Over the past day I’ve taken two midterms and driven halfway across the country to come home for the first time since leaving for Hopkins. Since getting back, I’ve made sure to take advantage of a few Wisconsin specialties like cheese curds and even seeing it snow. I honestly never anticipated how different life at Hopkins would be from my life at home.

The past three months adjusting to college have been very hard, gone quicker than I could have ever imagined, and been some of the most rewarding in my life. One of the hardest parts of adjusting to college for me personally was the loss of my daily schedule, something that had become the backbone of my life and gotten me through all previous 18 years of my life. Suddenly, I had more time than I knew what to do with and none of my family or friends from home to fill it with. Hopkins’s Orientation really helped with this, by keeping me so busy that there wasn’t a lot of time to worry about this for the first week and to help meet more new people than I could ever possibly remember. As the semester started, I got to know some of the people on my floor and we did a lot of fun things together: playing intramural soccer, Monday trivia (which we finally won after a few attempts & is pictured below), and even going to DC. Having a good group of friends is probably one of the best parts of my first few months at school.

Getting a job also really helped fill my time and it’s really nice going off campus, even if it’s just across the street. Having routine obligations really helped me adjust from high school, because I felt like it made me make better use of the hours I did set aside for studying and homework. Finding the perfect balance between school and friends and clubs and work is definitely still a work in the making, but that’s part of the learning curve of college. Overall, it’s going good though, a bit stressful trying to find the balance some weeks–especially when multiple midterms or projects happen at the same time. Also, I encourage anyone, especially prospective students, to embrace the challenge that Hopkins brings. There are so many great opportunities here that sometimes it feels stressful not taking advantage of all of them, but it’s so rewarding to be in a place like Hopkins. What the teachers and students do here is amazing and having the chance to be a part of it is exciting and so motivating. So, while I’m glad to be back home for a bit and see my friends and family, I’m so happy to have the chance to return again next week.