A Day in the Life with JHU_Kaitlyn- Second Semester Edition!

College is great because there really isn’t a typical day. Every day is completely what you make of it, which is why I decided to microblog again! Hope you enjoy my typical Thursday!

7am Wake up! Thursdays are my early-bird days! After checking the weather, I quickly get dressed and ready in my “business casual” look for the morning to come!

It's going to be a beautiful day!

7:30am FFC Breakfast.Usually, I skip breakfast as my usual wake up time is around 10am, but Thursdays I definitely try to grab a bite to eat so I don’t die of hunger over the course of the morning. Plus, the chocolate muffins are worth waking up for! It’s also nice to get to the FFC early because there are literally no students up at this hour (besides the ROTC kids that have training at 5am most mornings).

Outside FFC at 7:30am!

7:55am Take JHMI to Clinic.This is always an interesting experience! The JHMI is free for Hopkins students to use and is almost always on time. Usually the bus is filled with adults commuting to work and a few students heading down to the medical campus, so I definitely feel safe using the public transportation. Here’s a link to the shuttle’s schedule and route map. It can literally take you anywhere if you map out a JHMI link to the Charm City Circulator (Baltimore’s free shuttle).

On my way to the JHMI stop- it's only a block away from campus!

8:15-10:07am Volunteer at Clinic. Fortunately, this semester I had the opportunity to become more involved with Salud, a group on campus dedicated to aiding the hispanic population in Baltimore with healthcare. I volunteer at the Baltimore City Health Clinic that screens for STD’s, so I translate for doctors and their hispanic patients. Today I mostly helped out with registering patients, filing records, and answering phones. I also translated for three different patients when they were filling out paperwork. Volunteering at the clinic is really a nice break from campus in that I get to see the real world once a week. It definitely helps put things into perspective, and I feel great about helping out the hard-working nurses and administrators at the clinic!

The Baltimore City Health Department Clinic

Salud is an on-campus group dedicated to helping the latino hispanic population with healthcare

10:09am Take JHMI back to Campus. This is always somewhat stressful as I want to get back to campus on time for class!

10:32am Run to Physics! The bus took a little longer today, forcing me to attempt to casually run across campus. Luckily, most people were in class by this time so I don’t think that I made a complete spectacle!  On a side note, there were already a few students sunbathing and relaxing on the beach when I ran by. I love springtime in Baltimore!

10:35am Arrive late to Physics II (eng) Class- Luckily I didn’t miss the CPS question! At Hopkins, a lot of the science classes (like chemistry, chemistry lab, biology, and physics) will have “clicker” questions in which we answer an in-class question through these remote “clickers” that record our answer. This is the professors’ way of taking attendance and it factors into your grade, so it’s super important to go to all of your classes! Today in physics, JHU_Nick and I learned about DC circuits. No matter what we’re studying, it’s pretty much always entertaining due to the uncontainable enthusiasm our professor has for physics!

Professor Broholm, our physics professor!

11:47am Go back to dorm. Unfortunately, I’m running a bit behind in that I haven’t finished my Differential Equations problem set for tomorrow! The dorm is usually pretty quiet around this time, so I’m able to crank out a few Laplace transformations before my next class.

1:30pm Physics lab with Macie, Stephen, and Logan. Are self-proclaimed “physics posse”, we all live on the third floor of AMR II and, and we’re all in physics together! Today are lab involved a circuit board in which we were measuring the current and voltage of different resistors. The goal of the lab was to prove Kirchhoff’s laws and Ohm’s law. We were also supposed to determine whether a light bulb followed Ohm’s law (we basically learned how light bulbs worked- whether with resistors in series or resistors in parallel). The lab actually turned out to be pretty fun until one lab group didn’t set up the in series resistors and current readings correctly. This resulted in a blown fuse and an unpleasant a burning smell! Overall, it was a pretty eventful lab!

Our circuit board when the resistors were in series.

Our physics TA, Can You (or as she likes to be called, Candice), showing us how to set up the lab!

4:20pm Get out of physics lab. The best thing about physics lab is definitely the lack of homework. Unlike other labs in which you’re required to write up lab reports over the weekend, in physics lab, you simply type up the lab report in class.

4:30-5:30pm Catch the second half of tennis practice. I love playing a DIII sport because I know that no matter what, academics come first. At Hopkins, the coaches understand when you have to take a lab or a class that conflicts with practice because they know that you value your GPA and academics over your sport.  This being said, practice was a lot of fun today! Again, the weather is awesome!!

