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Name: Janna I.

Hometown: Staten Island, NY

Anticipated Major(s): Neuroscience

How did you discover Hopkins and why did you decide to apply ED? How I originally discovered Hopkins is actually much of a blur. It’s a name I was accustomed to since the beginning of high school. However, I remember scrolling through numerous articles and case studies for my science research class (one of my favorite classes) and seeing the name pop up often. Then and there, it clicked that this was a school I wanted to get familiar with beyond name. After learning more about it, I realized there couldn’t be a better university for me to thrive; it became my dream school. But, coming from a very uncompetitive environment, I didn’t believe I could line up with top students. Getting in seemed so unattainable to me that it became laughable. Still, it was my dream school, so in the spirit of jokes, I threw my shot at ED since I wasn’t going to ED elsewhere. I just had fun writing my essays, feeling exclusive and all, waiting for an early decision to come… and here I am today!! 😳

What are you most excited to do in Baltimore? As a vegan, I’ve already searched my options for vegan spots—calculating their proximity to the school, making a “Baltimore Eats” Yelp collection, and sharing a doc of the addresses of these places with other Hopkins vegans (hit me up if you’re interested!). I’m especially excited to try Mez (plant-based tacos) and Dodah’s Kitchen (vegan comfort food). I just hope I could find a vegan birria taco. Other than food, I can’t wait to take random trips to downtown Baltimore whenever I’m feeling homesick and miss the look/vibe of Manhattan (when does a New Yorker not mention New York at any given second, goddamnit).

What crazy invention would you love to design? If I could, I would modify the PETase enzyme, which digests and decomposes common plastic so that it could break down plastics in a matter of minutes or even seconds rather than the usual decomposition time of a thousand years for plastic. It could be mass produced in the form of a powder or spray and used both in landfills and recreationally as a replacement for plastic recycling.

What book, album/song, or TV show has had a profound influence on your life? “Here Comes The Sun” by The Beatles has trudged me through my lows and given me the optimism to look forward. The song is tradition for me to play each early spring just after winter has ended. Being a person that’s easily influenced by weather—feeling demotivated and dispirited during dark, cold weather and full of life in hotter, sunnier weather—is difficult, especially in New York’s fluctuating climate. But, when I play this song, I can feel my dreariness melting away with the snow as I imagine a stroll through Central Park, sitting under its vivacious cherry blossom trees, (my favorite flowers!! 🌸) gracefully falling onto transparent, golden grass. I’ve always associated fresh air and blooming flowers with abundance of love, new options and connections, thriving hobbies, and passionate diligence in work. It’s my comfort song, my hope song, and an absolute bop. All in one.