Memes are taking over the internet. It seems like a day can’t go by without me scrolling down my Facebook newsfeed and coming across a new meme. Whether they are posted in a group like “Hopkins Memes for My Lost Hopes and Dreams” or just shared on a friends wall, memes serve as the door to a world of procrastination – exactly the opposite of what we need during finals period.
For those who may be slightly confused right now, Google describes a meme as, “a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc. that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users.”
Since I want to get back to studying for finals as soon as possible, I’ve tried to make this post short and sweet. With that, I present to you my top ten most relatable finals-specific memes!
1. At least there’s a Plan C…?
2. Didn’t open these even once
3.The truth is brutal
4. #tb to thinking $1400 dining dollars wouldn’t be enough
Picture this: it’s 11:45 p.m. and you have a paper due at midnight. Luckily, you’re almost done except for some last minute edits and one final proofread. That’s when you get a Facebook notification from a friend who just tagged you in a post. Even though you’re dead set on submitting the paper and your mind tells you no, your finger hits the notification and you enter a world of procrastination filled with memes, videos, and literally any other distraction known to man.
I’ve been there. You’ve probably been there. The fact of the matter is that procrastination is an epidemic. Unfortunately, an increase in Facebook groups like “Dank Memes Gang” as well as the birth of the YouTube autoplay setting doesn’t make our procrastination problem any easier to combat. Also, sort of like how people have certain foods they like more than others, each individual has his or her preferred procrastination medium. While most agree that theirs is Facebook, others might primarily procrastinate by playing video games, or going on Reddit, or Snapchat, or Instagram, or … you get the point.
My medium of choice is YouTube.
It’s strange because no matter how much work I have to get done and no matter the obscene hour of night I am awake at, I always find an excuse to land on www.youtube.com as well as a justification for it. Sometimes it starts out as simply as looking up a song to listen to while I do my work. From there I see a related video and no matter how random or irrelevant it may be, I’m drawn to it – especially if it is listed as “recommended”. It might as well say “click here to procrastinate” because an hour later I find myself watching some video that while really random is actually very interesting, but completely irrelevant to the work I need to get done.
You’re probably thinking that the rest of this blog is going to dedicated to tips that will help you fight the urge to procrastinate. If this is what you are looking for, you’re on the wrong blog my friend. As the title of this post may have suggested, I will be doing quite the opposite. So without further adieu, I present to you a countdown of the Top 10 YouTube Channels I find myself on when I realize that I have been procrastinating. I’ve included the channel name, my favorite video posted by it, as well as a brief description of the channel. I apologize in advance if any of these channels becomes a new time suck in your life. Consider yourself forewarned.
10) Unbox Therapy
Un-boxings and reviews of some of the newest products and innovations that exist in the world
Answers to the most interesting questions one may have about science or life in general
Funny skits that all college students can relate to (viewer discretion is advised)
A series of talks by some of the most creative and influential thinkers in the world
Short videos that highlight unique talents and fun adventures
The myth-busters of the internet
4) Wong Fu Productions
Shorts that portray situations we know too well featuring predominantly Asian American leads
Entertaining videos for people of all ages produced by one of the original creators on YouTube
2) Philip DeFranco
A daily news show that discusses current events and pop culture
A daily documentation of the very interesting and entertaining life of filmmaker Casey Neistat
While writing this blog I procrastinated 4 times. Hours lost: 2
The fall semester is finally in full swing! Unfortunately, this means that with each passing day, the number of homework assignments, papers, and midterms continues to grow and grow. Most days, I’m able to plan out a schedule for myself, so I can get a decent amount of sleep. However, on rare occasions, even with a schedule, the amount of work I have to do keeps me up to obscenely late hours in the night. It’s during times like these that there is only one thing that I find solace in: music.
I believe that music is a universal language. Even though everyone doesn’t like the same songs or even the same genre of music, we can agree that we all have our favorite songs that make us
“feel some type of way” – Rich Homie Quan
Regrettably, I’ve noticed that a lot of times when people listen to songs, they gloss over the lyrics. This is unfortunate because lyrics are what really makes up and conveys the message of the song.
Below I’ve included SOME of the songs I listen to when I find myself working in the library, a couple hours from sunrise, with no one to keep me company. Before each song, I’ve included a choice lyric – one that I feel resonates with me the most during my late nights in the library. Clicking play on the videos will take you to precisely those lyrics. The songs below are by no means my favorite songs (I’m saving those for another blog post); they simply help me focus and re-motivate myself.
