Hey Hopkins Insider! Welcome to my first blog post!
My first semester at Hopkins has absolutely flown by, and I can’t put into words what a wonderful experience it’s been. I’ve met so many incredible people, explored a really cool new city, and of course, learned a ton about myself and the world. However, of all the lessons I’ve learned while at Hopkins, some of the most important ones were taught before I even set foot in my first class. After coming across a page on the Rec Center Website last Spring, I decided to participate in an Experiential Education Pre-Orientation program, and it ended up being one of my favorite weeks of the summer and the perfect way to go into freshman year.
As the name suggests, Pre-O happens the week before Orientation, and is an opportunity for students to get to know Hopkins and other members of their class before the school year officially begins. From the wide variety of programs, I decided on the “Multi-Element” week. This Pre-O, led by the JHU Outdoor Pursuits Club, had about forty incoming freshmen split into five groups. We spent the week at a campground in Ohiopyle, PA, and every day each group got to try out a new outdoor activity—my group, Multi 1, went kayaking the first day, then rock-climbing, then backpacking, and finally white-water rafting.
Though I had almost no idea what to expect going into the week, each day I learned things that have had a lasting impact on my first semester at Hopkins. Presented alongside a scrapbook of photos from the week, here are the most important lessons I learned on Pre-O:
Making Do with What You Have
Facing Obstacles Head-On
Going With the Flow
Working to Achieve Your Goals
Turning Strangers Into Friends
Finding Joy in the Small Things
Going on Pre-O has been one of the best decisions I’ve made since coming to Hopkins. Aside from learning how to cook powdered falafel on a camp stove, how to “LNT” (Leave No Trace!), and how to properly set up a bear hang, my week in the wilderness taught me how to take risks, step out of my comfort zone, and take advantage of every moment. From my wonderful group members, to the beautiful and welcoming town of Ohiopyle, to each and every adventure, Pre-O made the transition to college smoother than I ever could have expected, and the lessons it taught me still stick with me every day. I have no doubt that Hopkins has plenty more life lessons in store for me over the next four years, and I’m beyond excited to discover them.
Until next time! Allie