guy Fieri approved), Golden West Cafe (super vegan friendly) and Souvlaki (great Greek food; I recommend the baked feta.) Station North Just south of Charles Village lies Station North, an artsy district with great entertainment and food options. Take the JHMI down to the historic Parkway Theatre to catch a ﬂick in a gorgeous setting, or pop by Baltimore Improv Group (BIG) for free comedy shows every night of the week. There are
also some excellent places to eat, including Joe Squared, which has the best pizza in the city, in my humble opinion. Mount Vernon The home of our very own Peabody Conservatory, Mount Vernon has more to oﬀer than just the most beautiful library in the world (seriously check it out). The original Washington Monument dominates the skyline, and The Walters Art Museum has free admission and lots of cool exhibits to check out. I would also recommend walking around the neighborhood just to gaze at all the cool architecture. You can even see some burn marks from the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904 on some of the brick, which might be cool for people who like history like me. Inner Harbor Baltimore is conveniently located right on the Chesapeake Bay, and the Inner Harbor is a great destination to check out. Arguably the most tourist-y part of Baltimore, it is home to the National Aquarium (you can pet jellyﬁsh), the Maryland Science Center (IMAX theatre great for viewing Marvel movies), and impressive street performers. If you want to try Maryland crab, Phillips Seafood will teach you how to properly crack a crustacean and extract its well-protected meat. There are also some fancier dining options in the Inner Harbor, including Fogo de Chão and Capital Grille, if that’s what you’re going for when your parents oﬀer to take you out for dinner. Patterson Park Across the city near the med campus is Patterson Park, an expansive plot of land that was the ﬁrst land gifted by a private individual to a city for public recreation. It features a landmark pagoda, ﬁnished in 1891, which was originally called the Observatory and is an architectural feat. The park is a great place to hang out on a nice day, or go skating in the winter. Right next to the grassy area is an excellent ice cream shop called Bmore Licks, which features over 100 ﬂavors of soft serve and over 30 options for hard ice cream. Honestly, you have to try them all. Fells Point Full of historic streets and great eats, Fells Point is the last place Edgar Allan Poe was spotted before his enigmatic death. It’s worth a trip just to check out the old architecture and ancient cobblestone streets. When you crave amazing seafood, check out Thames Street Oyster House for an excellent raw bar, beautiful lobster roll and expertly prepared ﬁsh. This was the ﬁrst restaurant I ever ate at in Baltimore, and it’s still my favorite, so make a reservation and head over.
Patterson Park is a fun, relaxing way to spend an afternoon with friends.
Gems of Charm City
STEPPING AWAY FROM MAINSTREAM BALTIMORE SPOTS By JAE CHOI
T’S FAR TOO EASY TO GET caught up in the Hopkins bubble — here are some neat places to explore during the weekend or on a study break.
STATION NORTH ARTS DISTRICT The Station North Arts District immediately south of campus is home to the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) graduate campus, a number of independent art studios and local Korean Restaurants. There is also a well-known streetcar museum next to the Graﬃti Warehouse, which features graﬃti art from people in the community. Notably, the area is home to several movie theaters such as the Parkway Theater, The Charles and the JHU-MICA Film Centre at the intersection of North Charles Street and North Avenue; all oﬀer screenings of popular box-oﬃce hits and rare ﬁlms alike. The Arts District also hosts the Maryland Film Festival and Artscape festival annually. 32ND STREET AND BALTIMORE FARMERS MARKETS Going to the 32nd Street Farmers Market in Waverly, open Saturdays 7 a.m. – 12 p.m., or the Baltimore Farmers Market & Bazaar, open Sundays 7 a.m. – 12 p.m., is a great way to meet people in the community and support your local farmers in Baltimore! The farmers markets also have fresh produce not always available at the local grocery store. THE BOOK THING The Book Thing is an independent bookstore in Abell open on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. However, all the books are free, and the shop takes book donations as well. Interestingly, the building’s upkeep is sustained by monetary donations and rentals of books, which have been used as props for TV shows like House of Cards. COFFEE SHOPS IN MOUNT VERNON Around the University’s Peabody Institute in Mount Vernon, you can ﬁnd many independent coﬀee shops like the Bun Shop, Baby’s On Fire, Dooby’s and Koﬀee Therapy
Art by STEPHANIE LEE Cafe. These businesses not only have excellent food and drinks but also are great places for studying! HAMPDEN Hampden is a fun, quirky neighborhood just northwest of campus. Here, you may spot some of your classmates grabbing ice cream from the Charmery or checking out some of the antique stores lining West 36th Street. Grabbing food from Dangerously Delicious Pies or dessert from SweetSide Cafe while you’re here is a must! There’s also MOM’s Organic Market amid a complex of other stores and businesses several blocks north of West 36th Street.
