In the past month, I’ve begun to feel restless. My days are jam packed with classes, rehearsals, meetings, and events, but my mind has been yearning for something different. With the constant activities, I’ve started to realize that all I want is a day in the library. It sounds weird, but I really feel like that’s what’s missing. To sit in the naturally sunlit atrium, the coffee charged cafe at the upper entrance of Brody, or even a quiet table on C level is the only thing that could possibly bring me solace in this whirlwind of my junior year.
With this newfound love for the occasional sedentary afternoon, I found myself looking at the remainder of my coursework for my degree and realized that my senior year was looking pretty light. Most people would jump at the opportunity to take an easier semester and do something for themselves, but a few weeks ago, I made a choice.
I’m also doing something for myself. I’m just taking a slightly different approach.
A common tour statistic boasts that 60% of Hopkins students declare a second major or a minor to accompany their primary major. For the past two years, I have proudly waved my single major flag high, but for the first time, I’m proud to be a statistic. At 2:45PM on Monday afternoon, I walked in to speak with the head of the Mathematics department and walked out with a second major 18 minutes later.
So why mathematics?
A video: See Professor Richard Brown’s response to this question to understand how I got interested in a math degree. I remember watching this late at night during my freshman fall and I’m pretty sure I teared up a little. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kg2mOl042ng
A feeling: Barring my freshman spring, I have taken a course in the Mathematics or Applied Math & Statistics department every semester I’ve been at Hopkins. I have found that being in a math class helps me to stay motivated, because I always have a homework assignment that I’m eager to work through. Being able to come back to that math homework has always been comforting. Math is always something I can come back to and work through by myself, so it also gives me the alone time that I need in a world of engineering collaboration and teamwork.
A future: I don’t know what I want to do for grad school. I know I want to go, but I don’t know for where or for what. Maybe I want to go somewhere to continue studying chemical engineering or biological engineering, or maybe I want to change courses completely and study math. Either way, my coursework is set for the next two semesters, and it will be in my senior spring that I make the decision to take either Analysis II & Algebra II, or Partial Differential Equations & Dynamical Systems. The first route allows me to root myself in a purely mathematical world, where the second will strengthen my knowledge of my current major and research.
A question: If I’ve enjoyed my courses in the math department this much in the past, why not?