So without further adieu here are 15 SONGS YOU NEED TO LISTEN TO if you’re stressing over the work you have to get done.
1. We Are The Champions – Queen
We are the champions, my friends, And we’ll keep on fighting ’til the end.
2. Superheroes – The Script
When you’ve been fighting for it all your life You’ve been struggling to make things right That’s how a superhero learns to fly (Every day, every hour, turn that pain into power)
3. Lose Yourself – Eminem
You better lose yourself in the music, the moment You own it, you better never let it go You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow This opportunity comes once in a lifetime yo
4. Don’t Worry Be Happy – Bobby McFerrin
In every life we have some trouble When you worry you make it double Don’t worry, be happy
5. Warriors – Imagine Dragons
Here we are, don’t turn away now, We are the warriors that built this town.
6. The Climb – Miley Cyrus
There’s always gonna be another mountain I’m always gonna wanna make it move Always gonna be an uphill battle Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose Ain’t about how fast I get there Ain’t about what’s waitin’ on the other side It’s the climb
7. I Lived – One Republic
I owned every second that this world could give I saw so many places The things that I did Yeah, with every broken bone I swear I lived
8. The Motto – Drake
Now she want a photo You already know though You only live once ‒ that’s the motto, YOLO
9. Stronger – Kelly Clarkson
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger Stand a little taller Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone
10. Chandelier – Sia
I’m gonna live like tomorrow doesn’t exist Like it doesn’t exist I’m gonna fly like a bird through the night, feel my tears as they dry
11. Not Afraid – Eminem
And I just can’t keep living this way So starting today, I’m breaking out of this cage I’m standing up, I’ma face my demons I’m manning up, I’ma hold my ground I’ve had enough, now I’m so fed up Time to put my life back together right now!
12. Let It Go – Idina Menezel (Frozen)
It’s time to see what I can do To test the limits and break through No right, no wrong, no rules for me, I’m free!
13. Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey
Don’t stop believin’ Hold on to that feelin’
14. Eye Of The Tiger – Survivor
Went the distance, now I’m back on my feet Just a man and his will to survive
15. What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
I hear babies crying, I watch them grow They’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know And I think to myself what a wonderful world
Phew! You made it! Hopefully some of these lyrics helped you regain your motivation.
Every Hopkins student and his or her family can remember a conversation during which someone referred to the university as John Hopkins University (leaving out the ‘S’ in Johns). In fact, most students know that one person who, no matter how many times you tell them, keeps referring to the university as John Hopkins University. For example – “You got in to John Hopkins University? Great job!” or “Hows John Hopkins University going?” and even “My friend’s son got into John Hopkins University. Do you know him?” As a sophomore, this is extremely frustrating for me to hear. I can’t fathom how the graduating seniors felt when world-renowned filmmaker Spike Lee mispronounced the university’s name (emphasizing the ‘s’ in Hopkins and leaving out the ‘s’ in Johns) during the commencement ceremony at their graduation last year.
To bring attention to fact that there in fact is an ‘S’ in Johns, the university has adopted a movement known as “Embrace the S”. Especially highlighted during Freshman Orientation, this movement serves not only to bring attention to the ‘S’ in our name but also to help students identify what makes them unique; what their individual ‘S’ is. I personally think that the “Embrace the S” movement is a great one, and that’s why this blog revolves around it. Even though it’s only been a month into my sophomore year, I think I have a good idea of what it’s going to take to survive. Below are my top six tips. Hopefully, seeing so many S’s reminds you that we aren’t John but JohnS Hopkins University!
1. Sacrifice some sleep 🙁
You’re probably thinking: “Sacrifice sleep? I need at least 8 hours of beauty rest each night to function the next morning.” Allow me to explain:
Many in college say that you can really only have 2 of the 3: Sleep, good grades, or a social life. While I don’t advise pulling multiple all nighters in a row, I do believe that ten years down the road you’re not necessarily going to remember the nights you got no sleep, but the grades you got and the journey your success took you on.
2. Spend time with your friends
The people you meet, hangout with, and get close to during your four years in college are going to be some of your best friends even after you graduate. While some may disagree, I think that if you truly are best friends with someone you’ll make it a point to meet up often even if life takes you to opposite sides of the globe.
