It is hard to believe that the end of summer is right around the corner! As I walked through Charles Village a few days ago, I noticed students were moving back into their apartments and residential advisers (RAs) back into the dorms. I said goodbye to one of my student workers and tour guides, Jessie Koljonen, as she hopped a flight from Dulles Airport to Madrid, Spain, where she will be spending the next four months studying abroad. Starting tomorrow, freshmen will begin to move in, orientation will commence, and then next thing we know, the first day of classes will be upon us.
While all the hustle and bustle is just beginning on our campus, it is also beginning for many high school students. With a new academic year kicking off, they are starting classes, joining clubs, playing sports, volunteering in the community, and doing much, much more. On top of all of this, many juniors and seniors also have the college search process on their mind.
As an admissions counselor, I am about to embark on six weeks of travel, where I will be visiting nine different countries in Latin America followed by both northern and southern California. My colleagues will also be making stops throughout the United States, and internationally, as they conduct high school visits, attend college fairs, participate in Group Travel, and present at Explore Hopkins presentations. To make the most of our visits to your area, here are some tips for when you meet a Johns Hopkins Admissions Counselor on the road:
- Do some background research on the university. Many times when on the road, we only get to meet a student for a few minutes. During this time, you do not want to be asking questions like, “how many undergraduates do you have?” or “do you have an art history major?” Questions like these can easily be answered by doing a little investigating on our website or looking over our brochure.
- Don’t be vague. One of my pet peeves is when I meet someone on the road and they ask, “can you tell me about your school?” I can probably talk for hours about Johns Hopkins, and I think it is safe to say the other admissions counselors here can do the same. What exactly do you want to know about? That being said…
- Ask specific questions. Think about activities you are interested in pursuing, things you want from the city where you’ll be living as an undergraduate, majors you want to know about, or research opportunities. If we cannot answer them directly (we don’t know EVERYTHING there is to know about Johns Hopkins), then we can definitely direct you to a professor, student, or staff member who can help.
- Be open-minded. There are lots of stereotypes out there for different schools. For example, when I meet people on the road, they think our most popular major is pre-med (in reality, there is pretty much a tie between international relations and public health). Truth be told, we don’t even have a pre-med major, but many students “count us out” because they have heard this. If you take a look at a school that you don’t think is for you, do a bit more investigating and you just may find it is actually a great fit!
- Listen to all questions being asked. Even if it is not your question, you may learn something totally new that is really interesting to you or appeals to something you are looking for in a college or university. This also helps with repetition … since our time with you is limited, we’d like to answer different questions, not the same one because someone was not listening!
I hope these little pieces of advice are helpful as you meet counselors from Johns Hopkins. We’ll see you on the road!