6pm Chipotle Dinner. After practice, Kaitlin and I make a stop off at Chipotle to grab dinner. I have to say, being away from Texas has me really missing my tex-mex. While Chipotle certainly isn’t tex-mex, it’s still amazing in its own way, and it’s also a great break from the usual FFC dinner.

I love Chipotle!!!

6:45pm Go back to room to finish my math set and get some laundry done. All freshmen are required to be out of the dorms by 6pm tomorrow (because our Spring Break is next week!), so I really need to start packing!

10:00pm Finished math set, packing, and laundry. Now it’s time for a shower! Because I live in the AMR’s, our showers are communal, but I have to say that I really like the bathrooms! The custodial staff cleans the bathrooms at least twice a day if not more. Plus, I’ve never had to wait for a shower as there’s always one available!

10:30pm Go out! Because it’s the last night before spring break, a lot of students are going out (“going out” meaning going to some of the frats, parties in upperclassmen dorms, or to the local bars- PJ’s and Maxi’s). In college you quickly learn that Thursday night definitely considered part of the weekend!

That’s all for now! Hope you guys enjoyed my day as much as I did!

All the Best,

Kaitlyn

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Happy Texas Independence Day!

Happy Texas Independence Day Y’all!!

My Texas flag that hangs proudly in my dorm room!

It’s finally March 2nd, Texas Independence Day (for those of you who don’t know), and it’s the absolute best day of the year! Just kidding! Well..sort of. If I can recall correctly from my “Texas History” course in middle school, those Texans made us proud and have since allowed every Texan way too much pride in their state. (Did you know that we’re the only state that can fly our state flag as high as the USA flag?) Anyways, in honor of those feisty, brave, independent Texans that gave Mexico the split a hundred years ago, I decided to focus on how important independence turns out to be in college.

Independence seems to be a term thrown around a lot these days. Whether you’re in the AP American History course in high school or trying to get your Mom to extend your curfew until 1am now that you’re a senior, independence is definitely a key word in high school. Fortunately, independence is something that you have a ton of at Hopkins! Of course, with so much independence, you also have a lot more personal responsibility. Here are a couple of  the pros and cons of my newfound college freshman independence…

  • Pro: You can go to sleep as late as you want. I don’t know about you, but when I was in high school, I was in bed by 11pm at the latest. In college, I have to say that I haven’t been able to go to sleep earlier than 2am. Why so late? Well, I’ve found that the evening hours work well for studying, along with socializing in the dorms or the library. Since everyone else is usually up past midnight, going to bed before then isn’t really a viable option in the dorms.
  • Pro:You’re classes start a lot later! Now, this is by choice mostly, but normally, you have the option to plan your schedule however you want. Personally, I chose to start at 10am everyday. This may seem pretty late to outsiders, but in college, it seems like a 10am first class is the norm.

    My beautiful, 10am class, schedule

  • Con: You don’t have regular access to home-cooked meals. Hailing from Texas (as I’ve stated over and over again haha sorry), I’m used to amazing home-cooked chicken fajitas and beef tacos (courtesy of my Dad), but I’ve found that in college you don’t have access to these kinds of lovingly home-cooked meals. Unless you make friends with upperclassmen who like to cook for you (luckily our tennis captain Courtney cooks for me a lot!), you’re probably going to have to go it alone in terms of food. Despite the lack of homestyle food, you still have access to the Fresh Food Cafe or Charles Street Market, which both have a ton of options. Don’t worry, you’re definitely not going to starve in college!
  • Pro: You’re with your friends all the time. Even though you probably think you see a lot of your friends in high school, college is completely different in that you run into your friends literally everywhere. My day usually consists of a few academic buildings, the freshman dining hall, the library, the gym, my friends’ dorm- Wolman, and of course, my dorm in AMR II. I see my friends everywhere, anywhere, and all the time. Living with your friends definitely makes college a blast!
  • Pro/Con: You don’t really have a huge safety net. Sure, your friends are there for you in college, but having so much independence has helped me grow up. Maybe you don’t rely on your parents at all in high school, but for those who do, college is a wake up call. You can call your mom or dad when you’re feeling overwhelmed with work, but they’re not going to be by your side coaching you through it. Going it on your own allows for you to find your inner strength and discover who you really are as a person. Are you well-organized and responsible? Or our your parents making you be well-organized and responsible? It’s all about self-responsilibty at Hopkins, and at the end of the day, the only one that you can truly thank for your successes or blame for your failures is yourself.

You can be independent and still be close with your parents!