3. Salad: Mmm yummy!
Unlimited meal plans and freshman fifteen are undoubtedly a thing of last year. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a sophomore sixteen or sophomore seventeen for you to attribute your shape to. So eat healthy, hit the gym, and maybe even make “sophomore slim” a thing.
4. Save your dining dollars
Most sophomores switch to a dining dollar meal plan after having unlimited meal swipes their freshman year. While $1400.00 may seem like a lot of money, 3 meals a day at roughly $7 each leaves you with a cash balance of $0.00 on day 66 of the approximately 100 day semester. You may be thinking – “I never eat breakfast!” or “There’s no way I’m going to spend 21 dollars a day!” Watch out; those 4 dollar bubble teas at Bamboo Cafe and .50 cent per ounce salad bowls at Char Mar sure add up quickly.
5. Search for your true calling
News flash- you’re not a freshman anymore! So when someone asks you what you want to do with your life or what you want to major in, you can’t use “I don’t know. I’m still a freshman.” as an excuse. That’s not to say you need to have the next ten years (or even the next two years) of your life all planned out. I know I sure don’t. You just need to have an idea of what you like and want to pursue and what you don’t and will never do.
6. Seize the day!
As cliché as this may sound- it’s true. You’re only a sophomore once. Heck, you only live once! So make each day count. Be spontaneous. Join that a capella group or dance team you thought you would never have time for. Eat that left over bento box from Bamboo for breakfast. Maybe even take a dip in the president’s pond (or not, this may be illegal). Just don’t have a boring schedule that goes: eat, sleep, Brody, repeat. Because in the end, “Life’s what you make it, so let’s make it rock. Life’s what you make it, so come on come on (everybody now)!”
That’s right, I just quoted Hannah Montana. #Sophomores2k16
About a week ago, I had the opportunity to be a Host Advisor for SOHOP. SOHOP, for those who don’t know, stands for Spring Open House and Overnight Program. It’s an event where accepted students have the opportunity to visit Hopkins and stay overnight in order to gauge whether or not they fit in at the university. As Host Advisor, I had the responsibility of making sure visiting students attended all of the planned programming, were matched with a current student that would host them over night, and felt at home throughout their stay. During SOHOP, I had the opportunity to meet many students, and from my short conversations with them I could tell that each was extremely intelligent and talented in his or her own way.
After conversing with accepted students, I found out that for some, Hopkins was their dream school right from the get-go. However, for others SOHOP would really serve as the deciding factor between whether they would come to Hopkins, or go to some other (obviously not as amazing) school. In order to gauge what their experience at Hopkins would be like if they were to attend, it was the admitted students’ job to ask me all of the questions they had on their minds, and it was my job to truthfully answer them.
In this blog I thought it would be interesting to include some of the most common questions I got, as well my answers to them. I’ve also included some funny questions towards the end, some so silly that you wouldn’t believe they were actually asked.
What is your favorite “thing” about Hopkins?
I got this question a lot. Everyone wants to know that one “thing” that that drew me to and keeps me at Hopkins. I’m fairly certain I’ve addressed this question in one of my earlier blogs, but the simple answer is that I love that at Hopkins everyone is so involved both on and off campus. This is made possible not only because Hopkins students are extremely self motivated, but also because the university offers over 300 different clubs, organizations, and student groups to all of of its students. If you’re interested in seeing what I am involved in, I wrote about it in my last blog titled: “Why I don’t have time for the gym“.
What is your least favorite thing about Hopkins?
I’ve noticed that when students asked me this question they were really curious because until this point they had only heard great things about Hopkins from admissions officers and other faculty. Interestingly enough, my least favorite thing about Hopkins would have to be the rainwater drainage system. You’d think that a school that conducts a lot of engineering-related research would be able to easily handle flooding from rainwater. However, when it does rain a lot (and I mean a lot) walking to class becomes very difficult, especially if I’m trying to stay dry. On one occasion I even packed an extra pair of socks and shoes because I knew there was no way I’d make it to class without being ankle deep in water at some point or another. That being said, I’ve noticed that there has recently been an effort by Hopkins to collect and direct water so that it drains a lot faster. Phew!
Is everyone at Hopkins pre-med?
