Dearest New Jays, welcome to the nest! As a short welcome, here are 24 things about this new chapter in your life to get excited about.

24) Freedom — college is a fresh start and the first step towards independence for many. Whether you come from a small town or a major city, living on your own will be a fun and exciting challenge.

23) Academic exploration — Hopkins offers 71 distinct undergraduate degrees, concentrated under 60 different majors. Whatever your interest, there is something for you.

22) Campus — just look at it!

21) Professors — working with faculty who are knowledgable in their fields is inspiring and motivating — not only are they experts but they are also great mentors!

20) Food — soon you’ll discover a favorite restaurant in your new home. Fun fact: the best grilled cheese I’ve ever had was at Carma’s Cafe, less than 5 minutes from campus!

19) Uplifting community — Hopkins students are some of the most positive people you will ever meet. A quick wave on the way to class and an eagerness to lend a hand is what makes our campus so friendly.

18) Weather — here in Baltimore, you’ll get to experience all four seasons. A lot of students get to see snow for the first time during the fall, which is always really exciting.

17) Diversity — students from countries all around the world come here to learn and grow. Being surrounded by people from such unique backgrounds makes our campus better.

16) Collaborative Environment — similar to how uplifting our community is, there is also an emphasis on collaboration, because two heads are better than one.

15) Humanities — my personal favorite, the humanities at Hopkins are truly a hidden gem. Writing Seminars (my major!) is ranked #2 in the U.S. and attending lectures from famous writers like Salaman Rushdie has been surreal.

14) Research — since JHU is the 1st research university in America, there is ample opportunity for students to get involved.

13) Sports — Hopkins competes in 23 sports and is D1 in lacrosse. Going to lacrosse games in the spring is a fun tradition and a great way to show your school spirit.

12) Resources — the university has an abundance of resources at your disposal. Interested in viewing your favorite writer’s manuscripts? Check out Special Collections or the Evergreen Museum. Want to test out a robot? Visit the Applied Physics Laboratory. Any idea you have can be explored on campus.

11) Classes — one difference between high school and college is the type of classes you take. Instead of “English,” you can take “Feminist Fiction” or “Literature of the Everyday.” Instead of “Science,” you can take “Biology” or “Human Gender and Sexuality.” You go into greater depth on each topic and expand your knowledge on more specific aspects of each field.

10) Baltimore — living in Baltimore is unique because of the city’s vibrant social scene along with its history. Whether you’re studying in the Peabody Library in Mount Vernon, or visiting one of the city’s many museums, there is an amazing cultural scene here that you’ll have so much fun exploring.

9) Study abroad — students can get their education in countries all over the world and it’s still covered by tuition! Grab your bag and start exploring in a different locale.

8) Amazing guest speakers — The Foreign Affairs Symposium has hosted Bernie Sanders, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and more. This fall, Kenan Thompson came to visit as a part of the Milton S. Eisenhower Symposium, which was a fun trip down memory lane for us 90s babies.

7) Meeting inspiring people in your field — because of the many guest speakers that come to campus, it’s not unlikely that you’ll get to meet one of your heroes.

6) Ice cream at the FFC — that’s it. You’ll see.

5) Service opportunities — since Hopkins is located in such a populated city, there are a lot of opportunities for students to give back. President’s Day of Service (PDOS) takes place once a year and students are assigned to a site in Baltimore to help out.

4) Friends — during your four years here, you’ll build bonds that last a lifetime. The person with whom you get through a difficult class may end up being a lifelong friend, so say hi to your neighbors!

3) Clubs and activities — some of the most fun you will have on campus will take place in your clubs/activities. Don’t be afraid to get involved!

2) Constant inspiration — being surrounded by people who are equally as passionate about their interests as you can be very inspiring!

1)Home away from home — last but not least, be prepared to find a new home away from home. Some say each student has 1359 days on campus, so be open and take advantage of every opportunity you have.

We can’t wait to see you!

Love, Old Jays