Hey y’all! Well I can’t believe I’m saying this but as I’m writing this, I’m officially 3 days away from graduation. Coming into Hopkins, I had no idea what to expect, but now looking back, I can honestly say that 4 years have flown by and I am so grateful for everyone I’ve met and all the experiences I’ve had. So…I thought there’s no better way to write my last blog than to look back on all of these things, so here we go (in no particular order!) 

1. My family, and especially my parents

Thank you for your endless support, for always answering my FaceTime calls even when I would call 5 times a day because I was stressed, and for being the best people I know 

  • Dad: for having the most thought provoking discussions with me, for giving me the best fashion advice, and for always making me laugh 
  • Mom: for filling my belly with so many yummy foods each time I’m home, for listening to my countless stories, and for your constant reassurance 
  • To my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and extended family: I am so lucky to have each of you in my life- thank you for everything 

2. My best friends from home 

When I left St. Louis, I thought I would be in touch with every single one of my friends, but now four years later, that most definitely isn’t the case, but I know that the friendships I have with each of you are lifelong:

  • Janvi: for being the closest thing I’ve ever had to a sister- you’re basically family at this point and I wouldn’t have it any other way 
  • Arjun: for showing me what genuine friendship is- I always cherish our adventures when we’re both home and our FaceTime calls when we’re apart 
  • Anusha: for being my oldest friend- can’t believe we’ve stuck together now for close to two decades 
  • Laasya: for always knowing how to keep me on the phone for hours and making me laugh 
  • Bhavs: for having virtual “dinner dates” with me and entertaining me with the juiciest stories

3. Suite 310 

Madi, Sara, and Julissa- you made Hopkins feel like home from the moment I stepped onto campus. I will forever think fondly of our door decorating sessions, carpet chats, and suite dinners! 

4. Pi Beta Phi

I never thought I would join a sorority coming into Hopkins, but I can’t imagine my college experience without the best girls by my side: 

  • Bex: for being the strongest and most loving person I know. Forever grateful that I get to call you my big and I am always inspired by you
  • Jenna: my roommate, the best little on the planet, and the spunkiest person I know- thanks for always making life fun
  • Zoe: never have I gotten so close to someone so quickly- thank you for dealing with my codependency and I am so thankful we met 
  • Emily: endlessly grateful that Bex took both of us because I found the coolest person and an amazing friend 
  • Rebecca: the best grandbig- thank you for letting me destroy your kitchen during big little week and being so wonderful at continually putting in effort and checking in even when we’re apart
  • Carol: my food buddy, documentary pal, and so much more- I am always amazed by your kind heart and selflessness 
  • To my exec board: Izzy, Charlotte, Hannah, Shelby, Jenna, and Rachel- thanks for being the best board, wouldn’t have wanted to do that with anyone else 
  • Jaanvi: for talking about the weirdest things with me and being such a supportive person  
  • Alise: we met in the strangest of ways, but forever thankful for you and all you do for me (especially when I’m not thinking straight) 
  • Jenn and Taylor: so sad that we met so late, but thank you for being my absolute favorites and for keeping me sane! 

5. The Tea Shop 

  • Manasi: for being one of my first friends at Hopkins and being such a constant throughout our time here. I’ll miss laughing on your floor 
  • Kriti: my public health buddy and the creator of our favorite group chat- so glad we met 

6. Pediatric Emergency Medicine at The Johns Hopkins Children’s Center 

I can’t put into words how grateful I am to have spent the last 4 years here as a research assistant- best lab, best people, best research, best kids! 

  • Dr. Kouo: for being the best mentor and PI- thank you for your constant friendliness, for giving me so much independence and trusting me, and for providing me with the best opportunities 
  • Dr. Ngo: for letting me shadow you, ask you for so many favors, and for your delicious baked goods 
  • The Pediatric Emergency Medicine  fellows:  for your friendliness and especially Nabila and Amy for always letting me steal your computer in the fellows office! 
  • The Peds ED nurses: you guys are the best, thank you for answering my endless questions always 
  • To the kiddos and families: most of you, I only met once and spent a brief amount of time with, but I will always cherish each of those interactions- thank you for always making my day 

