Dear Me – three years ago,
Hey, what’s up? We’re going to go on a little journey, and, spoiler alert, I’m about to give away the whole month of April for you, particularly college decisions. Don’t worry – in the end it’s going to be worth it.
So, about three years ago from today – by ‘today’ I mean ‘the future’ – you get home from work and lay down on the ground. The usual. You remember that there’s something important going on today, but what it is you can’t quite remember. You roll over to the computer and check your email.
“Congratulations from Johns Hopkins University” reads your unread messages.
“Oh yeah, that’s what was going on today. Oh wow, I got into JHU? Wow, that’s pretty cool.”
You stand up, pace around the apartment kind of giddily and call your parents. Yay for acceptances! But especially for having received your last admissions decision. As much as you despised the process of waiting to know which colleges would accept (or that other, not-so-fun thing – reject) you, here’s what you weren’t expecting: now it’s time to choose.
Easy, right? Wrong. There are a lot of factors to think through before you can make this pretty major, at times intimidating choice. Art school or liberal arts school? BFA or BA? Missouri or elsewhere? Rural college town, living in a city? Big school, small school, one fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish. You’re right, no time for jokes – we’ve got a decision to make.
Late one mid-April night you won’t be having much luck falling asleep. You’ll recall that place you got into a few weeks ago and grab your laptop to have a look. John Hopkins was it?
“Did you mean: Johns Hopkins University”
Oh, right. Sorry Google.
You’ll pull up the school’s website and start looking around for a bit. First stop: the art history department. “Oh, that’s pretty cool” you’ll think, looking at the accomplished professors, cultural resources in Baltimore and the many courses that exceed your previous expectations. “Oh, now that’s really cool” you’ll realize as you click a link and discover that there’s a whole minor devoted to studying museums and lets you apply those skills in practical settings. You’ve been thinking about curating – maybe this is the way to go about it? Looking around for ‘a bit’ becomes a handful of hours. After all, there are tons of resources: student blogs, a database of course offerings, videos and more. You’ll ultimately fall asleep with your computer as a pillow and wake up feeling tired, of course, but also a little less bogged down by this dreadful decision. In fact, you may have already made up your mind.
However, our dad, after noticing that you’ve kind of been losing said mind the past few weeks, will attempt to expedite the process. He decides that waiting until the end of April to make this decision will take far too long and suggests (insists) that he, you and mom meet up at Starbucks one night to finally get this over with. I know, I know, how ridiculous, right? I mean, you don’t even like Starbucks. But, you’ll give in, arriving to the land of overpriced coffee an hour before closing, grasping tightly at a folder of various acceptance letters. You”ll spread them out on a table scattered with crumbs and one by one go through the options. Some simply don’t feel right anymore. Other, it turns out, just aren’t feasible. Some are extremely solid schools but, by simple comparison, don’t live up to the opportunities available at others. You’ll narrow yourself down to two and, with a sigh of relief, pick of the acceptance letter from Johns Hopkins University.
“Is that it?”
“Yeah,” you’ll respond, thrilled to not only be done with the college admissions process but also because you’ll be attending such an incredible school in only a handful of months. You’ve made your decision, and more importantly, you’ve made a great one.
The parents may or may not cry a bit, but one thing is sure: one of the Starbucks baristas will give you a free cake pop to congratulate you, and it’ll be great and delicious. Yes of course, you’ll wonder why someone would ever want a smaller version of a full-size cake, but let’s not be picky.
So that’s how it goes. Sorry to spoil it for you, but then again that’s just the inciting incident that will bring about countless, amazing experiences at Hopkins. I’d hate to give away how great the next few years will be, but if you really have to know, you can always read this blog that we write about our times at JHU or even ask your future-self (me) a question on the Hopkins Forums. Also, if you have some cool friends in the future class of 2018 (hi guys – congratulations!), let them know they’re more than welcome to take advantage of these resources as well.
In the next few years, you’ll come to answer the question “why Hopkins?” time and time again, but it’s this April when you ask yourself “why not Hopkins?” that will change everything for the better.
Keep it real and eat lots of Steak ‘n Shake this summer – trust me,