LITTLE ITALY Nestled between Inner Harbor and Fells Point is the neighborhood of Little Italy, a historic area full of family-run Italian restaurants. It’s a quiet neighborhood ﬁlled with charming restaurants and shops, and it also frequently hosts small festivals. There are also several bocce ball courts, with seats for spectators. Vaccaro’s Italian Pastry Shop and Pitango have authentic gelato and Italian ice, and Cafe Gia Ristorante and La Tavola oﬀer more aﬀordable meals without compromising quality and taste amid the more expensive choices in the vicinity. That said, La Scala and Da Mimmo Italian Restaurant are great choices if you can aﬀord it. THE WOODS IMMEDIATELY NORTH OF CAMPUS LEADING UP TO LOYOLA AND THE SCENIC DRIVE If you continue to travel north of campus, up the part of North Charles Street sandwiched by the Tuscany-Canterbury and Guilford neighborhoods, you’ll enter a beautiful wooded area at the edge of Baltimore City. This area, which is home to Loyola University and Notre Dame of Maryland University, is great for walking around or jogging in the mornings. Continuing up the street, you’ll eventually come across a scenic byway ﬂanked by green hills and lush countryside. There are few joys in life like driving down North Charles Street from the Towson Trader Joe’s at sunset. THAI RESTAURANT, INDOCHINE, AND OTHER SOUTHEAST ASIAN RESTAURANTS One surprising feature of Baltimore is its wide selection of Southeast Asian Food, most notably Vietnamese and Thai cuisine. Thai Restaurant (it’s literally called “Thai Restaurant”) in Waverly is probably my favorite restaurant in the entire city. Khun Nine Thai in Mount Vernon and My Thai just above Little Italy are also good options for Thai food. If I’m looking for Vietnamese food, I can usually count on Indochine in Mount Vernon or Pho Bac in Canton.
JOIN THE NEWS-LETTER! Contact Emily and Katie at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo by NEHA SANGANA THE COVER-LETTER
Freshman highlights... By WILLIAM EDMONDS
“I really liked spring semester as a whole. You’ll hear a lot of older students telling you that second semester is better than the first. ... Second semester is better because there’s lots to look forward to: Greek life, lacrosse season, the freshman formal, and of course Spring Fair! Even if you’re not into sports or stereotypical Greek life (like me) you should definitely still look into all the opportunities: things are definitely different at Hopkins.” — SYLVANA SCHAFFER, SOPHOMORE
SOPHOMORES REFLECT ON THE BEST PARTS OF FRESHMAN YEAR “My favorite experience of freshman year was in spring semester. It was in April and it was one of the first truly warm and sunny days of the year. Lots of people were on the Beach enjoying themselves and I sat with my friends having a great time. Classes were winding down and finals were approaching, but in the moment everyone was having a great time.” — MARIO AGUIRRE, SOPHOMORE
“My best times at Hopkins during my freshman year were spent at the various quads chilling with friends in the periods between classes, sitting on the chairs. The campus is so beautiful, especially during the spring and fall, so it’s so nice to sit out in the sun and take in those moments on our stunning campus.” — MARY SULAVIK, SOPHOMORE
“My favorite experience as a freshman at Hop was the midterm watch party. It was exciting because it brought people across the political aisle together in a civil manner. Also, I had a five minute conversation with University President Ronald J. Daniels and Provost Sunil Kumar about politics which was pretty exciting.” — LELAND HELD, SOPHOMORE
... and regrets
MISTAKES AND REGRETS FROM FRESHMAN YEAR By RUDY MALCOM Photo courtesy of RUDY MALCOM
As a freshman, Malcom repents for his sins on Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement.
