- Class: Senior
- Major: Other Natural Science And Mathematics
- Gender: M
- High School: John Marshall High School
- Transfer Student: N
JHU is a great school, not too big though at times it can feel pretty claustrophobic depending on your social circle. Most people don't have much to say about JHU when you tell them you go there aside from "Oh? Are you going to become a doctor?" which gets really tiring. Also you have to constantly hear it being called "John Hopkins" or even worse "John Hopkin". Aside from that they also never really know where in the country it is. I, myself fall into the studious type with tendencies to slack. I often find myself spending 12 hours plus on campus for classes and studying and often times pulling all-nighters stalking the halls of the library. Though other times I will skip classes and go out partying on a Wednesday. Baltimore has a large array of clubs and bars so there is usually something for everyone, though getting around town can be a hassle if you don't want to constantly pay for cab fare. As there is a split in the types of students at JHU there is also a split in school pride. Lots of kids avoid school functions and things which some say JHU is well known for (read: Lacrosse) and in general no one really goes around yelling "YEAH HOPKINS!" unless they are in a team or good friends with them. Mostly people at JHU have one thing on their minds, which is graduating unscathed. JHU is competitive and very demanding. The competition is not particularly vicious as rumor has it, but you will work a lot regardless of your major (though some question that, as I would to but I'm not here to point fingers). Though the disparity of work does show up often, as the engineering school students occasionally call the Arts and Sciences students "Arts and Crafts majors". This isn't completely fair as some engineers do almost no work while some neuroscience majors are the most studious people on campus. The most annoying part of JHU is the lack of many things you'd expect on a college campus, its size limits what it has. There is no 24hr cheap good food place on campus, you have to go off campus (though really the walk isn't too far) and even at that the few 24hr places there are in the area get old fast. LIkewise there is only one location to study that is open 24hr. The area around JHU is also not the college friendliest place in the world, there are often many noise complaints and Baltimore has a law that two in a certain period leads to your house being closed so it is a big issue. The school doesn't do a great job of defending students and as we are also not very organized aside from the few committed students nothing gets done about it.
Most classes at JHU, once past the intro classes that are typically 100 or more students in size, are fairly small. Some will be no more than 20 students, and many not more than a dozen. Professors learn your names and if you want will interact with you as often as you'd like. That being said, some aren't friendly and some are immensely friendly. The fact that professors are so invested in their classes they expect a lot from you, and most of them being as small as they are you can't skate by easily. Class participation happens a lot, though often times it ends up being simply two or three (sometimes more) people talking and asking questions while everyone else is silent. Some people discuss things outside of class, though some don't like to mix social with academic. I don't spend much time outside of class with my professors personally, though some students do. JHU education is interesting in that the general requirements are minimal. There are no general classes and the few requirements you do have can be filled by any class you'd like that meets the requirement. The departments do have stricter policies on requirements, however those are always geared towards what you need to be a successful student in that major. This gives people a lot of options as to how they build their degree, and it's a great system. The only draw back is students are mostly left to their own discretion about what to take and typically without a good plan someone can easily have to stay an extra year.
JHU has a lot of range in it's student body, which I feel is due to good admissions practices. That being said you can see some trends at times. Most JHU students are middle to upper middle class. There is pretty good relations among the students, though some people in the greek system can be very cliquish. Other than that there is not much student involvement. Most people will be in one or two groups and focus on that. However those tend to be non-activist groups such as literary magazines or the like.
The Best Things
The academics and colorful Baltimore
The Worst Things
The awful social life