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With the conclusion of my freshman year approaching in a little over one week, I wanted to share five lessons I have learned.

  • Late Night at the FFC will nourish your soul. There’s just something about meeting my friends after 9 o’clock at the FFC (our main dining facility) for some fluffy eggs and French toast or chocolate chip pancakes. After long study sessions, Late Night is there to rejuvenate me.
Beruk & I @ the FFC
  • Match your study vibe with a study spot. I dislike noise when I study because I can’t focus, and I need large windows so that the natural light can energize me. Knowing that, I go to our campus’s large, silent reading room in Brody. A zero distraction environment where everyone is working diligently creates an uber-productive spot for me.
Brody Reading Room
  • Interact and build relationships with upperclassmen. Thankfully, I decided to do this throughout my first year, and it has greatly benefitted me. I’ve gained advice and wisdom from those who were once in my shoes, have successfully navigated Hopkins, and are embarking on incredible journeys after graduation.
  • Don’t know someone’s name? Just ask. There are some people who I’ve met but have completely forgotten their names. Instead of just asking them to repeat their names early in the school year, I went months hoping someone would say their name when I was around. Bad move. Knowing peoples’ name is essential for creating a relationship with them, I believe, so simply asking them to reintroduce themselves is a good idea.
  • There’s more to life than grades. Pretty controversial statement, I know, especially as a pre-med and/or pre-PhD student. However, I really believe it. Since day one, I have wanted my Hopkins experience to be about more than just getting As every semester. Sure, it’s nice if it happens, but I want my experience to be one of overall growth where I’ve taken advantage of all the opportunities Hopkins presents me with. As my first year comes to a close, I’m proud to say that I’ve done just that, whether it’s through my research, co-founding my college consulting firm, attending guest lectures, or working in the admissions office.

Life is about growth and learning from experience. Check back in a year from now for more lessons I have yet to learn.

–KH