   Independence in college is one of the huge instigators of “growing up”. I think that it’s the main reason why freshman come back from college and feel so altered or feel like their home is different from what they remembered. Independence lends a new perspective that is hard to find when you’re under your parents’ wing. It might seem scary at first, but independence is one of the best things (if not the best one) about college!

The Twelve Days of JHU Sororities!

It’s been two weeks since I last posted, but I feel like I’ve lived a lifetime! I went through sorority recruitment, attended a ton of late night tennis practices to gear up for the season, added over 100 new girls on Facebook, learned how to make oreo balls,  and pulled my first all nighter at the library! Everyone said that second semester would be busy, but they really weren’t kidding!

So maybe I’ve been around girls for too long, or maybe I’ve spent too many late nights in the library, but lately I feel like songs have taken over my life. So without further adieu, here is “The Twelve Days of JHU Sororities”…Enjoy!

On the first day of Panhellenic Recruitment

The four sororities (Phi Mu, Alpha Phi, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and Pi Beta Phi) gave to me-

A glass of water and a ton of girls to meet and see!

{aka Ice Water Round}

On the second day of Panhellenic Recruitment

The PanHellenic council gave to me-

A day off to work on my expository writing paper (analyzing Hawthorne’s “Rappaccini’s Daughter”),

And a glass of water and a ton of girls to meet and see!

On the third day of Panhellenic Recruitment

Three sororities (Phi Mu, Alpha Phi, and Kappa Kappa Gamma) gave to me-

A snazzy poem about philanthropy, a slideshow about heart disease, secret garden flower cupcakes, {aka Theme Round}

A day off to work on my expository writing paper,

And a glass of water and a ton of girls to meet and see!

 On the fourth day of Panhellenic Recruitment

The Panhellenic council gave to me,

A Tuesday to relax and complete my physics problem set,

A snazzy poem about philanthropy, a slideshow about heart disease, secret garden flower cupcakes,

A day off to work on my expository writing paper,

And a glass of water and a ton of girls to meet and see!

On the fifth day of Panhellenic Recruitment

Two sororities (Phi Mu and Alpha Phi) gave to me-

An amazing, fun-filled night full of ceremonies and memories, {aka Preference Round}

A snazzy poem about philanthropy, a slideshow about heart disease, secret garden flower cupcakes,

A day off to work on my expository writing paper,

And a glass of water and a ton of girls to meet and see!

Macie and I on Pref Night!

On the sixth day of Panhellenic Recruitment

One sorority gave to me-

AN INVITATION TO THE BEST SORORITY- PHI MU!

An amazing, fun-filled night full of ceremonies and memories,

A snazzy poem about philanthropy, a slideshow about heart disease, secret garden flower cupcakes,

A day off to work on my expository writing paper,

And a glass of water and a ton of girls to meet and see!

On the seventh day of JHU Sororities

Phi Mu gave to me-

A “Sisters Dinner” with Phi Mu gear and delicious home-made pasta,

AN INVITATION TO THE BEST SORORITY- PHI MU!

An amazing, fun-filled night full of ceremonies and memories,

A snazzy poem about philanthropy, a slideshow about heart disease, secret garden flower cupcakes,

A day off to work on my expository writing paper,

And a glass of water and a ton of girls to meet and see!

Sister Dinner!

On the eighth day of JHU Sororities

Phi Mu gave to me-

A day off to recover from the busy week to work on my formal chemistry lab report,

A “Sisters Dinner” with Phi Mu gear and amazing home-made pasta,

AN INVITATION TO THE BEST SORORITY- PHI MU!

An amazing, fun-filled night full of ceremonies and memories,

A snazzy poem about philanthropy, a slideshow about heart disease, secret garden flower cupcakes,

A day off to work on my expository writing paper,

And a glass of water and a ton of girls to meet and see!

On the ninth day of JHU Sororities

Phi Mu gave to me-

A Sunday meeting to meet our new pledge class (all 48 of us!),

A day off to recover from the busy week to work on my chemistry lab report,

A “Sisters Dinner” with Phi Mu gear and amazing home-made pasta,

AN INVITATION TO THE BEST SORORITY- PHI MU!

An amazing, fun-filled night full of ceremonies and memories,

A snazzy poem about philanthropy, a slideshow about heart disease, secret garden flower cupcakes,

A day off to work on my expository writing paper,

And a glass of water and a ton of girls to meet and see!

