- Major: Other
- Gender: F
- High School: Phoenix Country Day School
- Transfer Student: N
The best thing about JHU is that you can have as much or as little of a presence as you want. It's a small school, so you can make an impact in student life, get your teachers to know who you are, etc - or you can just coast by. For me it's the perfect size, because I know a lot of people but don't know a lot more, yet still don't feel like I'm drowning in anonymity like I would at some 40,000+ university. If I could change one thing it'd be the bureaucracy. It's way too hard to get things done, sometimes, because paperwork, complicated procedures and unhelpful university staff get in the way. When I tell people I go to JHU, most assume I want to be a doctor. I don't spend much time on campus. There's not really a "college town" either, though now there's this row of shops on St. Paul that is kind of a sad attempt at a college town, and at least an improvement on what it used to be. There's 0 school pride, outside sports. Still, no one really came here for school spirit, so it's not something anyone worries about - the biggest complaints are usually the food, the housing, and the administration, instead.
Professors know who you are in seminar classes. Whether they know you in giant lecture classes depends on how many questions you ask them outside of class. Don't be one of those people who has discussions with the Prof in the middle of a 300 person lecture. Class participation in seminars is necessary, not just common, though lectures you can sit on your hands and get by just fine. Students study as much as they need to for the class, but there's a pretty heavy study culture here. There's not much competition in my major (Writing Seminars) other than with oneself, but a friend of mine, while studying for finals, once saw a pair of lost glasses in the library, and in his sleep-deprived delirium thought "Maybe it's someone else in my class! I should break them!" Thankfully, he didn't. JHU has some idiotic distribution requirements, and if you aren't in a reading- or writing-related major I hear the writing requirements can be annoying. Still, I took a lot of good classes for my distribution requirements, so I can't say I hated the whole thing. Science majors get you a job, English, writing and humanities majors get you just as much as they'd get you anywhere else.
PJs and sweats are a typical freshman uniform at JHU, but upperclassmen usually have the decency to put on a pair of jeans. Honestly, most people are too focused on studying to notice or care about race, orientation, socioeconomic background, etc. There are active Black Student Associations, Muslim Student Associations, a LGBT group, etc etc - everyone can find their niche.
The Best Things
If you play your cards right they'll leave you alone and you can do your own thing.
The Worst Things
The administration, the off-campus safety.