I am approximately 1.5 months and 2.1 blog posts into sophomore year, but have yet to properly introduce myself before going off on a rant about how much I love math or spewing out random things I learned so far this semester. While I could have made this another post about Hopkins and why you really should come here, I decided to claim this tiny fraction of the internet for myself, and write about just me in the least selfish way possible.

My name is Quan; when I’m feeling cool enough, I go by Q. My name makes up the first half of the pun that is my blog title, the other half comes from my primary major – Applied Mathematics and Statistics. I am also planning on declaring a second major in Public Health Studies. Like I said, I am a sophomore, so people tell me that I “still have time” to decide what I want to do with my life. Currently, I have a vague image of it in my head, and it involves me combining both data and health somehow into a fruitful career.

I come from the suburbs of Wilmington, Delaware, and what that means to most people is that I’m from the same state as tax-free shopping, Firefly Music Festival, and the Biden family. I was a five-minute drive from my high school, and I rolled up to school every day in my dad’s extremely resilient 2001 Mazda MPV, which almost epitomizes my entire high school experience – pretty ordinary and slightly humorous at times. I did the whole “Advanced Placement” thing, had a summer part-time job at an office supply store, played saxophone in band, kind of did a sport, and was the occasional science and technology competitor.

I did not start a non-profit. I did not get involved with cancer research. I did not play at Carnegie Hall.

I watched a lot of How I Met Your Mother. I thought I was funny on Twitter. I was a frequent at my local burrito joint.

With a couple of exceptions, I was your standard kid. And some aspects of my life at Hopkins haven’t changed too much – I watch a lot of House of Cards. I still think I am funny on Twitter. I eat a Brody Cafe black bean burger at least once a week. For the most part though, my life is different. I appreciate school and learning a lot more. I am more politically and socially aware. I write these blog things. I enjoy other’s company more. I feel like a real person with legitimate responsibilities. I like to believe that the direction my life is going in is a little less foggy.

And although now I feel a whole lot more accomplished, I definitely could have “done more” in high school. But the point is that I really didn’t need to – (this post accidentally turned into me trying to be as not-cringeworthy as possible while trying to tell you that being yourself is enough) – the strongest part of my college application was the fact that I made it my application. You don’t have to do anything in particular to get into Hopkins, and the difference between me right now and me before Hopkins proves why I got in, and why I deserve to be here. I don’t think I accomplished anything ridiculously amazing during my first 17 years of living, but Hopkins saw who I was and the potential I had. They saw how my appreciation for my family could translate to being a contributing member of the diverse Hopkins community. They saw my love for music and my dually STEM/humanities focused high school course schedule and knew that I would be active in and out of the classroom. They saw how a pretty normal kid like me could be changed and made better by giving him Hopkins. So, if you’re applying here and you didn’t dedicate half of your life to community service or help end poverty in a third-world country, don’t worry because I didn’t either. Just be a genuine person and you might just be able to call this one-hell-of-a-school your new home.