HETHER YOU’RE STILL wearing your lanyard (please take her off), vomiting illegal liquids into the communal bathroom sink, or facing newfound commitment issues with romantic partners and extracurriculars, this year is sure to bring a multitude of missteps and debacles. But fret not! How else will you mature from a collegiate fetus into a wise Blue Jay? My most epic fail from freshman year (I’m a junior now) was sending someone the 200-word explanation behind why I was ending things with him after a single date. Or maybe it was when my professor waved at me while I was taking a video of him playing “Born This Way” before our 400-person lecture. Or maybe when someone politely introduced himself to me and then asked, “Were you the guy who ripped the Christmas wrapping paper oﬀ my door three months ago?” (For the record, by mid-January I was no longer vibing with the holiday spirit.) If you’re anything like I was, you’ll likely spend a solid amount of time this year at the Fresh Food Cafe (FFC) wallowing in regret during extended meals. And as Sam Smith so eloquently put it, I know I’m not the only one. For instance, though some students try to eat less to avoid the dreaded “freshman 15,” junior Joshua Krachman might recommend ensuring that you’re chewing on more than air. “One time at the FFC, I thought I had a roll of bread in my left hand, so I chomped down as hard I could,” he said. “My lip and tongue were horrible for two months.” Senior Sebastian Durfee also had some frightful moments at the FFC. Your J-Card, which you’ll use for meal swipes and library entry, is arguably the cornerstone of your identity here.
Yet as a freshman, Durfee forgot to bring his J-Card back to Hopkins after winter break. “My mother was too cheap to send it ﬁrst-class, so for a week I had to orchestrate a clever key swap involving two other people and mooch oﬀ of their meal plans, as well as straightup sneak into the FFC during Late Night,” he said. “I was a nervous wreck every time.” Make sure to befriend your roommates, Durfee advised, so that they can lend a hand for similar misfortunes. Know, however, that the bonds you forge with others this year won’t always last. You may come to realize that your best bud from O-Week is toxic and not worth the emotional energy. You’ll grow and change; so will your friends and both of your schedules. Be open to fostering relationships with those who truly make you happy. Last year, sophomore Orlando Espinoza struggled to nourish a dead-end relationship. “Every week, I’d feed the squirrel in the AMR I courtyard, hoping to ﬁnally make friends with it one day. It never worked,” he said. “One time I even rinsed and dried salted almonds with boiling water because salt is bad for squirrels. The squirrel didn’t even touch it.” Espinoza’s dedication to this misanthrope was excessive. It is important, however, to make time for friends. Try not to isolate yourself in the library too much. Senior Shilpa Saxena recalled studying for a Neuro exam in the library one night during her freshman fall semester. “I thought I could game the system and leave my backpack at a cubicle to reserve it for the next morning,” she wrote in an email to The News-Letter. “I took my laptop and important stuﬀ out of it, and I was so proud of myself for having this foresight.” Unbeknownst to Saxena, security sweeps the library after closing and brings abandoned items to the Central Lost and Found, located within the JHU Oﬃce of Campus Safety and Security at 3001 Remington Ave. — three-quarters of a mile away. “I had to walk there the next day before class and shamefully pick up my backpack, pretending I’d ‘accidentally’ left it there,” Saxena wrote. “The security guard deﬁnitely knew I was a freshman.” Don’t think you won’t keep blundering next year, though. According to folk etymology, the word “sophomore” means “wise fool.” Maybe you’ll eat part of a succulent for attention or take to Messenger to ask someone why you didn’t match on Tinder (oops). As you will soon discover, there is an inordinate amount of pressure to succeed on this campus. But it’s okay if you get a C. And, as junior Becky Shade added, it’s ﬁne if you decide you no longer want to become a doctor. “Not wearing sunscreen to chill on the Beach at your ﬁrst Spring Fair might turn you almost as red as you are when you go home for summer break and tell your parents you’re dropping pre-med,” Shade said. Just remember that college is about learning from your mistakes and experiences so that when you graduate, you’ll be able to ﬂap your azure wings, nosedive into a heap of debt and then ﬁnally soar, far and wide.
How Do We Get There? A GUIDE TO BALTIMORE TRANSPORT
S SOMEONE FROM A SMALL TOWN (as in, I can’t get groceries without running into half my graduating class), one of the things I was most excited about when I started college was getting to live in a bigger city like Baltimore.But growing up in a small town also meant that I had absolutely no experience navigating public transportation. The ﬁrst few weeks of my freshman year, I opted to stay in the Hopkins bubble instead of facing the slightly overwhelming realm of bus route maps and Amtrak schedules. Don’t do what I did. The handful of restaurants on St. Paul get old very quickly, and there are a variety of free public transport options available to Hopkins students that make Baltimore easy to explore. Here’s your comprehensive guide to getting around your new city!
