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Name: Sharmane S.

Hometown: Colombo, Sri Lanka

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

How did you discover Hopkins and why did you decide to apply? I’ve always wanted to do research, to push the current limits of our knowledge and find faster, better ways of doing things. So naturally, when I began applying to universities, my first requirement was undergraduate research. I’d heard of Johns Hopkins, of course, but I didn’t truly realize how perfect a fit it was for me until I’d spent several hours reading up on student experiences and the sheer magnitude of the opportunities JHU affords me. I was thrilled to be offered a place!

Who is the most influential person in your life and why? My mother, because she has literally clawed her way to success. She is the person who pushed me to better, who believed that I could do anything, and also the person who kept me grounded. She is my inspiration, and I will always be proud to be her daughter.

If you could teach one class at Hopkins, what would it be? (already exists or invented by you!) Conspiracy Theories: Madness or Genius?

Is there a quote or motto that inspires you? What is it and what does it mean to you? “Shoot for the moon because even if you miss, you’ll land amongst the stars.” This serves to remind me of my goals when I hit an obstacle that seems unsurmountable; when it seems that I let ambition cloud my judgement. Those words remind me that even if I bit off a little more than I could chew, it doesn’t mean I failed. It just means that success will look a little different than I thought it would.

What’s your best piece of college search advice for high school students? It’s never too early to start! But that’s basic advice. I suppose my real advice would be to remember what you’re looking for. So many factors influence a college choice; financial situation, intended area of study, location, etc. At one point in my own application process, I got really stuck and my father told me something that has actually guided all my decisions since: make sure you won’t regret your choice. No one but yourself can make the right choice for you – because you’re the person who has to live with it. So make sure it’s a choice that you’ll appreciate 10 years from now.

What is the accomplishment you’re most proud of? (big or small!) My volunteer work at the Chitra Lane School for the Special Child. It was truly an inspirational experience, getting to work with special needs children, and I learnt so much from the way they saw the world. They were so strong and beautiful, despite everything that should have held them back, and I am immensely grateful for the time I spent with them.

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? My grandfather, who died of prostate cancer when I was eight. He was a physiotherapist for the WHO, and I’d really love to hear his thoughts on my dreams. I would get chocolate ice cream, because you can’t go wrong with classics.

Complete this sentence: “I would not be here on this journey to Hopkins if it weren’t for _________________________ (person/place/thing/experience/etc.).” My family and their endless support.