College Criteria

Dana, Sara and I at Bid Day, which we planned!

One of my brothers, Simon, is a junior in high school, and currently preparing to go on his weeklong epic college tour with my mom. Hearing about their plans (I think at one point they were going to attempt to see 7 schools in 6 days) has brought back memories of my own college-search journey, and the many many schools I visited.

Being the aggressive organized person that I was (and still am…), I knew what questions I needed answered by my visits. There were six main subject areas I wanted to hear about – I felt that I could make a solid judgment about each school based on this criteria.

Fun with my APhi Family before Date Party!

While I have talked about these topics in-depth in my previous blogs, I thought that not only would it be helpful for this information to be condensed, but I thought that instead of the focus being my experiences with these topics, I would highlight all the other amazing ways to learn about Hopkins, i.e. through my peers’ blogs and different online resources available. Enjoy!

Food. If you are a Jay Talking regular, you are well aware of the fact that I love to eat. So obviously when college shopping, I knew it was a necessity that I go to a school with a great dining.

Check out JHU_Kate’s food review of the freshman cafeteria, the FFC, in this great blog. She puts on five different disguises and then writes about her experiences as each different diner. Seeing as JHU_Kate is also a food fanatic, she wrote another blog about her favorite things to order while eating out in Kate’s Ideal Menu.

You also might want to take a look at the forums discussion about the Best Restaurants Around Campus. Current students give their input on their favorite haunts in Charles Village. I also wrote a blog about my personal favorites, called Breaking Bread in B-Town.

Humanities. I knew without doubt as a high school student that I would spend my four years of college taking as many humanities courses with as little science-math classes as possible. So needless to say I was looking for a school with a strong emphasis on the humanities. Now I know, Hopkins isn’t what first comes to mind when one thinks of humanities, but hear me out.

Before Icewater - Round 1 of Recruitment!

About one third of students on the Homewood campus are in the humanities and social sciences. As you can see, we are hardly all pre-meds. In fact, about seventy-five percent of the Class of 2009 enrolled in graduate school is in non-medicine fields of study. Several of our humanities programs are awarded top 10 national rankings consistently, including French, German, English, History, Art History and Writing Seminars.

If you are an intended humanities major, you should definitely explore the website that Admissions Office, in conjunction with the Kreiger School of Arts and Sciences launched, available here.

You can read testimonials from current Hopkins humanities students on this forum discussion, and this guest blog about life as a humanities major. I wrote my own blog about writing assignments I had last semester, and don’t forget to browse this list of humanities departments!

Dorms. One of the coolest projects Hopkins Interactive works on, in my opinion, is our online video series called Hopkins Cribs. These are videos of actual JHU students being filmed in their (not staged) dorm room!

Pledge Aunt & Mom blowing up balloons for Bid Day!

For freshman, there are three options for dorms, each suitable for a different kind of student so you are pretty much guaranteed to find a dorm that works with your living needs. In a nutshell, Wolman is suite-style living – perfect if you like AC and your own bathroom and kitchenette. Buildings A&B are for the student looking for a quieter atmosphere, AC and suite-style living. The AMRs are for the more social student, looking for a traditional double experience and communal bathrooms.

Internships. As a prospective student, I needed confirmation that the institution I would help me further my professional aspirations, whatever they turned out to be. Hopkins has amazing resources to help students in the exhausting challenging search for an internship. The Career Center is a great jumping off point, as JHU_Nick explained in his blog – he’s working at Goldman Sachs this summer! Entrepreneurship & Management is an extremely popular major on campus, which you can read about in this guest blog! Our very own JHU_Ruthie obtained an internship for the semester as a freshman at a local Baltimore paper, and I myself have secured an internship in London for the summer!

Welcoming the lil Phi's on the Breezeway!

Greek Life. As you can read in my most recent blog about Greek Life, Spring Phi-ver, I was adamant about attending a university where Greeks did not overwhelm the social scene. I have found sorority life at Hopkins to be an excellent compliment to all my other activities on campus. 25% of students are involved in fraternities or sororities, so it is prominent, but not dominate. You can read all about Greek Life at Hopkins on their official website, or you can check out their Facebook page. Having recently gone through sorority rush (which is why all of my pictures are sorority-related), JHU_Allysa (and my Alpha Phi sister!) just blogged about her experience in this great blog.

Study Abroad. My last requirement was that there would be ample opportunity for me to study abroad. Between the Intersession Abroad Programs, the Summer Abroad Programs and the Semester Abroad Programs, Hopkins provides students with ample opportunities to gain that overseas academic experience. JHU_Sarah recently came back from a semester in Spain, and JHU_Lauren was in South Africa last year. JHU_Dominique and I both took advantage of the Intersession Abroad Programs – she went to Ghana and I went to Madrid.

On my 28th campus tour, I realized I had found a school that fulfilled all six of my criteria. Needless to say that campus tour was of my very own HOMEwood.

3 thoughts on “College Criteria

  1. fabulous blog tessssy t, as usual! guess your plan to avoid math/science classes didnt work out too well but im so glad i have a calc 1 buddy (yeah… calc 1… no shame) also love the fact that every pic on here reps aphi. love, jose’s #1 fan

  2. Your college search sounds so much like mine … mainly because we share that aggressive organizational ability. I’ll have to show you my spiral notebook of college reviews, and the gold star system I set-up. Yes, it was quite elaborate.