By EMILY MCDONALD Art by STEPHANIE LEE Blue Jay Shuttles Running from 5:30 p.m. to 3:45 a.m. every day, these free shuttles are the easiest way to navigate the area directly surrounding the Homewood campus and are great for running day-to-day errands. Two ﬂeets of buses follow set routes, which will take you to Giant if you need to go grocery shopping and various oﬀ-campus apartments, like the Guilford and Hopkins House. If these routes don’t suit you, buses also leave from Brody every 15 minutes — just let the driver where you’d like to be dropped oﬀ, as long as it’s within the Blue Jay Shuttle service area. Another convenient service you can take advantage of is Night Ride. Call 410-516-8700, let the dispatcher know your current location and your destination, and a shuttle will come pick you up. Occasionally dispatchers will send a Lyft instead; they’ll let you know via text when your car arrives, and the service is still completely free.
The Charm City Circulator The Circulator is the method of transportation I use most often, because it’s free and buses arrive reliably every ten minutes. Check the “Arrival” tab on the Charm City Circulator’s website to stay up-to-date with bus arrival times and delays. The 33rd Street-MedStar Union Memorial Hospital stop on the purple route is right across from Barnes & Noble. Other nearby purple route stops are on 31st and Art Museum Drive and 29th and St. Paul. I frequently use the purple route to get to the Inner Harbor, which has a lot of shops, restaurants and other attractions on the water. The orange route stops at a number of museums, the University of Maryland’s Baltimore campus and the National Aquarium. The Circulator runs until 8 p.m. on weekdays, and until midnight on weekends, so make sure you’re back early, or have an alternate method of transportation to get you back to campus.
The JHMI The Homewood-Peabody-JHMI Shuttle, or the “Jimmy,” is another free bus that will take you to each of the Hopkins campuses in Baltimore. The JHMI arrives every 20 minutes from 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. on weekdays, and starts running a little later on weekends. Some of the more convenient stops are right in front of Charles Commons and the Interfaith Center. This bus is perfect for students who do research at the Medical campus, or for those who want to see the George Peabody Library from all the brochures in person (I deﬁnitely recommend this; it’s stunning). The JHMI also stops at Penn Station, which means it overlaps with the Circulator’s routes.
MARC and Amtrak trains MARC trains depart from Penn Station and will take you to a variety of locations across Maryland, including BWI and Union Station in D.C. While they’re not free, MARC trains are relatively aﬀordable — you can get to the airport for just $5, and ticket to D.C. costs $8 — making them perfect if you want to take a day trip to the nation’s capital. If you’re planning on traveling outside of Maryland, Amtrak trains also depart from Penn Station. The Acela line will take you to major east coast cities like Boston, New York and Philadelphia, and is ideal for getting you back to your hometown or for booking a mini vacation.
Joining The News-Letter WHY WE JOINED AND WHY YOU SHOULD TOO By AMELIA ISAACS and SARAH Y. KIM
FTER 13 YEARS of dying to leave Korea, I spent much of my ﬁrst semester at Hopkins wanting to go back. I never felt comfortable in Korea. I’d grown up there knowing that eventually I would go back to the U.S. for college. I was American; my Korean was mediocre; and I went to an international school that did not teach the Korean language or Korean history. But when I came to Hopkins, I felt all the more out of place. I’d forgotten what it was like to live in the U.S., and I knew almost nothing about Baltimore. In my ﬁrst week people were already telling me not to go to this-and-this neighborhood, to be wary of crime on a daily basis. I quickly felt suﬀocated and homesick. To cope, I spent my ﬁrst semester trying to familiarize myself with my heritage, frustrated and ashamed of myself for having neglected to understand the place I’d lived in for nearly my whole life. I decided not to make that mistake with Baltimore. Part of why I’d joined The News-Letter was because I thought it would be a point of continuity; I was part of the student paper in high school. But — as I wrote and reported nearly every week — I soon recognized it as a gateway to the city. It was through The News-Letter that I learned about the Baltimore Uprising, about gentriﬁcation, about the deeply troubled history between the University and the city. It was through The News-Letter that I met local activists and ventured more and more out of the Hopkins bubble. It was through The News-Letter that I fell in love with Baltimore. I owe almost everything I’ve found at Hopkins to this paper: my sense of purpose in college, a sense of community, my closest friends, my ability to slap together an acceptable essay hours before it’s due, my past two summer internships. To be part of this community full of editors, writers and artists committed to the city and amplifying voices that need to be heard, who dedicate over 20 hours every week to this