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sweeney chirps picName: John Sweeney

Major: Political Science and Writing Seminars

Year: Sophomore, Class of 2017

Hometown: Media, PA

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I’m not entirely sure yet, but I guess that’s the beauty of being a sophomore. Definitely something geared towards writing. The part of me that’s interested in politics is aiming to be a speechwriter, and the part of me that’s into poetry wants to be a professor. I guess there’s nothing stopping me from doing both, though.

What’s your biggest struggle right now?

All of the the struggles that go along with being a twenty-year-old. Figuring out what I want to do with my life and getting to know who I am as a person are definitely two, but they’re both as exciting as they are daunting. I put more pressure on myself than I get from anyone else, so being cognizant of that character trait makes things a bit easier.

What’s something that surprised you about Hopkins?

When I came to Hopkins, I kind of expected to get thrown into an uncomfortably competitive environment. I quickly realized that, for the most part, students are just really passionate about what they’re doing, which creates a sense of community. Whenever I need help studying for something, there’s always someone who wants to team up. Whenever I finish a paper, there’s always someone who’s willing to read it – whether it’s a friend or a professor. Everyone you see in the library can relate to what you’re going through.

What’s a piece of advice that you would give to an incoming student?

Put your happiness first. If your parents want you to be pre-med but you’re not passionate about it, you’re doing yourself a huge disservice. Furthermore, there are so many great programs at Hopkins that exploring and taking courses outside of your major is a must.

What’s your favorite thing about this school?

Baltimore is a great city, and I don’t think it gets enough credit. It’s pretty great to be close to cities like Philadelphia and Washington D.C., but Baltimore has a charm of its own and also shies away from the egos that Philly and D.C. both have. Transportation is cheap – or free, if you know where to look. Living in a city makes it easy for people of all interests to entertain themselves.

What do you do when you’re not studying?

Usually playing music. I play a bunch of instruments, so when I’m not in the library or in class, I’ll head to the Mattin Center or jam in my apartment with with my roommates to destress a bit. It’s something I make time for every day, no matter how busy I am.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

As the wise Dave Grohl once said, “I don’t believe in guilty pleasures.” If you like something, you like it. There’s no shame in that.

Why did you come to Hopkins?

It doesn’t get much better than the writing program at Hopkins, and I really wanted to challenge myself. I often feel intimidated by how intelligent and talented everyone around me is, but it’s forced me to come out of my shell, and I’ve grown a lot because of it.

What’s your favorite memory since you’ve been at Hopkins?

Definitely the Fourth of July. I came down for a couple of days this summer to celebrate with my friends, and it really reminded me of how much of a family away from home I have. That was a day I’ll remember for a long time, for sure.