No! Many people assume this because the university is well known for its research and for its close ties to the Johns Hopkins Medical School; however, everyone is not pre med. In fact, the number of people that graduate pre med is a lot less than you’d think. I’ve noticed that some people come in to Hopkins on the pre med track because they feel pressured to do so by their pre-conceived notion that everyone around them will also be pre med. However, once they’re actually on campus many students realize that there so much that they are interested outside of the world of medicine.
And now for the not so serious questions/silly interactions:
Which calculator will help me get good grades here? I’m kind of conflicted between the Ti 84 Plus Silver Edition and the Ti 89.
Honestly, all that matter is that the calculator has it has numbers… I wouldn’t stress to much about the specific model.
Student: Who is the author of your Physics textbook?
Me: I have no idea. Let me check.
(I look at book)
Me: It says “Halliday”
Student: OHHH! Halliday, Resnick, and Walker are my jam!!!!
If I’m conducting an experiment in the middle of the night and need access to chemicals where do I go?
It took me a couple seconds to realize that this was a relatively serious question. When I realized he was being serious I said:
I am not so sure. Depending on how close you are with a professor, I’m sure you’d be able to work something out. That being said, I don’t think its common for freshman to have overnight lab access.
A question like this shows you how motivated Hopkins students really are!
Can we go out (to a party) tonight (Wednesday night)?
Yeah… we’re going later tonight. It should be on your SOHOP schedule…
(this was my attempt at humor – we did no such thing)
Images provided by JHU and .gifs provided by Giphy.
This year my New Year’s Resolution was to go the gym more often, and for the first couple weeks of the year I was successful. This is because during Intersession I had ample time between class and homework for two-hour long gym sessions. However, once Intersession ended and second semester started, I became a lot busier than I could’ve ever forseen; my daily two-hour long gym routines became weekly one-hour gym visits. Even though I make it a point to go to the gym at least once a week, this isn’t enough for me to stay fit. However, the reason I don’t have time for the gym is perhaps a good one. It’s simply because I am involved in many things around campus, probably too many – and here are a few:
Digital Media Center (DMC)
I spend six hours a week working at the Digital Media Center (DMC). My primary responsibility is to assist patrons with checkouts of various media equipment (from cameras to professional audio). I also teach students how to use various software and equipment around the lab if they are having difficult time with them. You’re probably wondering: What’s a Neuroscience and Applied Math and Statistics double major doing working with media? Interestingly enough, ever since middle school I’ve had a fascination for videography. I used to make short videos with my friends and then edit them for my family and friends to watch. Even though this is still nothing more than a hobby, it’s definitely helped my approach many of my classes with a creative perspective. Over the years I have not only worked with film, but also developed my skills in photography and graphic design. Recently, with the help of some of my friends, I’ve been getting into music mixing and DJ-ing. There is so much that the Digital Media Center has to offer that I likely will make a blog post on the space alone. In the meantime, if you’re on or around campus – stop by. I might even be around to say hello!
Since I love film so much, I took it upon myself to gain experience in the field. I recently got another job working with the videography team for the admissions office. We meet for about four hours a week and work on projects for the Hopkins Admissions YouTube channel. Since I got this job only recently, I haven’t been a part of many of the projects they’ve made this year. Nonetheless, being on the videography team as well as being involved with the Student Admissions Advisory Board (SAAB) and Hopkins Hosting Society give me the opportunity to not only learn film, but also to interact with those who work at and visit the admissions office. By making videos advertising all the great aspects of Hopkins, I in a sense virtually communicate with prospective and admitted students as well as their families. To think that a video we put together could make or break a student’s decision to come to Hopkins amazes me.
Dynamic Perception Lab
On Mondays you can find me in Ames Hall working in Dr. Fischer’s Dynamic Perception Lab. The research conducted there is in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and aims to answer three questions about visual perception. 1) How do we isolate key contents of a scene? 2) How do we predict what will happen next as a scene unfolds? 3) How do we perceive a stable world in the face of noisy input? In order to answer these questions experimental data needs to be collected. Most of the work I do involves creating 3D animations and interactions of objects using Blender, a 3D modeling and animation software. There is a steep learning curve for Blender. Fortunately for me, I was used to 3D modeling as I did a lot of work with Autodesk CAD and Inventor in high school, so learning the software was not as hard as it could have been.