On the tenth day of JHU Sororities

Phi Mu gave to me-

A huge pamphlet full of sister profiles and their phi mu families,

A Sunday meeting to meet our new pledge class (all 48 of us!),

A day off to recover from the busy week to work on my chemistry lab report,

A “Sisters Dinner” with Phi Mu gear and amazing home-made pasta,

AN INVITATION TO THE BEST SORORITY- PHI MU!

An amazing, fun-filled night full of ceremonies and memories,

A snazzy poem about philanthropy, a slideshow about heart disease, secret garden flower cupcakes,

A day off to work on my expository writing paper,

And a glass of water and a ton of girls to meet and see!

On the eleventh day of JHU Sororities

Phi Mu gave to me-

A “sisters lunch” at Levering to bond with all the new “phi’s” and sophomores,

A huge pamphlet full of sister profiles and their phi mu families,

A Sunday meeting to meet our new pledge class (all 48 of us!),

A day off to recover from the busy week to work on my chemistry lab report,

A “Sisters Dinner” with Phi Mu gear and amazing home-made pasta,

AN INVITATION TO THE BEST SORORITY- PHI MU!

An amazing, fun-filled night full of ceremonies and memories,

A snazzy poem about philanthropy, a slideshow about heart disease, secret garden flower cupcakes,

A day off to work on my expository writing paper,

And a glass of water and a ton of girls to meet and see!

ΦM!

On the twelth day of JHU Sororities

Phi Mu gave to me-

A super fun date party downtown at “The Get Down” ,{sororities usually have three formal date parties per semester}

A “sisters lunch” at Levering to bond with all the new “phi’s” and sophomores,

A huge pamphlet full of sister profiles and their phi mu families,

A Sunday meeting to meet our new pledge class (all 48 of us!),

A day off to recover from the busy week to work on my chemistry lab report,

A “Sisters Dinner” with Phi Mu gear and amazing home-made pasta,

AN INVITATION TO THE BEST SORORITY- PHI MU!

An amazing, fun-filled night full of ceremonies and memories,

A snazzy poem about philanthropy, a slideshow about heart disease, secret garden flower cupcakes,

A day off to work on my expository writing paper,

And a glass of water and a ton of girls to meet and see!

Me, JHU_Lucie, and JHU_Noah at the Date Party!

Hope that this gave you a better picture of sorority recruitment! In all seriousness, Greek life at Hopkins has already affected my life here in so many different ways. I think that I’m most thankful to be involved in sorority life here at Hopkins due to the caliber of the girls involved. Not only are they funny, beautiful, and friendly, but they’re also extremely smart, wise girls that I can look up to at Hopkins. As for this song, I promise I’m not crazy, but I do think I’ve had a little too much girl time and not enough sleep time. Tune in next time!

All the Best,

Kaitlyn

“Where is Hopkins Again?”

So you’ve applied to Hopkins, you’re thinking about applying to Hopkins, or you’ve been accepted to Hopkins already! (Congrats!) Regardless of your current status, you should know that when you tell people about Hopkins, there is a 50% likelihood that they will say, “That’s a great school! Where is Hopkins again?”. (Keep in mind that there is a direct correlation between that percentage and the farther south you go). I know that when I told my fellow Texans about Baltimore, I generally received a sort of vague look and an inquiry as to Baltimore’s relative location. If those reactions have you worried about Baltimore, don’t fret! Baltimore, also known as “Charm City”, is an awesome city with a bunch to offer for college students. Here are a few of my absolute favorite things about Baltimore!

  • Freshii: I know that I’ve talked about Freshii in previous blogs, but it’s for good reason! Freshii is a restaurant more on the healthy side with wraps, salads, and noodle bowls that you can customize with pretty much any kind of vegetable you can think of. They even have stamp cards for those that just can’t get enough! Plus, it’s within walking distance of campus and it’s near a bunch of other restaurants (Maxi’s Pizza, Ledo’s Pizza, Donna’s, Tamber’s, Chipotle, Marble Slab, Starbucks, Ruby Tuesday’s, Sandella’s, Subway, etc.). The Homewood campus is really in a prime location in terms of different restaurant options.

    My freshii card...almost there!

  • The Inner Harbor: This is probably one of the more iconic images of Baltimore, and it’s for good reason. The Inner Harbor has a multitude of shops, restaurants, and things to do. You can go dragon boating, browse for books in the enormous Barnes and Noble, grab a bite to eat at the Hard Rock Cafe, watch the Dolphin Show at the Baltimore Aquarium, shop around at The Gallery, or catch a live performance at the Pier 6 Pavilion. It’s great to be near so much activity, and it’s also a nice place to take your friends and family when they visit. I’ve also found that it’s pretty convenient to get to the Inner Harbor from campus as the city bus schedule is relatively easy to figure out!

