Allysa D. | Posted on April 5, 2012
This year at Hopkins has been quite the journey. A journey of sadness and joy. There were definitely such extreme lows that I have never experienced in my life before. The lowest of them all was the loss of my mom. But throughout the journey, I’ve experienced many positives here at Hopkins. For instance, just recently I found out that I got an incredible internship in California for the summer. Thanks to the Career Center, I nabbed my first and only internship that I applied for! I am so excited and ready to start. And yesterday, I found out that my lifelong best friend’s little sister will be going to Hopkins. My best friend moved to Europe, so I will be able to see her so much more often now. Like these, I have experienced many positives at Hopkins that have made me truly appreciate the journey:
People. I’ve said it over and over, but the people that I’ve met at Hopkins are incredible. Never have I met such a diverse body of students, all with such fire and passion to expand their horizons. I feel so lucky to have met such a great group of people and especially my friends, from my suitemates to my Alpha Phi sisters. I’ve come to really appreciate these people this year more than ever. And if it weren’t for Hopkins, I would have never met my best friends and boyfriend during freshmen Orientation week!
Support. When my mom passed away last summer and school was about to start in just two weeks, I had to make the decision whether or not to take a leave of absence. I decided not to do so and ended up going to school. I knew I was in good hands and mom would have wanted me to continue. On the first day I moved into Hopkins, I was eagerly welcomed by one of my suitemates and her mom. Right then, I knew I made the right decision. I was home and I was here to stay. I received so much help and support, from my professors, the Dean of Student Life, and our very own Admissions_Daniel. In fact, Daniel, the associate director of Admissions, was the very first person I e-mailed that night of the tragedy and he provided me with so much advice and reassurance. He got me set up with the Dean of Student Life, Susan Boswell, who has also been such a godsend. I still meet with her weekly and we have the best chats ever! And not to mention I work with Daniel on a daily basis too; we have the best conversations about lacrosse (go Jays). The RAs have also been great. I’m close to one of them, Joe, and he is pretty much the first person I go to when I’m having a hard time (and to freak out over our favorite shows). I know that I wouldn’t get such support like that anywhere else. Without a doubt.
Academics. Already everyone knows how premier of an university Johns Hopkins is, but the academic experience has really been unbelievable. I have taken such incredible classes through my two majors, International Studies (IS) and Global Environmental Change & Sustainability (GECS). The two majors are interdisciplinary, which has allowed me to take such a broad range of classes. I’ve taken classes in literally every single department there is – like anthropology, political science, chemistry, history, calculus, economics, and even next fall I’ll be taking classes in the Whiting School of Engineering. I think the best part about the academics though, are the professors. I’ve had some outstanding professors here. They also bring such interesting perspectives and humor to my classes. And they have been very understanding with my situation, such as granting extensions, and also because I am deaf, I receive accommodations such as interpreters through the disabilities office.
Greek Life. I decided to rush this spring as a sophomore and it was truly one of the best decisions I have ever made (besides choosing to attend Hopkins). While I lost my mom, I gained a family through Alpha Phi. I recently wrote about the rush process, which you can read more about – A Week in the Life of a Recruit. I absolutely love my “big” – bigs are older sisters who are matched up with each new member and you do lots of things with them, from cooking dinner together to studying. She has been wonderful and even before we got matched up, she made sure I was okay when I was having a few rough times. Everyone in the sorority thus far has been caring and very supportive. Even more so, they have been accommodating with certain events that are difficult for me to follow. Already, I am a part of a few committees and I’m really loving it!
Baltimore. Charm City is a truly unique city. It is easy to get to anywhere through mass transit (and some of them are free, like the JHMI or Collegetown shuttle). My favorite place to frequent is the Inner Harbor, where there lots of delicious food. The community is also great. When I lived in Baltimore last summer, I got to know some of the neighbors and everyone was so friendly. Whenever I go to Carma’s, they always greet me and automatically know my order (maybe I go there too much?). The whole community also gets together during Artscape, the biggest art festival in the nation (check out my blog entry about it: Charm City’s Artscape). Spring Fair is another time that you’ll be with the whole community – it’s my favorite event of the year. I would say that my favorite part about Baltimore is the location – it’s easy to hop on a train to go to D.C. (which is beautiful during the spring time) or to Philly. Because I live in New Jersey, Baltimore’s location is a plus for me. I keep my car down here, and it only takes about 2 and a half hours to go home.
All in all, this journey has been a bumpy one. But it’s been quite a ride and I’m ready for two more years. Thank you Hopkins.