Nope, your eyes do not deceive you. JHU_Allison has had all of her freshmen dreams come true in the form of a brand new, totally adorable, big-girl blog. And, really, is there a better way to kick off sophomore year than two hours of searching for the ~perfect~ polka dot background? No. No, there is certainly not.

All joking aside, this is one of the most exciting parts of my sophomore transition. The past few weeks have been all about awesome upgrades – a personal blog, a fabulous suite in Charles Commons, classes that are more specific to my major. I really thought that some part of me would pine for the days of freshmen AMR II living, but, I have to say, this is the life.


Fancier than you.

Fancier than you.

But I’ll get to all of that later. Because the only right way to debut Allison Wonderland is to give serious, adoring thanks to the dream team that made it all happen: the Student Admissions Advisory Board. And, trust me, I have a lot of thanks to give.

A year (and change) ago, I was your typical Hopkins pre-frosh: nervous, excited, desperate to find my place on campus. I had grand plans for my four years, plans I started forming the minute I got my acceptance. (Pre-frosh Allison was a master planner, with thousands of itemized to-do lists to prove it.) But this was a high-stakes mission. Because, not to freak anyone out, the decisions you make in the first few weeks of freshmen year can, um, kind of define your college experience. And I was determined to define it in the exact way I had pictured so many times before even stepping foot on campus.

SAAB wasn’t featured in the plan. In fact, it barely got off a to-do list. I sent my submission to the Summer Blogging Contest on the day of the deadline, without proofreading, (Pro tip: Don’t do that.) and my SAAB application was my first real exercise in college-level procrastination. I just couldn’t get in to it.

And it wasn’t SAAB’s fault. I had a glaring roadblock standing right in the middle of my ability to make rational decisions, sucking up all potential enthusiasm and excitement. The crown jewel of my master plan: a cappella.

Don’t get me wrong: a cappella at JHU is more than deserving of all of the hype. And I’ve essentially pledged my undying love to the AllNighters (something about those vests, man). Our fab a cappella scene wasn’t the problem – I was. I had assigned it too much weight, turned it from a dream into the dream. But after a weekend of auditions and callbacks, my master plan and self-confidence were both left in tatters, and I was officially, painfully niche-less. It was then, in the lowest moment of my freshman year, that the closing of the a cappella door gave way to the most wonderful and open of all windows. And now I’m here, blogging to my heart’s content, getting to spend heaps of time with people I love.

Some of the aforementioned people I love.

As cheesy and cavity-inducing as it sounds – SAAB changed my life. In a matter of days, I had a whole new network of friends, from all different years, who welcomed me with open arms. From the perspective of someone who felt like her world had been turned upside down, that new support system was everything. My confidence and passion for Hopkins were both renewed, because putting myself out there stopped feeling risky once I knew that I’d always have SAAB. With that safety net firmly in place, I was able to take some chances, a couple of which yielded amazing results. Looking back on my first year, I realize that I have SAAB to thank for the best parts of my college experience thus far.

That really hit home for me during this year’s interview process, because I saw so much of myself in our applicants and new members. They all had the same enthusiasm, the same desire to find a place at Hopkins. And I’m so excited to be a part of their journey.

So, to our eight, fabulous new SAABers: I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we are so happy to have you, regardless of whether we were part of your plan.


Jumping up and down with excitement. Literally.

Jumping up and down with excitement. Literally.