Right now, many of you are either looking at colleges and/or filling out applications. With that being said, in the next few weeks, all of us at Hopkins Interactive will be posting a blog on the same theme – our advice, thoughts, feelings, and reflections on the college search and application process. Each and every one of us has experienced what you are experiencing right now. It is our hope that our blogs will provide you with some insight and clarity on this whole process!
So, how did I end up at Hopkins? Well, it goes way back. Wayyyy back. To when I was exactly five years old. I was visiting schools with my dad (not colleges, mind you…that would be a bit concerning). We were at my future school in which I would attend there from Kindergarten to 12th grade. Because it was a new place, I was very anxious and nervous. My hand was tightly wrapped around my dad’s hand during the entire day. My dad urged me to walk with him along the long hallways of the school. Slowly, I began to warm up to this new place. But all of a sudden, I saw this large poster. I was mesmerized by it. I examined it and it looked like an upside down capital Y. I had no idea what it was (it was the Eiffel Tower) but I turned around and said to my dad, “I’m going to go there.”
Thirteen years later, here I was, visiting schools with my dad again (and this time, visiting colleges). We decided to visit Hopkins first – it was close to home and it was at the top of my list. I remember my visit so vividly. I was taken aback by the gorgeous campus and I loved the quads (I ended up visiting there so many times that I lost count). Afterwards, I talked about Hopkins the whole way home! However, I didn’t say that I wanted to go there. I wanted to be sure. Positive. 100%. My dad didn’t say anything either because he didn’t want to influence my decision-making. But after visiting many colleges, I still wanted to go to JHU. I knew it was the one. I had ten schools on my list and I did all of the applications over the summer, with JHU’s early decision application on top of the pile. And speaking of the school that I chose when I was five years old – I had a great experience there: I was the editor of my school’s yearbook, I played varsity lacrosse for awhile, and I was very involved in volunteering. I sometimes wish that I could re-live high school again. But in the end, I know that I will have even many more great experiences at Hopkins!
Anyway, December 15th came, and ended with shouts and joy. It was truly the best milestone of my life! I was on top of the world for weeks. No, make that months. Ever since I got in, many people have asked me two main questions (and still ask today):
- “How did you know Hopkins was the place for you?”
I didn’t pick Hopkins because of its unique rankings or anything like that. I knew Hopkins was my school because it fit me. Even more so, the atmosphere, students, faculty, and staff were all welcoming and created such a close and dynamic community. I felt at home here. I felt comfortable here. I felt like I could truly thrive at Hopkins: achieve my goals, succeed, and be happy. That’s why I picked Hopkins. And that brings to my advice to you: be comfortable where you are. Don’t mold yourself to fit into a certain college. Make it fit you.
- “Wait, you’re not pre-med?” (yeah, I get this a lot)
Yes, I am not pre-med. And no, you don’t have to be pre-med to go to Hopkins. I originally thought I was going to major in History (they have such an amazing program) but later on, I changed my mind and now want to double major in International Studies and Global Environmental Change and Sustainability (popularly known as GECS). That’s another thing that I love about Hopkins – there’s SO much offered here. If you just look at the student profiles at Hopkins Interactive, you can immediately see how diverse the majors are at JHU.
And yes, I did end up climbing the upside down capital Y (all 1710 steps of it).