Too add to the two jobs and research I’m involved in, I also have an internship with OrcaTV through which I serve as a Student Ambassador for the Hopkins campus. OrcaTV in a nutshell provides college campuses across the country with the technology to curate university-related content submitted by students and circulate it across media platforms around campus. It’s my job to work with the Director of Content and market the OrcaTV platform to clubs and student groups around campus. So far, I have spoken to a couple student groups and have been pushing for them to use OrcaTV to advertise their events to students. Fortunately, the commitment to OrcaTV isn’t too much. I usually spend an hour or two per week speaking with club leaders and then communicating my progress to the Director of Content. Having this internship has definitely developed my communication and networking skills, and for that I am very grateful.
These are definitely my four most time consuming commitments on campus. Even though they take up a lot of time during the day and keep me up late at night (sometimes till 4 or 5 am – shhh don’t tell my mom) I am happy to be involved in each. This is because from each I learn new things and develop skills in areas that I otherwise would have no access to. For instance, at the DMC I can learn how to use an audio studio, from the admissions videography team I can cultivate my filmmaking kills, by doing research I can learn how to use new 3D modeling softwares, and through OrcaTV I can develop better communication skills. Even though if when I’m older these interests are a thing of the past, I still would be proud to have once been a part of them.
This semester I’m taking Introduction to Business with Professor Aronhime primarily because I’ve recently been considering minoring in Entrepreneurship and Management. E&M, a minor in the Whiting School of Engineering, is one of the most popular minors on campus and exposes students to a wide array of classes designed to equip them to lead in business, professional, and academic arenas. All of this is not to say that I will definitely pursue an E&M minor, rather I’d like to experience the world of business and Intro to Business seems like a perfect way for me to do this.To students who are interested in taking Introduction to Business, be warned – the class is writing intensive. This is something I may have overlooked when I enrolled, but have somehow managed to keep up with the many memos and papers that we have had to write. A couple classes ago, we talked about value investing. Essentially, value investors look for stocks that are trading for less than their intrinsic values and then decide whether or not to invest in them. This may seem ambiguous, but I’ve learned that there are many qualitative and quantitative analyses one can use to determine whether or not a company is undervalued and ultimately whether or not they should be investing in it. Investors make a lot of money from doing this alone, and I am surprised that there aren’t many more of them. I have included an excerpt from a paper I wrote (removing some mathematical jargon) for Introduction to Business about whether or not Chipotle would be a profitable investment.
Chipotle: Risky Business?
Who doesn’t love Chipotle? The Mexican Grill with over 1,200 restaurants worldwide offers savory, yet healthy, food for relatively cheap prices. More importantly, it combines the speediness everyone appreciates about fast food restaurants with the tastefulness everyone loves about fine-dining. While customers may love everything about Chipotle, I learned that some investors say that now is terrible time to invest in the company especially considering its recent involvement with faulty food sanitation. However, after investigating and analyzing Chipotle’s specs I’ve found that the franchise may in fact be undervalued which would mean that now would be a good time to invest in the company. In the proceeding paper, I will be providing both a qualitative and quantitative analysis of Chipotle to show not only why I think it may be undervalued but also to support my claim that if this is so, why the franchise would be an opportune investment.Even though in the past couple of months Chipotle has been under inspection due to its methods of food preparation and for outbreaks of E.Coli and Norovirus, the restaurant has a great overall brand and is actively working to fix the health issues it may have caused; therefore, the franchise isn’t going anywhere. By this I meant that the multimillion dollar food company is not going to let a bad batch of lettuce or meat result in its filing for bankruptcy any time in the near future. To add, Chipotle has recently started working with Burson Marsteller a renowned communications and relations firm through which it plans to enact several food-safety procedures and fund a multimillion dollar marketing campaign in order to ultimately increase its quarterly and annual earnings; the company is headed in the right direction. Similarly, as mentioned previously, the fast casual restaurant industry is on the rise due to both it’s efficiency and sophistication, so it’s likely that Chipotle will be frequented by many customers in the months to come.