7. Pediatric Oncology at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center 

Truly, if I had to pick one experience during my time here that has meant the most to me, it would be working as a Child Life Volunteer here:

  • Tiffany: for being the best unit supervisor and treating all of your volunteers with so much kindness
  • To the Peds Onc Nurses and especially Carly, Catie, and Caroline: for being some of the most compassionate humans I’ve ever seen and for your constantly positive attitudes 
  • To the Kiddos: thank you for being the BEST part of my week- I have never met anyone as strong and resilient as you, and I am always inspired by each of you. Getting to know you and your families has meant so much to me and will be something that I miss the most once I leave 

8. My WashU Lab

For giving me such amazing opportunities and for allowing me to meet so many incredible people: 

  • Cindy: the most organized person I’ve ever met, and someone I look up to in so many ways- thank you for continually teaching me so much
  • Michelle: where do I start with you- never would I have guessed that you would end up being one of my closest friends, but I’m so thankful to CNG for bringing us together and I love all of our adventures together 
  • Kaylin: thank you for being the best work buddy, showing me tons of cute photos of your dogs, and for making work so fun

9. The Porter Lab at the National Institutes of Health 

For taking me out of my comfort zone and  allowing me to experience such a wonderful internship at the Institute of Child Health and Human Development

10. My favorite restaurants in Baltimore

Blue Agave, Namaste Baltimore, Paulie Gee’s, Be More Thai, The Charmery, and B’More Licks for always sending me into a food coma 

11. National Cathedral School Debate 

For allowing me to hold onto public forum debate just a little bit longer and for making me fall in love with it all over again. I’m forever appreciative to have had the opportunity to coach such amazing girls! 

12. My favorite Hopkins Alums

You guys have been the best role models, friends, and the first people I turn to for advice: 

  • Archita: my favorite person- I am so grateful you chose to randomly sit next to me during Bioethics, because now my days are never complete without talking to you 
  • Alex: the best chef, MD/pHD king, and the one with the best analogies- thank you for always putting things into perspective 
  • Emily: for being the most socially/emotionally intelligent person I know and always being relatable
  • Aish: you have the kindest heart and are always so full of wisdom- I can promise you that I won’t stop bothering you anytime soon so thank you in advance! 
  • Michael: you scared me when we first met, but now I’ve realized you’re quite the opposite- listening to your crazy stories are often the highlight of my day 
  • Naveena: madame president, artistic queen, and so much more- I am so grateful for our long FaceTime calls 
  • Aman: the calmest person I know, a literal genius, and yes…the best unofficial advisor and counselor out there! 

13. GLOHEA at JHU 

The best team, best program, and such an important part of my time at Hopkins: 

  • Siam: for not only being the best conference chair and editor in chief, but also being one of my best friends- always amazed by you and grateful for you 
  • Maro: for being the best co-director and also the best person to talk to about literally everything- so thankful that we are so close 
  • To the rest of board: our team has gotten so large that I can’t possibly name every single one of you, but I feel so lucky to have met each of you and to have been able to work with you 

14. Tutorial Project 

For being the highlight of my Tuesdays and Thursdays for the past four years and for allowing me to be part of such a rewarding experience

  • To both of the kids I had the privilege of tutoring: you never failed to amaze me with your intelligence, energy, and fun personalities. I am so lucky to have gotten to know you. 

15. Hopkins Food 

There’s definitely some hidden gems here in our campus food: Levering Salad Bowls, Levering Mac & Cheese, Levering Black Bean Burger, FFC Ice Cream, CharMar Flatbreads and Crepes, Brody Cafe Muffins and Cookies, and Brody Cafe Cookies and Cream Smoothie- I will actually miss these things next year 

16. The JHMI 

I always joke that I spend half my life commuting to the med campus on these shuttles, but I’m thankful that they make commuting easy and pain-free! 

