Bored Prospective/Admitted Applicants… Read Me!

It’s been exactly 36 days since I left campus, and let me just say.. I want to go back!! Don’t get me wrong, Texas is nice and all but I cannot go a day without missing my friends, my dorm, and even rainy Baltimore! Why have I been home 36 days you might ask? Hopkins has a unique program known as intersession in which students can choose to take 1-3 credits in January, go abroad, or stay home. (You should check out “This Month at Hopkins” for January to learn more about these opportunities!) In my case, I opted to stay home as I’m shadowing doctors for four weeks and playing lots of tennis, but you’d be amazed how much free time I’ve managed to find for other stuff. It’s extremely bizarre to not have something to do at all times during the day, so I’ve buried myself in to-do lists as a way of chasing off the boredom, and most importantly my longing to go back to Hopkins.

As admitted early decision students or anxious regular decision applicants, you probably have a ton of free time on your hands (because high school doesn’t really matter anymore right? just kidding of course!). In the spirit of killing time semi-productively, here are my top 20 ways to fight off the boredom and anxiousness!

  1. Make To-Do Lists. This is my absolute fav, but it can also be dangerous. Try to complete all of the things on one list before starting another list! I know, list-making is very tempting…
  2. If you’re a senior in high school, I’d recommend making hand-written thank-you notes for all your teachers that wrote you recommendations (if you haven’t done so already). I’m in the midst of writing doctors thank-you notes right now, and it’s actually turning out to be an enjoyable process!
  3. Watch “Hopkins Cribs” videos to see what your dorm room might end up looking like. That way you can start the endless search for posters, appliances, office supplies, extra storage, furniture, miscellaneous decorations, etc.! I’d recommend The Container Store, PB Teen, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, The Paper Source, Amazon, and Ebay. As I have so much free time right now, I’m looking into purchasing some additional decor for the second semester! Also, if you have any additional questions about the dorms, feel free to ask me a question on my forum. I’m a sucker for anything remotely interior design-related, so I’m more than happy to answer questions :)
  4. Explore the Hopkins Interactive Website! (See, you’ve already completed #4 by reading this blog!) It should be your home base for all things Hopkins. There’s current student blogs, forums where you can ask current students questions, the “Learn More, See More, B-More” series, pictures via our flickr account, tweets via our twitter account,  the Insider’s Guide, and literally so much more.
  5. Start one DIY Project (or more!). Pinterest is a great source of procrastination and DIY projects. Currently I’m working on monogram letters for my dorm and bracelets. Arts and crafts has never been my strong point so we’ll see how this goes!

    What the bracelets are “supposed” to look like… we will see!

    Hoping that my letters will look somewhat like this.. I’m doing “JHU”!

  6. Learn how to cook at least 5 meals. Sure, you’ll be on a meal plan next fall, but no matter what dorm you end up with you’ll have access to a kitchen! Home-cooked meals are definitely a luxury in college, and they’re even better when you’re the cook.
  7. Work Out. Get in the habit of working out at least 5x a week. If you’ve already established a routine, it will be a lot easier to fit some gym time into your schedule while at Hopkins.
  8. Apply for a Summer Internship/ Job. I know, I know, you worked your butt off for the past 4 years and you’re finally into college and you just want to chill out this summer… but I’d definitely recommend trying to do something productive with your 3 months prior to Hopkins. Having a meaningful job, research experience, or internship will set you apart from your classmates so that you’ll have the upper hand when applying for more things down the road. Trust me, it’s never too early to start!
  9. Get a head-start on school. This one is probably just for the super bored/nerdy ones out there, but I’d recommend this! Let me back up though, doing well on your AP tests is absolutely the best thing you can do for yourself at this point. Getting credit is always a positive, and it’ll allow you way more flexibility with your schedule in the long run. However, if you’re still looking to do something more academically-related, go buy yourself a used textbook from a secondhand bookstore that pertains to a class you know that you’ll be taking in the fall. For example, if you know you’re taking General Physics I and you don’t have a strong background in physics, it couldn’t hurt to leaf through a college physics textbook!
  10. Go Back to School Shopping. The charming city of Baltimore has a bit of a tendency to rain…a lot. Do yourself a favor and invest in some quality rain boots and an umbrella before hitting campus next fall! It’s no fun to lose your flip flop in a puddle running to class…trust me I’ve been there!
  11. Look up groupons and find awesome stuff to do with your friends. It’s your senior year! Go do something completely random that will make some awesome memories.

    Go ride an elephant!

  12. Take pictures of all the crazy senior year shenanigans. Pictures are a must. Especially if you’re going to decorate your dorm room next year!
  13. Make a scrapbook. (After completing #11 & #12) Probably speaking to only girls here, but my senior year scrapbook is definitely one of my most treasured items. Do it!

    Our scrapbooks were required for our English class!

  14. Spend time with the fam. Make a point to bond even more with your family over the next couple of months. Trust me, you’re going to miss them a ton at school!
  15. Volunteer at the local food bank or animal shelter. Giving back to your community makes you feel great and helps others out in the process. Bonus if you can get a lot of your friends to join in!

    Mrs. Wiley and I, volunteering at the peanut butter factory

  16. Spend a little less time on Facebook every day. Easier said than done, but it’s way better to spend these last couple of months with your friends from home than obsessively stalking your future classmates… you’ll be with them soon enough!
  17. Take a Road Trip. Driving is a luxury in college, and so is time. Make the most of your automobile access and go somewhere!

    One of our road trips to the boardwalk!

  18. Go to party city or a secondhand shop and load up on crazy costumes or props that you’ll never think you’ll wear. College is a the homeland of costume parties. You’re going to need a ton of props over the semester, especially in the first couple of weeks!

    Awesome costumes = necessary.

  19. Read a book one of your future professors has written. Or look into some of the research topics they’re interested in. This will definitely set you apart from your classmates when you go in for office hours (which you should go to!).
  20. Learn about something completely foreign to you. Buy the Rosetta Stone for a random language, buy a book about a country you’ve never heard of, or study up on a sport you’ve never heard of. In my case, I’ve chosen to actually attempt to understand football…wish me luck!

    I’d say “football savvy” is a stretch.. 

I hope these 20 suggestions might resonate with some of you seniors out there. Sorry this is a bit of a lengthy post, but if you’ve reached the end of this, you should definitely try a few!
All the Best,

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