It’s about to get real around here. Starting this week, the Class of 2016 will storm the campus for Orientation 2012. They’ll move into their new homes in the residence halls, say a (probably tearful, and that’s okay) goodbye to their folks, and launch into the great adventure that is life as an undergraduate at Johns Hopkins University. Orientation at Johns Hopkins is a fun-filled week of activities geared towards getting students acquainted with the campus, the city, and, most importantly, each other. At some point during Orientation, or maybe after First Night (a tradition held after the first day of classes, where upperclassmen welcome the new members of the Johns Hopkins community in a candlelight ceremony that’s followed by an evening of fun around campus), I think every freshman will have a quiet moment where he or she realizes that life is about to change. It’s exciting. It’s scary. And it didn’t happen overnight.
Whether you’re just starting your college search or you’re a senior (or a parent of a senior) getting the college deadline jitters, the process of finding the “just right” school can be overwhelming. Where do you start? And why does it seem like everyone else is so far ahead? Take a deep breath. What our incoming freshmen can tell you is that it all starts with a small step, and then another, and then another, until you start to see a little more clearly what you really want in a college. Something else veterans of the college search process could tell you? It doesn’t have to be a chore. All stresses aside, starting your time as an undergraduate will be one of the most exciting times of your life; the process of getting there should be as well.
One of the most interesting—and informative—parts of the college search is the campus visit. Not only is everyone happy to see you and wants to know more about you, but they usually give you free stuff just for showing up. You’re a celebrity! People get dressed up just to tell you all about the university. You get to look at pretty buildings and sometimes your tour guide will even walk backwards, all because he or she wants to get a better look at you. Most importantly, though, you get a real sense of place. You can meet people, like real live students, and talk to them about their experiences. You can see where you might be going to class and hanging out with friends you haven’t met yet. For many students, the campus visit is what makes them decide to apply.
Maybe your one small step into the admissions process will be visiting campuses this fall—or maybe you’re ready to make some final decisions and want to get a better look at a few places. In either case, there are lots of opportunities to visit Johns Hopkins in the coming months. For seniors, imagine this: at this exact time last year, the 1,300 or so members of the Johns Hopkins University Class of 2016 were in your shoes. And now, just one short year later, they’re moving into dorm rooms, meeting new classmates and greeting JHU friends they’ve met over the summer. They’re exploring Charles Village and Baltimore having a blast during Orientation. In less than a week, they’ll be heading to their first college classes. That’s a lot of small steps that lead to something life-changing.
So, come see us and hang out for a while. We think you’ll like it.
Fall Visit Options:
Open Houses: September 29 and October 20. These are our signature fall visit programs, with a full day of programming that includes faculty showcases, student panels, campus tours, and an admissions and financial aid session. Plus…free lunch! (Registration required.)
Saturday Sessions: September 15 and 22; October 6 and 27; November 3. In these Saturday programs, you’ll get an information session and campus tour. (Registration required.)
Daily visits: Weekdays (see calendar for any exceptions). We offer information sessions and tours on most weekdays. (No advance registration is required, but check online for any schedule variations.)
Overnight visits: September 25; October 2, 16, and 23. Overnights are for high school seniors only. It’s a chance to spend the night in the residence hall while you’re learning more about the university. (Registration required.)
Coming soon: Check our website frequently for updates on new programs. We’ll be posting dates and information about special engineering tours and humanities tours that will be happening in October soon.
If you can’t make it to campus, check out our off-campus visit schedule, including Group Travel dates and Explore Hopkins events (these will be posted soon!). While nothing replaces a campus visit, there are tons of ways to start learning more—remember, small steps!—online, including our virtual tour and, of course, Hopkins Interactive.
Hope to see you on campus soon!