17. My Advisors 

  • Ms. Porath: for getting to know each of your students for who they are and for supporting them unconditionally 
  • Cara: for making me love public health all over again and for being the kindest and most welcoming person- I am so grateful that I also was able to take your class this past semester
  • Ms. Campbell: for making the pre-med process seem slightly less daunting and for your patience and guidance 

18. My Professors 

I feel so lucky to have met each of you and to have taken your class, especially you four:

  • Dr. Benjamin: for teaching the most interesting class at Hopkins, but also being the most friendly, welcoming, and kind professor 
  • Dr. Roberson: for being such an engaging lecturer and giving me the opportunity to be a Learning Assistant in your class
  • Dr. Latshaw: for being so incredibly helpful during office hours and making sure all your students can succeed
  • Dr. Burgess: for giving students the freedom to explore their passions and interests while fostering such thought provoking discussions in class

19. My Favorite Study Spots on Campus 

My trusted B Level Cube in MSE, the gilman reading room, the brody atrium, and the brody study rooms for (usually) keeping me motivated when it was time to grind 

20. The Hippocrates Med Review 

  • My wonderful co-section head: Krystal, you are always so on top of it, and I have loved working with you
  • Romila and Dev: for y’alls friendship and being my favorite members of Exec 
  • Medical Humanities Section: I might be biased, but it’s the best section! Thank you to everyone I’ve met, and I’ve loved reading all of your pieces 

21. ClearMask 

For making my COVID summer so productive and for allowing me to further develop my passion for improving patient/provider communication

22. Operation Smile at JHU 

  • Dr. Brodksy: for being the most amazing advisor and always helping out in any way that you can 
  • Molly: for being the best co-founder, VP, friend, and for sharing your love for kids with me 
  • Exec Board: Chris, Chelsey, Christin, Mariana, Gabby, Mackenzie, Sellina, Feven, Maggie, Jenna you guys are truly the best and have been so helpful through everything 

23. Hindu Student Council 

For being a safe space, for hosting the best celebrations for Holidays, and for making arthi the most peaceful part of my week 

24. My closest friends here at Hopkins (that haven’t already been mentioned elsewhere!) 

  • Anjali and Hridika: for being the best SASH littles and for always showing up for me and checking in 
  • Wingel: my partner in crime, my polar opposite, but also my best friend- can’t wait to see all the fun things we’ll do together after graduation 
  • Patty: rooming with you got cut short because of COVID, but thank you for sending me the best reddit posts and being the craftiest person I know 
  • Maggie: my friend from middle school- girl I am so happy you chose Hopkins and I couldn’t have gotten through my time here without your Physics help and our rant sessions 
  • To my other friends who I haven’t mentioned: I always say that I have the best friends on the planet, and that is so so true. I cannot thank you guys enough for making Hopkins feel like home and for becoming my second family. I wish I could mention each of you here, but you know who you are, and I am forever grateful for every single one of you. 

25. Running (and related things!) 

For being the best stress relief throughout college and keeping me sane, special thank you to the Rec Center and my favorite routes around Baltimore! 

26. The Public Health Department 

I might be biased, but truly the best department with the most interesting and relevant classes, the most knowledgeable professors, and the best people. So thankful that I chose public health. 

27. Blue Key Society 

For allowing me to share my experiences here at Hopkins: 

  • To my tour groups: thank you for letting me take you around campus and for being so enthusiastic always 
  • To all the prospective students I’ve met: my favorite moments are when I see some of you around campus now as current students, but I’ve loved meeting all of you 
  • To all of you reading this: THANK YOU. Thank you for reading these blogs and joining me on my journey through college. It truly means the most. 

Again, I really can’t believe that this is the last time I will be posting on here, and while I am sad to have to leave so much of this behind, I am also incredibly excited to see what the future holds. As for a little life update- I’m taking some time off before applying to medical school, and I’ll be heading back home to St. Louis after graduation where I’ll be working as a Child Specialist at the St. Louis Crisis Nursery. The nursery cares for children with backgrounds of abuse, neglect, violence, homelessness, etc., and I absolutely loved being a volunteer here in high school, so I can’t wait to experience working there in my new role! If you would like to follow along on my journey post-grad (and see some old footage of my time here that I haven’t posted yet), join me at my YouTube Channel, where I’ll hopefully be posting more consistently after graduation: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGVZmDzgTP8vIG1UgFuqgkw/videos 

Thank you so much for everything. I am forever grateful. 

See you Later, Neha