    Traveling to the Inner Harbor during Orientation Week!

  • In front of the aquarium!

     

    Barnes and Noble at the Inner Harbor. During the holidays, the Inner Harbor puts on a light show complete with holiday music and fireworks!

  • Fell’s Point: I’ve only been to Fell’s once, but I definitely want to go back! A lot of Hopkins students, along with Towson and Loyola students, go to Fell’s Point for Halloween for the bars and restaurants. Interestingly enough, Fell’s Point is also known as the “ghost city” and has regular Baltimore ghost tours around the area.

    Fell's Point during Halloween!

  • Towson Shopping Center: In my opinion, one of the nicest things about being in a larger city is the easy access to great shopping! The Towson Shopping Center is known for both its diverse and massive amount of  shopping. This especially comes in handy for those students that need to pick up a jacket or two as the winter months approach.
  • Running Trails: You would think that living in such an urban environment would result in a lack of greenery, or at least I did. Lucky for Hopkins students, the campus backs up to a pretty sizable forest, so that the campus loop trail is absolutely gorgeous, especially in the fall.
  • Location: Baltimore is probably in the best location in the entire Northeast. We are 45 minutes away from Washington D.C. (a $7 train ticket), about an hour away from Philadelphia, and about three hours away from New York City (a $20 bus ride!). To me, the location of Baltimore allows for the perfect Northeastern college experience in that you have easy access to so many major urban areas. It’s also a great place to be if you’re looking to intern in at the Capital as I actually know of several people who make the commute!
So get excited prospective students- Baltimore is a great city to live in and an even better “college town”!

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/'>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,
Kaitlyn

New Semester Resolutions!

Your first semester of college is a lot of fun! My first semester was no exception. Looking back, I think that I handled the adjustment fairly well; however, there are definitely a few things that I’d like to do better next semester. Here are a few of my resolutions!

  • Eat the salad at the FFC. Let me preface this by saying that I hate vegetables and that I eat like a toddler. In college, this palate choice is somewhat unwise. You really do need your fruits and veggies to keep you going strong- especially when it’s late September and every freshman has contracted the same common cold! And there really isn’t an excuse for me not eating the salad at the FFC, they have a huge selection of veggies and dressings. Hopefully, I’ll overcome my aversion to salad next semester!
  • Go to office hours. I hate to say it, but I’m guilty of passing up my professors’ office hours. I really wish I had made the effort and time. I went to a very small high school, so that when I needed to meet with a teacher, I would just stay after class or run into them in the hallway. College is very different. If you want to make an A in the class, chances are, you need to establish a relationship with your professor. Meeting with your professor will allow you to identify your problem areas before the exams and figure out the material that you should focus on. I’m definitely going to schedule in office hours in the months to come!
  • Get homework done at least 2 days before the due date. In high school, I didn’t really run into problems when I would put off an assignment until the day before the due date. In college, putting off an assignment can have disastrous consequences. You never know whether that calculus problem set is going to take a measly 2 hours or a gruesome 10. It’s better to start the homework set the day you get it. That way you have a better idea of what you’re dealing with. It’ll also give you time to meet with your professor or TA if need be.

    lovely math homework

  • Do the extra credit. This goes along with meeting with your professor and finishing homework up early. I think that professors genuinely notice and appreciate the students that make the extra effort. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t know from experience, but I’d like to give this a try next semester!
  • Go to sleep before 1am. I found that my sleeping habits got way out of control after the first few weeks of school. To be honest, it seemed like the norm to go to sleep at 2 and wake up around 10. I ran into problems with this mindset as my chemistry class was at 9am. Even though I’ve pushed back my spring semester schedule to start at 10am, I would like to become more productive in the mornings. Plus, being stuck in the library at 2am is almost never fun, I’d like to be done by midnight if at all possible!

    (My friend Carolyn shares my sleep issues)

    Did you know? Freshmen lack of sleep is a national problem!

  • Drink more water (and less diet pepsi). My addiction to diet coke has always been a problem. In college, my problem was exacerbated by the constant access to Diet Pepsi and constant need to stay up at night. Second semester, I’m looking to switch over to water and resort to coffee when I really need my caffeine fix. I’m actually dreading this resolution as I know that it will be my hardest habit to break!

    Did I mention that I'm also addicted to Red Bull?

 I hope this gave you a few ideas as to the bumps you might run into over the course of your first year at college. Transitioning from high school to college is sometimes a trying experience, so establishing good habits early on is pretty important! Wish me luck with my resolutions!