It wouldn’t mean much that people enjoyed going to fast casual restaurants and eating the food Chipotle offered if the economy overall was not doing so well. This is because people are willing to spend money only when they feel confident about their financial situation. In order for society to feel confidence, the economy has to be on the rise. Fortunately for Chipotle, while the economy has seen better days, it is not in a state of recession and it does not appear to be approaching one. In fact, a quick analysis of the graph for the Dow Jones Industrial Average over the past three years has shown that the economy is progressing. From the aforementioned qualitative analyses of both Chipotle’s traits and the current economic climate, I believe there is sufficient information to show that Chipotle as a company will thrive in the coming years.However, a qualitative analysis alone is not sufficient to prove Chipotle’s profitability. On the quantitative side of the matter, things are also looking good for the franchise. Namely Chipotle’s calculated price to earnings, inventory turnover, and overall earnings per share ratios have all been favorable since 2014. In 2014, Chipotle’s price to earnings ratio was at 52.87 and in 2015 it dropped to 33.88. This 19-unit drop suggests that less money needs to be invested in chipotle for a dollar profit to be made and this is likely a result of the company being undervalued. Similarly, for Chipotle, from 2014 to 2015, the inventory turnover rate increased from 210.78 to 219.06. This increase of around 8 units, while by no means a very large, illustrates that over time Chipotle has been increasing sales, most likely due to an increase in demand for Chipotle over the years. Lastly, in 2014, Chipotle’s earnings per share were $14.13 and in 2015 the value increased to $15.10. While minimal, this net increase of $0.97 suggests that Chipotle is making more money and thus heading in a good direction.
To an investor, the trends in these ratios are somewhat favorable. Collectively, the decrease in the price to earnings ratio and the increases in the inventory turnover rate and the earnings per share show that currently, Chipotle may be undervalued, suggesting that if invested in its share price will rise and that a profit will be made. Right now, the cost for one share of Chipotle is $524.29, which is higher than most stocks. The company has a 52-week high of $758.61 and a 52-week low of $399.14, respectively most likely over and undervaluations. Since it is beneficial to buy low and sell high, and the current stock price is closer to the 52-week low than it is to the 52-week high, it is likely that the share price will go up with time than down. My analysis suggests that an investment in Chipotle at this point in time is favorable from both a qualitative and quantitative perspective. Overall, I believe it is Chipotle’s simplistic yet effective business model that attracts customers and this combined with the quantitative analysis makes the company likely to grow over time and that makes it a valuable asset. That being said, the stock price (even at its 52-week low) is rather high and I know I don’t have that kind of money to spend on one stock.
TL; DR: Introduction to Business is fun, and an investment in Chipotle is most likely not as risky as you may think.Image Credits
Now that my second semester at Hopkins is well underway, I’ve realized that I’m spending a lot more time in the library this semester than I did last semester. Of course this makes sense to some degree because my grades are no longer covered, and so I need to work a lot harder. However, I think it’s gotten to the point where I’m in the library more than I’m in my own room. If you’re wondering why, it’s because I’m taking 17 credits, working a job, doing research, interning, and am involved in like five additional clubs. Even though having so many time commitments is no walk in the park, my involvement in each has already been very rewarding and I cannot imagine how much I’ll learn from them in the years to come.
For those that don’t know, the Hopkins library system is made up of both the Milton S. Eisenhower Library (MSE) and Brody Learning Commons (Brody). To makes things easy, for the rest of this blog I’ll be referring to them both as “Brody”. In fact, because both buildings are connected underground, students just call them “Brody” as well. At Hopkins, most freshman study and do their homework in Brody. That’s because it has a very collaborative atmosphere and allows spaces for students to not only work alone quietly, but also in groups where things can get a little noisy. Upperclassmen, especially those who live off campus, tend to work in their apartments or houses because they are usually pretty spacious (especially compared to the AMRs). Since I spend so much time in the library, I thought it would be interesting for me to share how where I sit in Brody correlates with the work I’m doing.
Brody atrium is always “lit” for lack of a better word. Whether its 12 p.m. and you stop by in between classes or its 2 a.m. and you’re heading back to your dorm, you will always see someone you know working in the atrium. For me, regardless of what floor I start working on on a given day, I will always somehow end up in the atrium. Sometimes I end up here because I need a break from my work, but other times (more times than I’d like to admit) it’s because it’s past 3 a.m. (when MSE closes) and security is pushing me over to the Learning Commons section which fortunately is open 24/7. The atrium also has many comfy couches and small tables for group studying. I have yet to decide whether or not the comfy couches are a good thing; they might actually be too comfy. Some nights, I’ve fallen asleep on them and have woken up a couple hours later only to realize that I hadn’t gotten any work done.
