Moving away from home, meeting all new friends, living in a dorm, experiencing a new city… Everyone talks about these major transitions to college life but what happens once you settle in? What happens after you move in, find great friends, adjust to dorm life, and explore Baltimore? SCHOOL. SCHOOL HAPPENS. And let me tell you, the academics at Hopkins are the best of the best.
So without further ado, here are some of the best aspects of academics at Hopkins!
1) You get to choose classes that genuinely interest you. Unlike most universities, Hopkins does not have any general education requirements so you immediately get to choose classes that interest you across a wide range of concentrations and there is no pressure to stay with the major you initially plan to complete (see JHU_Zoe’s awesome blog about switching from Biophysics to English here!). The shopping period for classes (the first two weeks of every semester) is the ideal opportunity to sit in on classes that might interest you so everyone has equal opportunity to explore different areas of study.
2) The professors are passionate, world-renowned experts in their fields. I had so many amazing high school teachers, but there’s something exhilarating about learning from published authors and nobel prize winners that make classes so much cooler. All of my professors thus far have been incredibly personable, repeatedly encouraging students to come to their office hours or grab coffee just to chat about anything.
3) Essentially everyone is motivated to do well. Being surrounded by students of a similar caliber is incredible and makes balancing an active social life and rigorous academic load so much easier.
4) Professors are in-touch with technology. My calculus class this semester is complete with an updated course website, active Facebook page and blog for discussions and help with homework. Professor Brown frequently posts and comments, always trying to improve accessibility to help and discussions beyond the class time. I am amazed at how helpful these extra resources are even in a math class!
5) There are so many support systems available for all students.
The Learning Den:
The Learning Den provides tutoring for a wide range of classes and they are all taught by current Hopkins students (or grads students) that have taken the class and know the professor personally. Almost everyone I know frequents the Learning Den, especially during exam season. Whether it’s to stop by and ask a question or to chat up an upperclassmen with similar academic interests for advice, the Learning Den is an incredible resource!
Math Help Room:
The Math Help Room is another place for students to drop by and meet with a current Hopkins student, TA, or graduate student for any math class. You can stay for ten minutes or hours on end, but there is always someone there to help on a daily basis.
Office Hours (TA’s and professors):
I highly recommend going to office hours for your professors and TA’s. They can be very helpful with determining your future and of course helping with any challenging coursework. TA’s and professors are always reaching out and they love getting to know their students in a casual setting.
One final note: In high school, I rarely sought out tutoring because I wasn’t often overwhelmed by a concept or unit. In college I have made it a habit to take advantage of all these resources because they really lighten the load during the semester and come exam time I always feel prepared without having to cram.
Overall, the academics at Hopkins are incredible and you’ll find advisors, professors, peers, and graduate students who are incredibly supportive and always willing to lend a hand. Hopkins is a welcoming place, and that makes the big switch to college-level academics a little less scary.
All my Hopkins Love,