Last week while working at our second admitted student open house, SOHOP, I was asked by an admitted student to describe the “typical Hopkins student.” Between giving campus tours and working at these open house events, I have been asked this question time and time again, so needless to say I had answer all lined up. I have found that the one overarching description applicable to all Hopkins students is passionate – which is why I have dedicated this blog to elaborating on “your typical Blue Jay.”
Academics: Veritas vos Liberabit, which means the truth shall set you free, was the very motto our university was founded on. Modeled after German research institutions, Johns Hopkins University emphasized from the very start that it would be a place where information is not just conferred but discovered through one’s own search for truth through research and independent inquiry. This love of learning has been a defining characteristic of Hopkins students since its inception in 1876.
Current statistics about the undergraduate population help to highlight how academic passion is a defining characteristic of the students here. In recent years, 80% of students ranked in the top 10% of their high school class. Hopkins students’ academic interests are not limited to just one area – about 60% of undergraduates double major or minor. Additionally, students have an enthusiasm for studying abroad, as at any given semester, we have about 300 students studying in over 30 different countries.
In the past year I have found that being surrounded by peers who are just as enthusiastic as you is a learning experience like no other. Not only is it my amazing professors that I am learning from, but my friends and classmates as well. I love being a part of such a diverse academic campus, where I can be a History major, but my best friend is on the pre-med tract with a Biology major. 1/3 of our students are engineers, 1/3 social sciences/humanities, 1/3 natural sciences which creates a truly balanced environment. Seeing the enthusiasm of my peers for their studies helps motivate me in my academics, and it is incredible to be surrounded by such passion.
Extra-curricular: The enthusiasm of Hopkins students is not limited to the classrooms, which is very apparent in how involved our student body is. With over 320 clubs and organizations, 20 performing arts groups and 30+ community service projects on campus, JHU students are provided with ample opportunities to participate in extracurriculars. 75% of JHU students are involved with some level of athletics in their time here, and 25% of Hopkins students involved in Greek Life. With so many different options available, students can pretty much guarantee to find an activity that they love.
One of my favorite aspects of Hopkins is the ease with which students are able to participate in extracurricular activities. The size of the school, with an undergraduate population of about 5,000, makes for an intimate community with so many opportunities for involvement. In the past year as a freshman, I have been able to participate in the Woodrow Wilson Research Fellowship, Student Admissions Advisory Board (SAAB), Blue Key Tour Guide Society, Alpha Phi and JHUMUNC. I credit my involvement to the size of the university as well as the active student population that provides endless extracurricular opportunities.
Considering JHU was the first research university founded in the United States, it only seems fit that the students here are extremely passionate about research. Hopkins actually receives more federal funding for research than any other institution in the country! Research occurs in every single department at Hopkins – even the humanities! 70% of Hopkins students graduate with some type of research before they graduate.
Attending a university that placed significant emphasis on undergraduate research was an important factor in my college search, and ultimately was one of deciding factors in my decision to come here. I am a part of the Woodrow Wilson Research Fellowship, which is an amazing program available to Hopkins students. I receive funding from the university for all four of my years here to be used on any kind of independent research. While my project is not set yet, I am thinking of using my money to spend next summer in London studying media coverage of the 2012 Olympics. I think it is so amazing that I am only a freshman and the university is already entrusting me with funds for independent research to use at my discretion. The Wilson Program is one of the many ways the University helps to foster a research environment amongst us undergraduates.
Post-graduation:After leaving Homewood, Hopkins students don’t stop. Within 6 months of graduation, about 42% of students have a job, 41% are involved in graduate level programs and the additional 17% are participating in volunteer projects or taking a glide year between graduation and continued education. 80% of students earn a graduate degree within 10 years of graduation, 82% of students who participate in pre-health advising are accepted to medical school, and 92% of students who participate in pre-law advising are accepted to law school. Students have the drive to shoot for amazing aspirations after graduation, and Hopkins provides them with the opportunities and resources to make these dreams a reality.
From my experience, I have to say that I think that it is this passion behind everything Hopkins students do that makes our student population and alum so successful. It also makes for the most incredible campus environment – it is an amazing feeling to be somewhere that allows students to pursue what really makes them happy – whether it be Quidditch or Quantum Mechanics, Acapella or Anthropology.