A Few Things I’ve Learned at Hopkins

I’ve been back in Texas for 48 hours now, and I’m serious when I say that I’m already missing Homewood! Looking back, I had a whirlwind of a first semester chock full of awesome times and some crazy moments. When I remember my first semester at Hopkins a few years from now, I know that I’m not going to remember my classes and my heavy workload so much as I’ll remember the amazing friends and people that I met. I acquired a ton of knowledge in the classroom, but I learned even more from the inspiring people I surrounded myself with.  This blog is dedicated to those friends that have taught me so much and have made my first few months at Hopkins beyond amazing, I love you guys!

Macie (top), Me, Carolyn, and Kaitlin!

First off, there’s Carolyn, Kaitlin, and Macie. We’re all freshmen on the tennis team, all pre-meds, and all best friends!

Carolyn is from Florida, majoring in Public Health, and is involved in the JHU Model United Nations Conference (which you can read more about here). Carolyn is actually the most hilarious person that I have ever met.  Carolyn has taught me to not take life too seriously. I do not know what I’d do without her dry humor, great sayings, super helpful advice, and above all, her honest opinion.

Macie is also from Florida and majoring in Biology. Macie is super involved with HCF, Hopkins Christian Fellowship, which you can read more about here. Macie is the most frequent library go-er out of all of us, although Carolyn is a close second. Macie has taught me exactly what it means to work hard and manage time responsibly. I’m so proud to have such a studious friend!

Kaitlin is from New Jersey and she’s majoring in Public health as well. Kaitlin has taught me the true meaning of being an amazing friend. She always has my back no matter what and is willing to go above and beyond the call for any of her friends. She’s also super into sports and has taught me that I should probably learn more about football. (I’ll be working on that one over break!) Look out for Kaitlin’s guest blog coming up soon!

Courtney and I on Halloween, she was Princess Peach!

Next up, there’s Courtney, a senior majoring in Economics and minoring in Entrepreneurship & Management. As our tennis captain, she has been such a tremendous role model as she is constantly working out but is still able to balance all of her extracurriculars and homework assignments. Courtney has taught me that you really can do it all. She’s somehow managed to be super involved in her sorority, stay on top of her academics, and work out more than humanly possible, all while hosting dinner parties and having a very active social life. Courtney has been like a big sister for me here at Hopkins, and I don’t know what I’d do without her!

Edward is a freshman majoring in Spanish from Florida. He’s on the men’s tennis team and is involved with Salud (with me!) which you can read more about here. He’s taught me a number of things. One being that you need to love what you’re studying. I haven’t met anyone that’s more into their major than he is into Spanish. He loves it! Another being that you shouldn’t care about what people think. He certainly doesn’t- dressing up as a penguin to go to class on Halloween hardly screams insecure. He also competed in the Mr. Phi Mu pageant in which he dawned a speedo. Look out for Edward’s guest blog coming up soon!

Edward performing in the talent portion of Mr. Phi Mu

 Lastly, there’s JP, a freshman majoring in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (like me!) from Maryland. Some may call our friendship strained, others may call us frenemies, but from my standpoint, we are best friends. JP has taught me that complaining about work gets you absolutely nowhere. He’s also taught me to stay on my toes with his constant sarcasm, quick wit, and tough love. Lastly he’s taught me that I can handle the workload here and that I should not listen to those that say I can’t.

I’m so thankful to have met all of these inspiring people while at Hopkins. Going to such a tremendous school definitely has its perks- you have so many viable academic options to explore, you’re taught by world renowned professors, and you live on a gorgeous campus. Despite all of this, I think I’m most thankful for the actual students that go here. I love being surrounded by such intelligent, motivated students, and I cannot wait to return for my second semester and meet even more of the amazing student body at Hopkins!

Eyes on the Prize

The dreaded final exams are approaching, and to be honest, I’m not sure that I’m completely prepared for them at this point! This fear is unusual and unsettling for me – I always secretly liked final exam period back in high school! (I’m sure that I’m not the only one…right?) Approaching such a psychologically difficult period has led me to step back from my current position and ask myself a couple of questions…

  • Why did I come to Hopkins?
  • Why did I choose to be a ChemBE Major and pre-med?
  • And lastly, what do I really want to do/accomplish with my life?

I know, pretty sizable questions to be asking myself at this point but hey, stressful situations only highlight those big concerns in the back of your mind!