Q and M levels are in fact two separate levels. If you enter Brody from the side of the Gilman Quad, you start off on Q level, and the floor right underneath is M level. The reason I’m writing about them together is because I don’t know that much about them simply because I’m barely ever on them. However, I’ve noticed that these floors tend to be the noisiest, and that there are always small groups sitting around a table either working on a group project or chatting with each other. I honestly think that during my one and a half semesters at Hopkins, I’ve probably studied on Q and M levels like once (if even) and I don’t really have a good reason for why this is so. I have friends who study on these levels and they’ve never had any complaints, so studying here is something I’ll probably be doing a lot more of in the coming weeks.
A level is set up with long sets of tables; so, it’s perfect for group work, but not that conducive to solo study sessions. A majority of my friends (especially upperclassmen) study on A level. I think that a student’s productivity on A level directly correlates with who they are sitting around and also what time of the day it is. If you sit around your friends and are not all working on the same assignment, there is a good chance that you will all get distracted (I know I do). Also during the evening, A level tends to get really noisy because it’s so crowded and this makes it hard to concentrate. As it gets later into the night, many people leave and it becomes a lot easier to do work. I’d say after 12 a.m. is when you can find me on A level (assuming I don’t have too much work to do or am not studying for a midterm/final).
I think B level is where Brody transitions from a place for collaborative homework sessions to a zone for serious studying. This is because B level mostly filled with individual desks (sort of like cubicles) for people to setup all of their work and then stay in the same spot for hours on end. When I’m doing my homework, whether it’s a problem set for Physics or a writing assignment for Introduction to Business you will definitely find me on A level. After my classes end for the day, I usually find a desk (close but not too close to my friends) and take control of it for the rest of the night. It’s interesting because as time passes, I notice that my desk gets covered in coffee cups from my frequent runs to Brody café.
During my first semester, I was rarely on C level. However, this semester I’ve realized that C level is a great place for me to be when I’m studying for a midterm. C level tends to be a lot quieter than B level, and this is perfect for when I’m trying to teach myself a new concept the night before an exam. As I write this blog, I’m actually sitting on C level simultaneously studying for my Introduction to Business midterm which is coming up on a couple days. Wish me luck!
Honestly, D level scares me a little. It’s extremely quiet, usually empty, and an AT&T dead zone (probably because it so far underground). It is so quiet that I’ve gotten angry looks from D level studiers when I open my backpack too noisily or even drop my pencil. I’ve been to D level like twice, and this was only because it was finals week and the rest of the library was full (I literally looked everywhere before coming to D). In seriousness, D level is the place to be if you are really looking for some alone/quiet time.
All around Brody there are state-of-the-art glass study pods and rooms that can be reserved. These pods have 360 degree writable surfaces and are equipped with modern screen projection software. My first semester especially, I took advantage of these pods and reserved them for hours on end. I have since then come to realize that maybe group studying is not for me, especially when my friends and I are all studying for exams in different classes. Next time you’re in Body make sure to stop by and say hi!
Whether or not you go to Hopkins, there is a good chance you’ve taken or will have to take two semesters of physics. It’s a requirement for many majors and highly recommended for pre-medical students. However, if you’re reading this and you’re a high school student, I’d highly recommend taking (and of course doing well on) the AP exam in both Physics Mechanics and Electricity & Magnetism. Getting double 5’s just may come in handy once you’re in college. To those that did and placed out of both Physics 1 and 2 – I envy you.
In this blog post, I’m going to be talking about the three biggest tips I have for getting through and doing well in Physics 2. While Physics 2 is by no means one of the most difficult classes offered at Hopkins, the amount of work it takes is often underestimated by students – especially freshmen. So help me, help you, beat the system.
1) Actively watch pre-lectures
I say this with an emphasis on “ACTIVELY”. For those who don’t know, pre-lecture assignments are universities’ way of exposing students to physics subject matter before they come to class. It piggy backs on the reverse classroom initiative, where students are initially exposed to material at home and then their knowledge of that material is furthered during class. Most of the time the pre lecture is a set of videos – each explaining a particular concept. These assignments are helpful IF you actually take notes while watching the videos. During my first semester, when I was in Physics 1 and grades were covered, I found that I could get by by simply listening to the videos. However, when I tried doing that this semester for Physics 2, I realized that boy I was wrong. Not only is the material more difficult this semester, I also hold myself to a higher standard now that grades actually count now. Yipee!
