It’s that time of year again. Regular decision releases are out and high school seniors face one of the more difficult tasks of the college application process: deciding which college to attend. I want to take this time to share the reason behind my decision to attend Johns Hopkins University and hopefully convince you to choose Hopkins as well!
As the other students of Hopkins Interactive have mentioned, it’s hard to articulate a concise answer to the “Why Hopkins?” question. For some students, it’s the research opportunities or the strong emphasis on pre-professional opportunities while for others it’s the school’s amazing reputation. For many, including myself, it is a combination of all three and much more.
Never have I felt so at home in a place full of people I had met only just seven months ago. I largely attribute this to the wonderful, eclectic, open, passionate, and motivated group of people that make up the Hopkins student body.
There is no doubt that our university lives up to the numbers: Hopkins is ranked #10 in the nation by the U.S. News and World Report, has an endowment of more than 3.4 billion USD, has invested $2.242 billion in medical, science, and engineering research, boasts an impressive amount of scholarship and fellowship recipients, 36 Nobel Prize winners, and much more.
These numbers are testament to the students that attend the university, and one of the main reasons why I am forever grateful to be at Hopkins. Where would that top ten ranking come from if not from the hard work, creativity, and ingenuity of the students that attend the university and the administration that fosters such exploration?
I am constantly amazed by my peers who are involved in groundbreaking research, contribute to the Baltimore community, start their own clubs and non-profits, wake up at 6am everyday for swim practice, and who, like me, have the desire to learn, discover, meet new people, make a difference, and have fun.
One of the great aspects of going to a school like Hopkins is the wealth of opportunities open to its undergraduate students, no matter the age or level of experience. My suitemate is helping a professor with his research on the shifting modes of industrial governance in China since the Communist party take-over while my floormate is studying the different chemical synapses in a lab at the Med Campus. Research positions are available and easily accessible – my friends got their positions through searching the department websites and emailing professors/doctors. The university encourages undergraduates to pursue research in a variety of ways, including the Woodrow Wilson, Dean’s Awards (DURA), and Provost’s Awards (PURA).
Learning is a Daily Occurrence
Even if you’re not involved in research, there is no doubt that you will learn new things every day, whether in class, out in the community, or from your friends. As an International Studies and Sociology/Public Health Studies double major (I’m still in the process of deciding), I had neither the need nor the inclination to take a computer science class and learn about programming or creating applications. However, a casual conversation about midterms earlier today with my friend in the FFC – who just happens to be majoring in Computer Science – resulted in him explaining the basics to me. It is not uncommon to hear the people sitting behind you debating whether Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton would make a better president or to see the people next to you studying Cognitive Neuroscience.
Involvement in the Baltimore Community
Another aspect of Hopkins that I love is the university’s commitment to engage with the city of Baltimore, a.k.a. “Charm City”. Through many initiatives, the Rising to the Challenge Campaign, and Presidents Day of Service, the university is investing in the community and in the world. Through my own personal involvement in the Baltimore community and at the hospital, I have learned much about the social issues the city faces, and I have had the privilege to meet and build relationships with community members from all walks of life. Not to mention, they have pointed out some delicious places to eat around the city! There are plenty of clubs and organizations (and by plenty I mean over 400) that engage with the community.
Caring Professors and Students
Hopkins is also made up of brilliant and caring professors and students. Professor John Astin, who played Gomez Addams in the Addams Family, allows students to text him if they’re going to be late to class. Another professor brings her dog to class and allows students to take him on walks. There is no doubt that the professors at Hopkins are dedicated to helping students and to push them to their fullest potential.
The students are just the same. They are willing to help each other learn, collaborate, and the material either by forming study groups or asking upperclassmen for help. Upperclassmen, in my experience, have always been open to helping underclassmen in classes they’ve taken in previous years and want them to succeed. Another one of my friends co-founded a non-profit called Charisma’s Crayons that seeks to provide children opportunities for a successful education.
I chose Hopkins because of the research opportunities, great professors, prestige, community involvement, academic rigor, proximity to the Med Campus and Hospital, and much more. Ask any student why they chose Hopkins and I guarantee that they’ll each give a different answer that reflects their interests – which is the beauty of such an ambiguous question, because it portrays the diversity of the student body. I have the privilege of attending a university in which there is a wealth of opportunity for students to explore new topics and pursue their interests in an environment in which learning takes place on a daily basis. The reason that I choose to stay is because of the amazing people who make up those numbers and give the university it’s reputation. So with that, good luck on all your endeavors and I hope to see you on campus next year! #jhu2020