My thanksgiving break served as a time when I could really dig deep for some answers to these questions, and luckily, I did not come back to campus empty-handed. For one, I came to Hopkins to challenge myself. I applied early decision knowing that I was applying to a top-notch school. If I had thought that Hopkins would be even remotely easy, there’s no way that it would’ve made the list.

The day I found out that I got into Hopkins!

Secondly, I love chemistry, and serving as a sort of liaison between commercial applications and theoretical knowledge as an engineer makes chemistry just that much better. That’s why I chose to be an engineer. Not to get straight A’s.

Guest lectures we've had over the semester in Chemical Engineering Today- they've definitely solidified my interest in ChemBE!

Lastly, medicine is something that I’ve always pictured myself being involved in. Maybe it’s because my mom is a doctor, maybe it’s because I secretly love going to the doctor, or maybe it’s because I love helping people and want to get that sort of fulfillment out of my job. I’m not exactly sure, but I do know that I really, really, really want to be a doctor.

Thinking about my answers, I’m able to take a deep breath my first day back on campus. In 16 days, I will have finished my last two Calculus II problem sets, corrected my Spanish composition, and completed my last two Physics problem sets. Not to mention I will have studied for and taken my Spanish Test, Chemistry Lab Test, Chemical Engineering Exam, Calculus II Exam, Chemistry Exam, and Physics Exam! In 16 days, I will also be that much closer to completing my Chemical and Biomolecular Degree, applying to medical school, and becoming a doctor!

The Library: where I will be for the next 16 days!

No matter what your hopes or goals for yourself might be, Hopkins is definitely a place where you will have the resources and opportunities to work towards achieving them. Hopkins does this in a number of ways, sometimes pushing you farther than you thought possible. But once you overcome that great ordeal or enormous heap of work, you are stronger because of it, and you will be able to push yourself even farther the next time around.

“If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere” -Frank A. Clark

Hopkins is a path with many obstacles, but it is sure to take you to where you want to go.

All the Best,

Kaitlyn

A Day in the Life of JHU_Kaitlyn

8:15AM Time to wake up! Today’s starting out great as I managed to not hit my head on the ceiling this morning. It’s going to be a great day!

Song that I Woke Up To (Check it out!):

8:20AM After climbing down from my lofted bed, I’m off to shower! The communal bathrooms that we have in the AMR’s are usually spotless as they’re cleaned by the custodial staff on a daily basis- just one of the perks of living in the AMR’s!

My lofted bed!

8:30AM Get dressed for class. Hooray! It’s only in the 60s today. Also, make Quaker oatmeal and Dunkin Doughnuts coffee (Hazulnut flavor!) in my nifty Brew ‘N Go.

8:53AM Time for Chemistry! Living in the AMR’s is also great because of its location. Walking to Remsen only takes about 5 minutes!

9:00Am Introductory Chemistry 1- we’re learning about salts and equilibrium constants.. woo!

10:00AM Calculus II for Engineers- always a fun class, despite the habitual below-freezing temperatures. Today we learned some more about approximating series, like the ln(2). We were also subjected to a history lesson about the number pi which was surprisingly very interesting! (Apparently we can compare the race to approximate pi with the space race in 70s..) Professor Wilson also likes to take a break in the middle of class and give us a mini history lesson about Hopkins. Today’s lesson? Gilman wouldn’t allow girls to study at Hopkins because he had daughters of his own, whom he could not see studying with the likes of the men at Hopkins. Luckily for Gilman, Goucher College opened up ten years after Johns Hopkins did so that some of the pressure was lifted off of Gilman to admit women.

Professor Wilson in the midst of his history lesson!

11:00AM Finally time for Spanish! Today we’re reviewing our tests from last week. My exam schedule in Spanish is pretty different from all of my other classes in that I only have three midterms throughout the whole semester- which means no final exam! (Which is awesome)

12:00PM Lunch Time! I meet Macie and Matt for lunch at the FFC (Fresh Food Cafe). Fun Fact: Macie and I get the same thing for lunch every day- a turkey panini and an apple!

12:30PM Head back to my room to look over my resume due today in my Chemical Engineering Today class.

Griffin House!

1:23 PM My bestie JP knocks on my door, ready to walk to our Chemical Engineering Today class. JP is also majoring in ChemBE so we’ll be having a lot of classes together over the next four years.

1:30PM Chemical Engineering Today- today’s lecture is particularly interesting for me as current medical school students are talking about how their Hopkins’ Chemical Engineering degree is helping them at the University of Maryland Medical School.

2:20PM Done with class for today. Journeying down to C-level in MSE to get a start on my chemistry lab report and begin crafting this blog!