paper, is a privilege I’m constantly grateful for. From the very beginning my editors, and later my fellow editors, gave me the room to grow and learn. They trusted me when I couldn’t trust myself. Because of them, I found a voice, a sense of purpose, a home. One of the greatest things about The News-Letter is that it’s open to everyone. I joined with little experience, knowing almost nothing about the city, about journalism. Perhaps, as I was three years ago, you are a scared freshman, already counting the days till you get to go back home. It’s okay to be scared, and it’s okay to be homesick. It’s okay if you’re not ready to call Baltimore home because your family is so far away. But you now have the privilege of being part of this vibrant city over the next four years. You can’t take that for granted. Take a look into The News-Letter — attend a meeting, write an article or two. Keep at it and you may understand what I mean. You may ﬁnd a home here too. — Sarah Y. Kim
OMMONLY AND LOVINGLY referred to as SIF Fair, the Student Involvement Fair (notice the “F” stands for “Fair” so the extra “Fair” on the end is redundant) is the mecca of all the many clubs and societies Johns Hopkins has to oﬀer, and top of the list of places to be during your ﬁrst week here. I, unfortunately, had class during SIF. As a result, I thought that my chances of joining any clubs, and particularly the newspaper, were ruined. Having worked on both the newspaper and magazine in high school, The News-Letter was vying for acapella groups for ﬁrst place on the extensive list of clubs I wanted to join. While the freshman plague sadly put an abrupt end to any chances I (never) had of my musical career taking oﬀ, luckily an upperclassman friend put me in contact with one of the then Editors-in-Chief of The News-Letter. A week later I was reviewing the Barnstormers’ production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ with press ticket in hand, and writing my very ﬁrst Voices column ‘From Across the Pond,’ with a grainy black and white selﬁe of a headshot in tow. Fast forward two years and countless articles, late nights, hours editing and cups of tea later (see my ﬁrst column for the rest of the British stereotypes I fall into) and I’ve gone from writer to Editor-in-Chief this year. It’s a position that I am so, so honored to have this year. While I know that I am by no means perfect – there are more parentheses here than I would like and I’m deﬁnitely rambling on in parts – that’s part of the joy of student journalism. While I know that Sarah and I, and the rest of the News-Letter team, will always strive to write as well as we can, to investigate everything to the best of our ability and to produce work of the highest quality, there will be occasions where we mess up. The News-Letter is a place where we can be fallible. It’s a place where we can make mistakes and own up to them and rectify them fully. It’s a place where we can try new things, experiment, grow and learn. Now more than ever, journalism is crucially important. The term is thrown around a lot, but in a time of “fake news,” it’s important that we look for the truth. That we go to credible news sources and don’t just look to Snapchat for it. That we listen to the voices around us and elevate them rather than silence them. And I truly hope that we can be that news source for both people at Hopkins and the rest of Baltimore.
[The News-Letter] is a place where we can try new things, experiment, grow and learn.
— Amelia Isaacs
Get to know the Staff! A BRIEF Q AND A WITH THE EDITORS OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS NEWS-LETTER
By STEPHANIE LEE
ERIC LYNCH, Sports Editor Neuroscience Party anthem? September - Earth, Wind, and Fire. What’s a weird fact about you? I lived in Tokyo for the ﬁrst three years of my life. What’s one thing you wish you owned? A lifetime supply of microwaveable Kraft mac & cheese. JACOB TOOK, Public Editor Writing Seminars, English, Russian
AMELIA ISAACS, Editor-in-Chief English, Writing Seminars, MSH Where do you see yourself in 25 years? With a stronger glasses prescription than I have now. Party anthem? Year 3000 - by Busted, NOT The Jonas Brothers. Favorite Baltimore food spot? Pitango - best gelato in Baltimore hands down. ARIELLA SHUA, Opinions Editor Writing Seminars Where do you see yourself in 25 years? Trying to get my family on Family Feud. What’s one thing you wish you owned? A red Jeep with no doors. What’s a weird fact about you? Once I walked past Kevin Jonas and his wife in a mall.
Favorite Baltimore food spot? Mi Comalito is highly underrated and in BJs distance. Favorite news outlet? The News-Letter ;p What’s a weird fact about you? I’ve had four girlfriends. JAE CHOI, Arts and Entertainment Editor Neuroscience, English Party anthem? SOPHIE - Immaterial. What’s one thing you wish you owned? Money to cover my student debt. Favorite news outlet? Reuters or NPR. JESSE WU, Your Weekend Editor Biomedical Engineering
BRANDON WOLFE, Sports Editor Public Health, Economics
What’s the most newsworthy thing you’ve done? I did the R. House pop up stall last May... What’s one thing you wish you owned? Real estate. Favorite news outlet? The Baltimore Sun.
