Name: Stephanie Huie
Class Year: Class of 2015
Major/Minor: History and Entrepreneurship & Management
Hometown: Hamilton, NJ
Hopkins Pro Tips
The best two bits of advice I can ever give can be summarized in five words: Say yes and be adventurous. Try something new, take chances, and enjoy life. This applies to not only life at Hopkins, but always. However, if you want a little more substance than just five words, here’s a few life hacks on how to ace your classes, save money, maximize your calorie intake, and really be a superstar on the Homewood campus.
- Borrow books from the MSE Reserves collection
- Before you buy any textbooks for class, check to see if they’re available at the library for you for free. Almost every professor will have at least one copy of every book needed for the semester available on hold for students to use. You can search the print Reserves on the MSE website through the instructor’s name or the course. There are three caveats to be aware of though. Usually, you can only check out two Reserves books at a time, the books have a very limited borrowing period, and they may not always be available since they are open to everyone to use. Some books can be reserved for four hours and some can be reserved for up to twenty-four hours. You can return the book, wait a while, and then check them out again if you still need it for longer. This system is not as convenient as owning the textbooks but you save a lot of money and the short loan period forced me to study in the library, making me more productive. Rarely, the professor will not have a text on Reserves, so I would recommend renting books for the semester instead. More often than not, you will never read the textbooks again, so renting is another inexpensive option.
- Study that Syllabus
- The first week of class you’ll be getting a lot of paperwork from all of your professors about what your semester will entail. Definitely take an hour or so to actually read through everything and mark it down in a calendar. I used iCal and typed in every single assignment, reading, exam, essay, presentation, anything. Yes, it’s tedious and it does take a significant amount of time but I found putting in some effort in the beginning of the semester to get organized really useful. By doing this early on, I was able to identify the especially crazy weeks where my workload would be intense, like if I had an exam, 2 papers, presentation, and homework due in the same week. So the first week of school, I knew way in advance when I needed to start preparing for projects or when I could take it easy. I never forgot about anything for any class. Staying very organized was so critical because some professors would not remind the class about deadlines or exam dates.
- Be everywhere on campus
- GO TO EVERYTHING. Acapella shows, dance showcases, musical productions, sports games, Homecoming, Dance Marathon, the President’s Day of Service, Commemoration Ball, The Hop’s Events, the MSE or FAS Speaker events, employer information sessions, Relay for Life, career workshops, networking events, anything and everything. Go experience everything at least once. Meet new people, entertain yourself for a while, maybe have some food, just a short walk away from wherever you are.
- Accept you will overindulge during Spring Fair
- You’ll eat few too many calories when you’re caught up in the delicious smells of food truck central. Deciding whether to eat a funnel cake, fried oreos, a corn dog, fried alligator, Thai Sweet Sticky Rice with mango, a gyro, chicken on a stick, butterfly fries, a bloomin’ onion, a twelve inch tall smoothie, or chicken tikka masala will be the hardest decision of your life. Once you’re 21, your stomach will be even fuller as you can imbibe in the Beer Garden as well. For the shopaholics, you’ll likely buy one too many beautifully unique pieces from the art vendors. There’s always a diverse mix of artwork, jewelry, clothing, home goods, decorative pieces, just to scratch the surface. You’ll spend an hour too long stretched out on the beach, tanning in the spring sunlight, listening to the awesome lineup of bands. It’s just impossible to do anything else but relax on a blanket with great live music. BRING CASH! A lot of the food trucks and vendors won’t accept credit cards so save up for the end of April!
- Fall in love with Baltimore
- Baltimore truly is Charm City. The eclectic diversity of the neighborhoods really makes the city stand out from anywhere else. Baltimoreans are really proud of their sports teams. Even if you’re not a fan, go to an Orioles game and a Ravens game. You can still have a good view and a great time in the nosebleeds section. The atmosphere is electric and festive. Go to the different festivals, parades, oddities that Baltimore has to offer. Attend Artscape, Hampdenfest, the Lighted Boat Parade in the Harbor. Please, please GO EAT. Baltimore Restaurant Week is a great opportunity to try different high-quality restaurants, but go explore new places too! Pick a neighborhood or cuisine and try something new. Since I’ve been in Baltimore, I have eaten super delicious Cuban pulled pork, Ethiopian injera, pho, fried chicken, hearty breakfasts, Korean BBQ, Indian buffets, Turkish pides, Nepalese curries, Mexican empanadas. If you’re a foodie, Baltimore is the place for you.
Finally, here are some quick hits that you should take as extraordinarily solid ways to be a superstar at Hopkins:
- Whenever there is a hint of precipitation, wear rain boots, a rain jacket, and bring an umbrella. When it rains in Baltimore, IT POURS.
- If you have even the tiniest desire to study abroad, do it. But live in a dorm with nationals of the country you are living.
- Get backrubs every week from Stressbusters. Twice a week actually.
- The best 3 nap spots are: the club chairs facing the stain-glassed windows in the Hut in Gilman, the rocking chairs in Mudd Atrium, the blue couches in Mattin
- Utilize your “free” gym membership at the Rec Center while you can. Actual gym memberships in the real world are crazy expensive!
- Although, seemingly contradictory to the above point, be lazy and take the Blue Jay Shuttle wherever you need to go close to campus.
- Go to the Career Fair every year, just to see what’s out there
- Take the free classes from the DMC. Learn really practical and fun design, audio, video, photography skills
- If there is an event with free food, go.