- Class: Sophomore
- Major: Philosophy
- Gender: F
- High School: Daniel Hand High School
- Transfer Student: N
The best thing about JHU is the campus. The beautiful Georgian architecture, brick buildings, cherry blossums, and large grassy quads were some of the many factors in my decision to attend Hopkins. Although, I do not think that JHU has the strongest sense of community, the quads allow people to congregate on "the beach" as they sun themselves and attempt to do homework on the large grassy area outside the library. People play frisbee, soccer, football, and it is really entertaining and community-orientated to sit out on the beach on a sunny spring day. In the wintertime, there is the Lighting of the Quad where all the lamp posts are adorned with Christmas tree lights and the Gilman Hall Clock Tower shines red and green for the holidays. No matter what season, JHU is a beautiful place to be. In terms of Baltimore, the location of Baltimore in the middle of a bunch of East Coast cities is really wonderful. The fact that you can get to Washington DC and Philadelphia in an hour, and New York in two hours makes road trips and weekend visits very conveninent. Batlimore itself is an interesting cultural city with lots of funky and unique neighborhoods. One can take the free shuttle to Hampden and find a wide array of shops from anitque shops to ritzy/expensive clothing boutiques. As a city, Baltimore has a good sense of humor, and you will be suprised with what you find. With great restaurants all over the place, a favorite tradition is Vacarro's on Monday nights in Little Italy for all you can eat desserts. The Inner Harbor, may be the main attraction for most visitors, and as beautiful as it is, the longer you stay in Baltimore the more you may expand your visits to include other historic neighborhoods like Mt. Vernon, Fell's Point, Mt. Washington, and Canton. There are a lot of bars in Baltimore and on Halloween everyone puts on a costume and heads down to Fell's Point for one of the largest Halloween parties ever. The streets are filled with all types of people wearing crazy costumes. For those who want to party on or near campus there are frat parties, off-campus parties, and local bars and clubs which students frequent. Although some people believe the only thing Hopkins students do is study, this is not true. There are quite a few people that go out multiple times per week, if not every night. Overall, Hopkins is a suprising school and Baltimore is a suprising city. The public transportation in Batlimore is sometimes frustrating, and most people take cabs, but the admistration does its best to make students feel safe and allow them to travel about the area. There is a local shuttle system that you can call, as long as you are within a mile radius of campus. There is also a shuttle that stops at the different Hopkins campuses in Baltimore, including the Peabody Conservatory and the Medical School. Conveniently enough, it even stops at the train station. Finally, there is a Collegetown Shuttle that stops at local Baltimore universities and downtown at the Inner Harbor.
Classes at JHU are very rigorous. Unlike the Ivy Schools, there is no grade inflation. People really have to work hard for an A and strive to achieve a good GPA. Nevertheless, the classes are manageable and are not that much work. While some people say certain majors are much easier than others, there is the unanimous agreement that Organic Chemistry is not an easy or enjoyable class. Some of the introductory political science classes such as Contemporary International Politics and International Politics, are among student favorites, despite the fact that the large lecture is full with around 300 students. Just as the introductory science classes draw huge crowds, so too do the introductory economics classes. These large classes can be intimidating-- especially if you want to talk to the professor. The good thing is, when you have such a large class you also have a section that is basically a review of lecture taught by the TA (teaching assistant). Sections can vary in size from as small as 5 people to as large as twenty. Having the teaching assistant can be very helpful as a liasion, and rather then ask the professor questions you can first ask the teaching assistant and if your question cannot be answered it can be referred to the professor. The professors are all very knowledgeable and are experts in their fields. This too may be intimidating, but if you ask questions most are very understanding and nice. However, you typically do not see professors outside of class, with the exception of a few special campus events or at lectures in related fields. Some professors may be more geared to teaching than others. For example, in one of my higher level economics classes we played a class wide game where the winning groups won ten dollars each. There was another time in class when my professor auctioned off old CD's to demonstrate the different types of auctions. While the introductory classes may be boring, they also can be particularly interesting. Classes in archaeology, english, and bioethics draw people from all types of majors. Freshmen year, is likely to be filled with introductory classes, but by the time you are a second semester sophomore, you are highly likely to get into the classes you want to take including the smaller, more intimate classes. JHU is a great combination of job-orientated classes and classes for the sake of intellectual enlightenment. While a business school was recently founded, students have had the opportunity to take more buisness-like classes for the last couple of years with a minor being offered in Entreprenuership and Management. This minor offers classes in law, finance, and communications and is a great option for people who want to get an idea of the different careers they may want to puruse after college. Besides the pre-med classes and this entreprenuership minor, most of the classes are geared towards learning for its own sake and pure intellectual enlightenment. Outside of class, it is not uncommon to hear people discuss concepts learned in class. In fact, in some of my philosophy classes it is almost laughable to hear the conversations people have. The discussions are so abstract and may sound pretentious, but this enthusiasm for knowledge can be very refreshing. In fact, a large percentage of students do research off-campus and puruse their own intellectual pursuits at the hospital, public health school, or at other organizations in the city. Students at JHU love to learn, and are open about their opinions and views.
The student body is pretty diverse, although I have heard complaints that many people disagree. There are a lot of multicultural events on campus, a lot of religious groups, and even groups for sexual diversity. Overall, I would say that JHU is pretty accepting of diverse people and opinions whether this diversity be about race, religion, LGBT, or socioeconomic. Most students dress pretty casually to classes often wearing Hopkins gears and sweatpants. There are some fashionistas who go all out each day, but people are pretty much dressed in jeans, sweatshirts, and jackets. While some people are preppy, it is by no means an unoffical uniform for the students. People are pretty nonchalant with their clothing choices, but typically leaning towards the trendy side. Stuents come from all sorts of backgrounds some come from prep schols, some from public, and many are international students. Students are politically active when it comes to national elections, but as a whole, the campus is mostly moderate. There exist a campus group of republicans, democrats, libertarians, and independents. This year the College Democrats will be debating the College Republicans, which should be very interesting and many hope this will become a tradtion. While the campus is moderate, as a whole it is more liberal than conservative. There is some separation among the diverse groups on campus and can be seen in the dining hall, but overall as long as you are outgoing you can meet people and make friends. The Hopkins community is slightly detached and passive, but when it comes to lacrosse season everyone goes out to the Homewood field to rally around our National Champions. The boys and girls soccer teams, along with the boys baseball team also draw crowds, as Hopkins is one of the best teams in the divison. The boys waterpolo team is one of the best Divison-Three teams and overall is one the top twenty waterpolo teams in the country. Students are ambitious and set the bar high, but do not dwell on the details of their future incomes.
The Best Things
the beautiful campus
The Worst Things
the tough grading system