A Kameo Appearance

Just a third culture kid's musings on Baltimore, Biomedical Engineering, burgers, and everything in between. *Disclaimer: Not everything discussed within these blogs begins with the letter B.

Month: February 2016

The Best College Investments You’ll Ever Make

All you incoming freshman are probably trying to figure out what you need to get for your dorm, figuring out the clothes to buy for Baltimore weather, and overall planning the start of your college career. Given, those things are necessary, but there are also a few other things that you’re going to want in order to make it through the weeks here. Needless to say, they may not seem too important right now, but trust me, they make life so much better.

Spotify: First off, students get a discount so a Spotify premium account only costs $4.99 a month. Sure, it’s not as grand as Leonardo DiCaprio finally winning an Oscar, but it’s still pretty great. More to the point though, Spotify is just ridiculously useful to have. It’s the kind of thing that seems pointless before you get it, but once you do, there’s no turning back.


Irrelevant but necessary

Netflix: This list wouldn’t really be complete if Netflix weren’t mentioned. It’s every college student’s best friend. It’s where you turn when you have a midterm in 12 hours and decide to have a panic attack. It’s where you turn after you bomb said midterm and need to avoid another panic attack. Finally, it’s where you turn when you want nothing more than to chill (no pun intended) in your room and binge watch an entire season (or 9) of How I Met Your Mother.


Amazon Prime for Students: This actually comes in more useful than you’d think. Better yet, being a college student gets you a free 6-month trial of Amazon Prime (yes, that does mean free 2-day shipping on everything). Need materials for a project to get here quick? Amazon Prime. Want to send a friend a gift? Amazon Prime. Have some extra cash to spend? Amazon Prime. Need to take a step back and reevaluate your finances? Amazon Prime. Went broke buying all this cool stuff on Amazon Prime? Amazon Prime.

I may have a bit of a problem…


A Microwave: Oh yeah, there’s actually some practical advice on this list too. Right so I didn’t get a microwave until second semester. That was a mistake. Again, a microwave is the kind of thing that seems trivial at first, but once you get one, it’s a whole new world. You can make Hot Pockets in your dorm. In. Your. Dorm.

Are there other uses for a microwave? Yes. Are they better than Hot Pockets in your dorm? Nope.

You've made it this far, here's an exploding microwave.

You’ve made it this far, here’s an exploding microwave.

Mini-Fridge: Alright, if you choose not to get anything else on this list, definitely get the mini-fridge. Why? It’s simple: you’re going to be keeping snacks in your dorm. Snacks mean drinks. Drinks are better when cold. Fridges cool things.

I rest my case.




Musical Genres and the Semester

In the same way my preference for genres switches just like that, so does the pace and environment of the semesters at Hopkins. Along those lines, I decided to come up with a list of genres to appropriately describe your emotions as various events throughout the semester unfold.

R&B (aka. Coming Back from Break)

It’s the beginning of the semester, everyone is both happy to be back at it and not at all ready to experience another semester of possible heartbreak. It’s a very bittersweet time, and you have no idea in which way the next experience will make your emotions sway. The highs and lows are ubiquitous, managing to provide a reassuring feeling of being back where you belong.


Rap (aka. Sitting Through Lectures)

It’s the type of experience that will either be gripping and insightful or tiring and repetitive, without a middle ground. While there are few professors, err, artists, that everyone agrees are amazing, you won’t be hard pressed to find yourself in an argument about the good and bad qualities of everyone you’ve had the luxury of listening to.


Pop (Top 40) (aka. Finally Getting out of Lecture, Finally Finishing an Exam, Getting an A, Making it to Friday in One Piece, Sleeping in on the Weekend…You get the point)

By all means, considering how prevalent it is, this really should get old, but for some inexplicable reason it doesn’t. Oh, and there’s always some new experience with which you’ll find yourself feeling this way. It’s the type of feeling that makes it easy to relate to someone in any setting. There are a few who have a distaste for it, but for the most part, it’s pretty, uh, popular.


Classical Music (aka. Studying for Midterms)

Everyone acknowledges its importance, and knows that without it, the modern music we enjoy overwhelming success we crave wouldn’t be a reality. Regardless, that doesn’t make us like it any more. It becomes tough to bear for prolonged periods of time without getting bored or distracted, unless you’re one of the few who really enjoy it, in which case, you’re going places.


Metal (aka. Heading to a Midterm)

It’s like coffee without the coffee. It’ll wake you up in a second. It makes it hard for you to focus, but it gets you pumped. You don’t know what to expect next, but you know that it’s definitely not going to slow down.


Emo (aka. Failing a Midterm)

It happens. As much as you don’t want it to, it does. What now? Let out all your emotions and be sad for a while until you resolve to do better next time and pick yourself back up.


EDM (aka. Weekends)

I don’t need to explain, right? Right.













Joining a Design Team

For all you incoming BMEs out there, I’m sure you know a lot about what Hopkins BME has to offer, but here’s one thing you might not know about: design team. At the most fundamental level, you work with a team of other BMEs, primarily upperclassmen, to design a medical device. I don’t mean you just come up with something and present it to your classmates at the end of the semester. With design team, you work for legitimate grants and business competitions to get your team’s idea made into a reality. Freshmen only get this opportunity in the second semester of the year, and are placed onto teams that have already been working since first semester, or potentially even before.

So, how do you get onto one? Bribes are a good start. I mean, nail the interview(s). Basically, towards the end of your first semester the whole process starts, and all of a sudden, virtually every BME freshman is interviewing for a design team. Over the course of those 2 weeks, you’ll be asked which team you’re interviewing for about as much as people are asking you where you’re going to college right now. The point is, the interviews are all about interest, not experience. Upperclassmen know that most freshman hardly have any experience in terms of design, which is why this opportunity exists. That being said, it never hurts to bring something (anything) to the table. Personally, I highlighted my public speaking ability. It doesn’t have to be something extraordinary, just set you apart. Fast forward through a bunch of interviews and then it’s up to the teams to decide if you got the part. Regardless of whether you do or not, it’s still a great experience, and I highly recommend it for any incoming BMEs. It’s a chance to do real BME work your first year, and it gives you a chance to see if you want to design or if you’d prefer research. You’ll learn more about it when you come to campus, but if you’re curious, I’ll leave the link to the design department at the bottom of this blog.

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