What’s the most newsworthy thing you’ve done? Got sunburnt at night. Favorite news outlet? Barstool Sports. What’s a weird fact about you? I can quote all of Anchorman and Step Brothers. EDA INCEKARA, Photography Editor Neuroscience, Psychology Where do you see yourself in 25 years? Being happy. What’s one thing you wish you owned? A good singing voice. Favorite news outlet? The Guardian. EMILY MCDONALD, Managing Editor English, Writing Seminars Party anthem? Faith by George Michael. Favorite Baltimore food spot? Mayuree Thai Tavern. What’s one thing you wish you owned? A dog.
KATIE TAM, Managing Editor Economics, English Party anthem? Supercut by Lorde. What’s one thing you wish you owned? An espresso machine. What’s a weird fact about you? I have a collection of clown memes saved to my phone. KATY OH, Arts and Entertainment Editor International Studies, East Asian Studies Favorite news outlet? The New Yorker. What’s one thing you wish you owned? My own soundproof music studio. What’s a weird fact about you? I don’t have an appendix!
SABRINA ABRAMS, News Editor International Studies, Anthropology Favorite Baltimore food spot? Barcocina. Favorite news outlet? The Wall Street Journal. What’s a weird fact about you? I always ask for my THB triple-toasted. MARVIS GUTIERREZ, Layout Editor International Studies Party anthem? Hot Girl Summer - Megan Thee Stallion What’s one thing you wish you owned? Lizzo concert tickets. Favorite news outlet? Clickhole.
SAM FARRAR, Voices Editor Political Science Where do you see yourself in 25 years? Whole Foods. What’s the most newsworthy thing you’ve done? Got my highschool prinicpal ﬁred, kinda. Favorite Baltimore food spot? Inner Harbor water.
LAURA WADSTEN, Science and Technology Editor International Studies, MSH
SARAH Y. KIM, Editor-in-Chief International Studies, Writing Seminars
What’s the most newsworthy thing you’ve done? I organized the March for Science — Minnesota. Party anthem? Tempo by Lizzo ft. Missy Elliott. Favorite Baltimore food spot? Thames Street Oyster House in Fells Point. NEHA SANGANA, Photography Editor Engineering Mechanics, Writing Seminars Where do you see yourself in 25 years? Writing novels on Mars. What’s a weird fact about you? I’m addicted to scooters What’s the most newsworthy thing you’ve done? I narrowly escaped an avalanche while trekking the Himalayas
Party anthem? Bohemian Rhapsody. What’s one thing you wish you owned? A cat, dog or dragon. What’s a weird fact about you? I wanted to be an opera singer in elementary school. SOPHIA LOLA, Copy Editor Writing Seminars Favorite Baltimore food spot? Ribaldi’s Pizza reminds me of home. What’s one thing you wish you owned? Any of the outﬁts from the movie Heathers. Favorite news outlet? The New York Times. STEPHANIE LEE, Magazine Editor East Asian Studies, Sociology
WILLIAM EDMONDS, News Editor Political Science, Psychological and Brain Sciences Where do you see yourself in 25 years? Working to reform the criminal justice system. Favorite Baltimore food spot? Grano Pasta Bar makes the absolute best pasta. Favorite news outlet? I love Fox News whenever I get tired of the truth. REBECCA MURATORE, Copy Editor Computer Science Favorite Baltimore food spot? The Papermoon Diner. What’s one thing you wish you owned? A pet rabbit. What’s a weird fact about you? One of my eyes is two different colors.
What’s the most newsworthy thing you’ve done? I used to ﬁt model as a child. What’s one thing you wish you owned? A 4.0 GPA. Favorite news outlet? South China Morning Post and Reuters. TRISHA PARAYIL, Science and Technology Editor Neuroscience and Public Health Favorite Baltimore food spot? Khun Nine Thai What’s one thing you wish you owned? A private jet. Favorite news outlet? Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me!
RUDY MALCOM, News Editor Writing Seminars What’s the most newsworthy thing you’ve done? Made out with someone in Uni Mini. What’s one thing you wish you owned? Intrinsic self-worth. Favorite news outlet? The News-Letter HA HA HA HA HA help.
The welcome guide for Johns Hopkins freshmen