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Name: Diksha I.

Hometown: Dearborn, MI

Major(s): Neuroscience and Public Health Studies

How did you discover Hopkins and why did you decide to apply ED? I first heard of JHU when I was a second grader and had been accepted into the CTY program. During elementary school and middle school, however, I did not participate in the program that much. While in middle school, I started to nurture a love for neuroscience with my first ever self-directed research project, titled “Traumatic Brain Injuries and Brain Disorders” which covered the development of our brains, and how, throughout life, we can sustain various injuries or be diagnosed with disorders that affect our brains in different ways. In high school I tried to further pursue this interest, which brought me back to the CTY program, where I took AP Psychology over the summer. The emphasis on academic exploration that I encountered while attending the course pushed me further towards Hopkins. I finally decided to apply the ED route when I saw the extent and variety of research programs offered to undergraduates, and the dedicated mentorship offered by the professors at JHU. I felt that I would be able to find my passions through various explorations and further hone my inquisitive nature at Hopkins.

What are you most excited to do in Baltimore? I have to say that I am very excited to explore the culinary side of the city. There are so many cultures and neighborhoods to explore that all have their own beautiful ways of expressing themselves through food. I already have a list of restaurants and their specialties that I am just waiting to try out! I always feel that the best way to truly experience a new place (and begin to fit into a new home), is to find food that you enjoy. I’m hoping to do that in Baltimore (though I hear that the food at the FFC at Hopkins is also delicious).

What fictional character do you most relate to or most closely represents you as a person? Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-Joo has to be a novel that dramatically reshaped my view on the societal expectations that we all tend to conform to, or feel forced to live up to. The book is very interesting in that it doesn’t have a plot. It is just notes about a patient that a psychiatrist writes over time, with references to different real-life studies dotted throughout the book to emphasize statistics on gender disparity that seem exaggerated, but are actually quite real. The book is quite unassuming and small, but packs thought-provoking situations on the continuous barrage of obstacles that the average woman faces in today’s society. It isn’t an exploration of a unique woman’s battle, but rather the collective personal experience of all women. It caused me to rethink my viewpoint on my life as a woman soon heading off to college.

What are you most excited for about college and/or coming to Hopkins? This seems quite generic, but I want to be able to explore a new space on my own without having to conform to a family schedule. I want to see museums, concerts, and restaurants at my own pace, and absorb the new culture. I also am really excited to stay in a dorm so far from home. Previously, when I went on trips with my school, it was only for a couple of weeks at a time, and it wasn’t very far away. However, this time, I’m an entire flight away, and it is for a more extended period of time. I’m nervous, but excited to be starting this new period of independent living.

What is the accomplishment you’re most proud of? (big or small!) I managed to stay awake through an entire Harry Potter marathon. That’s dedication right there. It was an exhausting, yet fulfilling experience.

If you could get ice cream with one person (real or imaginary; dead or alive), who would it be and what kind of ice cream would you get? President James A. Garfield. He got assassinated to early on in his presidency which must have been devastating. I feel like he had the potential to do some great things, and would like to engage in a discourse with him on his ideas for America’s future (even though his future, is really our past, if you really think about it). He really didn’t get to spread his ideas during his presidency, so I would like to give him the chance to. Of course, we would have Ben and Jerry’s Half-Baked ice cream (the best flavor).

Complete this sentence: “I would not be here on this journey to Hopkins if it weren’t for _____________ (person/place/thing/experience/etc.).” My teachers. They pushed me far beyond what I thought was possible of myself, and encouraged me to ask questions, and feel comfortable asking for help. They really nurtured a more positive and mature mindset within myself, which I think has made me into a well-rounded human being. They showed me how to make connections between different disciplines which I feel will serve me well at Hopkins. Thy really taught me how to enjoy being a student, rather than feel that grades and success are the most important thing. Failure and making mistakes are also important.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? (dream big!) Content with myself and my accomplishments! I would like to be able to travel a lot more in ten years, and have enough free time to explore Latin America and Asia.