Name: Gohta A.
Hometown: Tokyo, Japan
Anticipated Major and Minor: Biomedical Engineering, minor in Entrepreneurship & Management
How did you discover Hopkins and why did you decide to apply Early Decision? I learned about Hopkins through a college fair. Since I wanted to study bio-related majors and participate in cutting-edge research, Hopkins appeared to me as a perfect match. When I visited the Homewood Campus over the spring break during my junior year, I instantly fell in love with the atmosphere and something definitely clicked in my heart. Everything that I found about Hopkins, such as its open curriculum, intersession, and fascinating research opportunities, emphasized my feeling towards the school!
How has your family background or life experiences shaped you? My parents have definitely shaped my identity and future goals. I am extremely fortunate to be a son of such devoting parents because they have reared me through self-sacrifice. When I realized that they were reducing their post-retirement savings to pay for my tuition, the feeling of being embraced by my parents’ love has reached a point that I cannot describe with words. This resulted in my living for what they have done for me: caring for others over myself. My high esteem for self-sacrifice led me to believe in a concept called effective altruism which was established by a moral philosopher Peter Singer. Effective altruism is a belief in which one tries to improve the world in the most effective and efficient way. This is why I have been trying to help people at my school with my strength in math and science subjects. Effective altruism has shaped my dream as well. Since I have loved science, especially the medical field, for my entire life due to my parents’ profession, I want to become a scientist to pursue effective altruism.
What’s your best piece of college search advice for high school students? Before searching a variety of colleges, make a list of what you want to see or achieve in your college. Imagine an ideal college for you and ask yourself about its characteristics, such as size, location, diversity, curriculum, research opportunities, and student atmospheres. Once you identify these preferences, you would naturally start to see several colleges that perfectly align with what you want.
If you could give your junior-year-of-high-school-self one piece of advice, what would it be? Instead of being submissive and waiting for an opportunity to approach you, constantly try to get out of your comfort zone and always reach for chances that you would never imagine! Be confident about yourself and be ambitious!
What is the accomplishment you’re most proud of? My biggest accomplishment other than getting accepted to my dream school is writing my first ever research paper and applying to Regeneron Science Talent Search Competition. Ever since my childhood, I have always wanted to become a scientist. Therefore, studying a class of transmembrane protein called scramblase as a part of my high school’s research program and a summer internship was my dream-come-true. As I was writing my research paper, I came to realize that I have actually become a part of the scientist world. Furthermore, this experience pushed my limit further as I have never worked this hard in my entire life. Every single time my experiments did not work, my heart was crushed with anxiety and resignation. Nevertheless, the more I struggled, the more I became resilient and interested in my research. Looking back at myself a little more than a year ago when I joined my high school’s research program, I am astonished by how much I have grown. Now I am confident to call myself a scientist as I have overcome many adversities I faced and successfully answered my research question. Although I could not advance to the next stage of the competition, my research project on analyzing the effect of ceramide molecules was the first step towards my life goal of becoming a world-leading scientist.
What are you most excited to do in Baltimore? When I drove through Baltimore to get to Hopkins for a college tour, I really sensed that the city and its vibe would be nothing similar to all of the places that I have lived so far. I am super excited to live in Baltimore and explore the Charm City, especially the inner harbour and the National Aquarium! I also can’t wait to go to so many different restaurants!