5:15PM Head over to Freshii’s to meet my friend Edward for dinner! Freshii’s is great because of all of the fresh veggies and fruit. It’s also where you should go to get your frozen yogurt fix!

Order Form at Freshies- so many options!

5:45PM Walk over to Mason Hall to attend our SAAB meeting!

6:00PM SAAB Meeting! Always fun to meet with the other SAAB’ers and talk about Hopkins Interactive. Today, JHU_Jacqueline brought us all chips and salsa from Chipotle! Thanks Jacqueline!!

7:00PM Team Workout with our new trainer, Alex, at the athletic center. Today we did a mix of footwork drills, core, abs, and upper body strength.

Nandita working on her 6 pack!

8:30PM Headed back to the AMR’s. Time to take another shower and get to work!

9:00PM Help out Edward with his guest blog! If you don’t already know, Hopkins Interactive has some awesome “Guest Blogs” where different “guest” JHU students will post a blog every week so you can get a ton of different perspectives on campus life.

9:30PM-11:45PM Work on my chemistry lab report and physics online problem set! Luke stops by to say hi.

Studying at my desk.. notice the second cup of coffee of the day.

11:45PM Go meet the other Kaitlin for Late Night! Need more caffeine!!

Kaitlyn and Kaitlin! The other Kaitlin is also on the tennis team!

12:05AM Come back to my room. Keep working. Consume 3rd cup of coffee.

2:30AM Finally done with physics and chemistry! Luckily I can sleep in as I don’t have class until 10:30am tomorrow.

Hope you guys enjoyed my day as much as I did!

All the Best,

Kaitlyn


Holidays at Hopkins: Halloween Edition!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

For those prospective students worried about keeping up with their holidays while in college- rest assured, holidays in college (especially at Hopkins) are super fun! Here are a few of the major differences between Halloween at home and Halloween on the Homewood Campus…

What you’re used to at Home –> What you’ll experience at Hopkins!

  • Decorating your house –> Decorating your dorm room! Living in such a confined space does have a few advantages- one being that it’s very easy to decorate for any/ all occasions. Halloween is no exception. Personally, I invested in some skeleton garland, a candy cauldron, a pumpkin coffee cup, some colorful, musical scull lights, a pumpkin window light, and a ghost pillow! My friends and I had an extra incentive for decorating this year as we had some trick-or-treaters! (Courtesy of the Tutorial Project in which inner-city Baltimore kids trick-or-treat at Hopkins) 
  • Carving pumpkins –> Smashing pumpkins! With the stress of mid-terms, major papers, and problem sets, combined with little to no sleep, it’s no wonder that Hopkins students have turned to pumpkin smashing as a popular past-time this time of year. This past Monday, the Residential Advisory Board organized an official pumpkin smashing event in the Freshman Quad. Here’s an excerpt from the event advertisement: “Come and take your anger out on smashing the heck out of pumpkins. If you don’t want to be too violent, there will also be paint to decorate pumpkins instead :)”. Needless to say, the event was a hit!
  • The High-School Halloween Dance –>A Weekend of Costume Parties! College costume parties definitely put the somewhat boring high-school Halloween dances to shame! This year, despite the frigid weather in Baltimore, the spirits were high enough for students to wear their costumes out to the parties.  Here are some examples of the best costumes I saw: five, yes FIVE penguins waddling together (made up of the tennis team boys), a homemade Rubix Cube,  President Obama himself (fooled me), two telletubbies, and of course, the cheetah costumes worn by myself and my friends.  Keep in mind that Halloween in college means a full weekend of fun, not just one night like in high school, so basically you will get to be three times as creative and have three times the fun (or more).

    Some students even brought Halloween into the classroom!

  • Neighborhood Block Party  –> Fell’s Point! Every year, the majority of Hopkins students journey down to Fell’s Point, a neighborhood in Baltimore, for its annual Halloween block party . Fell’s Point is very popular on Halloween with the college students and Baltimore natives as it boasts a plethora of restaurants, Halloween contests, street vendors, and bars, all within walking distance of each other. Hopkins also provides buses to transport students to and from the festival on Halloween night. One of the most integral parts of the Halloween experience here at Hopkins, the Halloween party at Fell’s Point is a such a unique experience mostly due to the fact that you can find students from Hopkins, Loyola, Goucher, Towson, and even the University of Maryland represented at the festival!

    Halloween Night #1

I hope this has shed some light on the Halloween festivities here at Hopkins! Have fun tonight, be safe, and don’t forget to submit that early decision app before midnight!!