2) Don’t sit next to your buddies during lecture
Even though it is extremely tempting to pop a squat next to your best buds in class, I’ve found that there is a negative correlation between how close you are with the people you are sitting next to and the amount of information you learn during a lecture. When I sit next to my friends, it doesn’t take much for me to lose my focus. In seconds I’ve gone from attentively listening to a lecture about electric fields and Gauss’s Law to having a Facebook Poke war with my friends sitting next to me. All of that is not to say that you can’t learn sitting next your friends. In fact, if you’re sitting next to someone you know, you can consult with them if you’re struggling with a concept. However, if you’re anything like me, you’ll try to sit away from your friends for a couple of classes and then use the fact that you can ask them for help if you’re sitting next to them to justify to yourself why you’re sitting with them again.
3. Don’t fall behind
Unfortunately, falling behind is easier than catching up. This is true not only for physics, but also for any cumulative class. By cumulative I’m referring to any class where every new topic assumes your understanding of the previous material. Surprisingly, I’ve found that whenever I’ve fallen behind in a class it’s because I’d thought I was doing well. For instance, on my first midterm this semester in physics, I did pretty well (at least compared to the average lol). I had worked really hard for this, but shortly after I received my grade I stopped putting in nearly as much effort. Luckily, I caught myself and have been spending more time on the weekends trying to learn all the information I may have missed from passively watching pre lectures or by fooling around during class. Let me tell ya, catching up is not fun – especially when you’re in a bunch of other class that demand a certain time commitment every week. In fact, it may even be beneficial to get ahead of your class. However, this is better said than done.
I’d say that these are the three biggest tips I have for getting through a semester of physics. Obviously, there are other measures you can take to do well in the class – take good notes, highlight information in your textbook, maybe even go to your professors’ office hours. But I’m sure you already knew that. Even though it may seem that the people who do well in physics are geniuses, there is a good chance that they aren’t – they probably just know how to study (and have read this blog post ;)). These tips work for me, and trust me I’m no genius.
What I noticed, especially after talking to my high school friends over winter break, is that each college has its own terms – slang if you will – understood only by its students. At Hopkins we use words, abbreviations, and acronyms to describe places, areas, and things on and around campus. If you’re unfamiliar with Hopkins terminology you will undoubtedly find the following list helpful, but if you’re already a Blue Jay who uses these terms in conversation I’m sure you’ll still be surprised by the extent of our “Hopkins vocabulary”!
I’ve mentioned the FFC many times in my blogs, but for my infrequent readers FFC stands for Fresh Food Cafe. As a freshman, the FFC is your main dining hall. It features buffet style dining with various different food stations including a salad bar and an international food bar. If you have an unlimited meal plan (I do and would recommend this to all freshmen), you can swipe into the FFC as many times a day as you want. On most days, I eat three meals at the FFC – breakfast, lunch, and dinner. However, the FFC is open all day so I’ve been known to swipe in just to grab a banana if I’m running late for my morning class or to grab a glass of milk before heading to bed.
CharMar is an abbreviation for Charles Street Market. It’s conveniently located on campus on North Charles Street right across from the Hopkins sign. I find that freshman who live in Wolman, McCoy, and Hopkins Inn frequent CharMar a lot more than those live in the AMRs (like me). CharMar is essentially a grocery store for Hopkins students. Here you can find food from sushi to crepes and other day-to-day items from spiral notebooks to toothpaste. The best part is that CharMar is most often open past midnight. This is great for people like me who stay up late into the night.
UniMini is an abbreviation for University Mini Market. It is a locally-owned convenience store right off of campus on St. Paul Street. It is open 24/7 and sells anything you could imagine. In fact, it is cheaper than CharMar so a lot of people tend to frequent UniMini more than they do CharMar. The highlight of UniMini is its grill which is open daily until 3AM. The food on their menu is endless. My personal favorite is their mozzarella sticks (or as we call them “mozz sticks”).
JCash refers to a type of Johns-Hopkins “currency”. Even though it may seem exclusive to purchases made only on campus, local business can choose to accept JCash. JCash is accepted at all locations on campus, but is also accepted at Subway, Chipotle, Barnes and Noble and UniMini on St. Paul Street. I find that JCash is very convenient because I can use it to buy textbooks, access printers, and pay for laundry machines. Also, my parents can deposit money into my card when they see that I’m running low on JCash!
I hope that you found this list helpful. If there is anything that you think I left out feel free to leave a comment letting me know!