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FAQ

I sincerely apologize for the sad pun of a title.

Let’s go back in time.

It’s 2003. Cue “Stacy’s Mom” by Fountains of Wayne. Okay, I might be really into my “Early 2000s Teenage Angst” Spotify playlist right now, but not that far.

It’s 2011 – 10th grade again (oh God). JHU_Quan is taking AP Bio. Quickly, he realizes that his class has only covered half the required material and the exam is coming up. He decides to study like never before – flashcards, video lessons, exam prep books on exam prep books, the whole shebang – and he gets a 5. He decides that he’s actually learned a lot and takes the SAT II Bio. He gets a great score. He realizes that perhaps, he and biology are meant to be.

Fastforward to senior year. JHU_Quan, after taking all the so-you-want-to-be-an-engineer math/science APs, applies to the Biomedical Engineering program at the Johns Hopkins University. The admissions committee, knowing JHU_Quan all too well, decides not to admit him to the BME program, but instead to the University overall.

JHU_Quan thinks to himself: Wow, maybe admissions is right, maybe I’m just not cut out for this whole science/engineering thing. But hey, I know I really like math. The Applied Math department sounds interesting. I’ll test it out, and maybe take a biology class one semester to see how it goes. 

Finally, it’s freshman fall at Hopkins. JHU_Quan had signed up for a freshman seminar about RNA. And after the second day, JHU_Quan drops the class. Instead, he picks up an expository writing course that later, gives him 3 sweet writing intensive credits in all of their glory. His rationale:

Maybe I just didn’t like that particular bio class so much. I’ll try another one next semester.

Now, it’s freshman spring and JHU_Quan has yet again, added and dropped another bio class.

I don’t know what happened. Biology used to be my thing, and now, not only do the words jumble together, but it just doesn’t seem to spark my interest anymore (no offense to bio majors, props to you!) And while it’s sad to realize that something that used to be your thing just isn’t anymore, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. It’s like letting go of your Neopets or that ratty pair of socks that you swear are your “lucky charm”. It’s just time.

There’s nothing wrong with trying something out because it might be interesting, and realizing that you’re just not that into it. The point of add/drop period is to test out different classes and see what you want to take. I’m glad that I tried out that second bio class because it helped me realize that biology just isn’t for me anymore. Although, I am sad because Dr. Moudrianakis seems like the best professor ever.

But now that I no longer have that lingering feeling of “what if”, I have more room in my brain to soak up knowledge from all of the great courses I’m taking. Here are some highlights:

Linear Algebra was one of my favorite classes in high school, so I’m really excited to take it in a college setting. Plus my professor uses bloodlust as a metaphor for getting a matrix into reduced row echelon form, so that’s great.

Race and Ethnicity in American Society. I saw this on our course listings and I knew right away that I needed to take this class. It’s only been two days, but my classmates are always eager to discuss, share their own experiences, and learn about what race and ethnicity means to us as Americans, and how racial differences result in socioeconomic disparities.

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A super exciting picture of some syllabi and my first linalg problem set.

Fundamentals of Health Policy and Management is a requirement for the Public Health major, but I am genuinely interested in learning about our healthcare system – what’s good and what can be fixed. In particular, I’m excited to analyze and evaluate the Affordable Care Act, taking what we learn and applying it to a pressing modern-day issue that affects everyone.

If you asked me three years ago what classes I would be taking in college, I can guarantee you that I would not have said a single one of the classes I’m actually taking right now. Biology might not be my thing anymore, but I still kill the science questions on Trivia Crack.

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Proof. Don’t look at my win/loss ratio.