Last year, as college applications were coming to an end, I remember that I thought a lot about what college would be like, but I was basing a lot of my thoughts on things that I had heard and not actual experiences. So, I thought that I would debunk some myths and make this into a series. These myths that I explain are from my experiences at Hopkins.
Freshman 15 is a common myth. The myth is that freshmen gain an average of 15 pounds their first year, but I can for a fact state that this is not true. The reason that this might somewhat be true is that you tend to crave a lot of junk food in college. I’ve noticed that when you’re up late studying, you get hungry, and at Hopkins, you could go to late night at FFC and eat breakfast foods and ice cream. Or, you could go to University Market and get chicken tenders. Personally, I’ve done both. And no regrets whatsoever. For some reason, food tastes so much better at night. But, there are a lot of ways to counteract this. Though junk food is great, there are still a lot of healthy options around. A lot of people are on sports teams or exercise on a regular basis, so there’s really no concern about staying fit or healthy. But, even if you don’t exercise regularly, in college, you end up walking around a lot more, so it’s a form of exercise. Actually, some people end up losing weight. So, all in all, freshman 15 usually doesn’t happen.
So, here’s another myth. When you apply to college, you indicate your major, and some people feel trapped. I know that I did. I remember when applying to Hopkins and some other colleges, not knowing what to mark as my potential major. I did a lot of soul-searching. Towards the end, I was hesitant about submitting my applications because of that one line. Eventually, I did find something, but as we all know, circumstances change. Obviously now, I have a much better idea of what I might want to do, though I’m still not sure. Your major is not something that you should fret too much about coming in. Everyone’s a pre-major (except if you’re in the engineering school) and finding their own paths as well. Because of the lack of core curriculum, there is a lot of overlap between majors, and you can use credits for other majors later on. If you’re anything like me, you still have a lot of thinking to do about your future, and that’s okay! Hopkins is really flexible about these kinds of things. Freshman year, I’ve learned, is there for you to explore!
Speaking of lack of core curriculum, it is one of the things that drew me to Hopkins. Something about it made the school seem even more attractive. I’ve heard from my friends about the typical English 101 and random prerequisite classes that they’ve had to take, but I’ve genuinely loved all of my classes this semester! Though there are different areas you need credits for, like humanities or quantitative classes, you have so many options! For example, if you need writing intensive credits, there are so many different ways to get them. Even as a freshman, you can take Expository Writing classes that focus on a variety of different topics, like family or mental illness, take creative writing courses, or writing classes within your major! Here, as you fill distribution requirements, you can still be exploring and studying things that interest you.
Though these all turned out to be myths, other things that you hear might be true, but you should always double check. This is all to say: don’t be worried! Three months in, all I can say is that college has been challenging, yet rewarding. And, everyone figures it out along the way.
P.S. If you haven’t noticed, I changed one of my majors!