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Name: Connie C.

Hometown: Yorba Linda, CA

Anticipated Major(s): Molecular and Cellular Biology, Neuroscience

How did you discover Hopkins and why did you decide to apply Early Decision? Even though I had heard of Johns Hopkins through a few science articles here and there, I actually didn’t even know where JHU was until I visited my senior summer! The campus was amazing, with fantastic architecture and enthusiastic students to talk to. Pairing the unique, bright environment of JHU with the amazing undergraduate research, it seemed to fit my background of passionate science research. I also saw opportunities to get to do more at JHU, through expanding my musical experience at Peabody, and volunteering with STEM in Baltimore. With all of those factors combined, I decided that JHU would be a great place for me to learn and explore for the next few years!

How has your family background or life experiences shaped you? 2018 was quite the year for me. I started the year with symptoms of headaches, an inability to focus in class, and a struggle to manage to live with only 6 hours of sleep, which I thought to be strange since it had worked out all the other years. A few months later, I was diagnosed with epilepsy caused by a brain tumour, Pleomorphic Xanthoastrocytoma (PXA), as well as WPW syndrome, which was severe enough for me to consider dropping out of our school’s International Baccalaureate program and high school. But the experience gave me more determination to push through, even taking AP/IB exams 2 weeks out of my brain surgery. Thankfully, I had the support of so many of my friends, family, and teachers through my last two surgeries, and now I am recovering with the new perspective to live my life to its fullest without regrets. I’m trying to check things off of my bucket list and can’t wait to explore the world.

What’s your best piece of college search advice for high school students? Don’t be peer pressured into applying for schools that people apply to- you are most likely more able to recognize what you want to do and what type of environment you want to learn in more than anyone else. It’ll take a long time to sometimes find a match, but it’ll be totally worth it when you can feel yourself being immersed in the culture of that college that matches you (because you’ll find it much easier to write/talk about your personality, experiences, etc.)! A name is just a name sometimes, but why attach to a name when you can develop your own name by finding the college that provides the most opportunities to discover and find yourself?

What crazy invention would you love to design? A mini pocket dimension that essentially has no mass that contains all of my stuff (electronics, work, food, hobby materials) organized perfectly that can automatically locate and retrieve objects. This way, I won’t crowd tables with all of my books, but I can essentially do anything I want at any time and any location by pulling the desired object (homework, laptop, MIDI, etc.) out of my pocket! I’d also be able to survive if I were lost while traveling with all the extra provisions in my pocket dimension.

What do you hope to get involved in on campus? Lab research, chamber music, rock climbing, travel abroad, music composition… there’s a whole list, and most likely more that will be added on!