I experienced my first Hopkins homecoming this past weekend, filled with a multitude of selfies, sunburns, and lots of LAX. Picture this, the stands filled with Hopkins students, the campus more alive than its ever been, and so many people of all ages enjoying the homecoming festivities, that is precisely what homecoming weekend is all about. Homecoming was a time to get away from the library and the classroom and time to get out and soak up the sun, so that’s exactly what I did with my weekend.
One of the beauties of Hopkins homecoming is the fact that ours is celebrated over a lacrosse game, which, before this year, was a foreign subject to me. Thanks to my fraternity brothers, I have learned that the best possible way to learn about a game is to watch it, yell out a lot of random words, scream when everyone else screams, and to learn the fight song.
Homecoming was the time where everyone was out of their dorms and in the stands. It was a time for everyone to hang out with friends, meet new people, and meet alumni to hear stories about Hopkins from the past. Also, and most importantly, it was a time for our university to come together as one communal unit to support something that may seem so simple, but was so complex in its affects on our community.
The most important aspect of any sporting competition is the idea of crowning a winner, and after excessive blood, sweat, and tears, we reigned victorious. 16-9, the score to remember, the score that marked a day of community, and the score that marked the best darn day I have had at Hopkins.
About a year ago, I was going through the extremely frustrating/fulfilling process of choosing where to spend the next four years of my life, what city I would eventually call home, and what alma mater I would be proudly supporting for the rest of my life. This decision was not one to be taken lightly, so I made it using that exact attitude. I split the idea of choosing a college into three sections, and ranked each prospective school according to those sections. Academics, campus life, and social life all were my biggest decision makers, and because of those factors, I chose Hopkins.
Academics is, by far, the most important factor when choosing a college. I knew when looking at colleges that I wanted to go into Public Health (knowing some idea of what you want to do helps out a lot in the process), so I obviously looked at Hopkins’ Public Health program. Hopkins’ undergraduate Public Health program was well-established, internationally recognized, and is known to be very hands on. The biggest draw to Hopkins’ Public Health program was the fact that as undergraduates, Public Health majors are able to take classes at the esteemed Bloomberg School of Public Health, which is ranked as the best in the nation by U.S. Academically speaking, Hopkins was the obvious choice, but although academics are extremely important, they are not the only factor to take into account while choosing a school.
My high school had about 200 students. I also went to the same school from Kindergarten to senior year. Needless to say, a close community was a definite necessity during my college search, and that, in itself, was a hard thing to define. I basically knew that I wanted the type of school where when you walk into the library, you see group studying, not people isolated in cubicles, where when you walk in the lunch room, you can barely hear yourself think because of the excessive conversation, and where when you walk into the dorms, you see people, not just closed doors. I found this exact atmosphere when I visited Hopkins. And ever since arriving at Hopkins, I have constantly felt like part of a big family, and most importantly, a family that would never stop growing.
Although a somewhat less important topic, social life was definitely a deciding factor for me. Social life, in my book, is defined as what people do when they aren’t in class, studying, or participating in extra-curricular activities. When looking at Hopkins, the obvious stand out factors are academics and campus life, but the social life is what has grown to surprise me. I came to Hopkins with the same attitude as every Freshman, “Hopkins is too great at academics to also excel socially.” I quickly realized that it was the opposite, because all Hopkins students spend time and effort to excel academically, we also put in that same effort to have fun when we can. Whether you are a part of Greek Life, a sports team, or none of the above, there are so many avenues to remain socially active. These can include exploring Baltimore, attending events on campus (such as the HOP’S Friday Night Films, shameless plug), or just spending time with friends on the beach.
College decisions are so difficult, but it all is so much more difficult is you don’t take the time to visit each school you are deciding between. My decision was made when I visited Hopkins for the first time, and I knew that I could see myself as a part of the Hopkins community. On that note, come to SOHOP!!!!!!