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Name: Tommy S.

Hometown: San Jose, CA and Shanghai, China

Anticipated Major(s): Biology and Neuroscience

How did you discover Hopkins and why did you decide to apply ED? As an aspiring doctor, JHU is probably the undergrad Mecca. So of course, I wanted to go to Hopkins because of all the resources and opportunities that a pre-med student can get there. For a more personal reason, I also wanted to explore a bit on my own. I moved a lot with my parents, but for college, I sought to take a little more initiative. I know no one on the East Coast, let alone Baltimore, but I know it will be a great experience to push myself outside of the comfort zone a little bit and seek new memories. The Charm City also seemed like the perfect place, not super big like NYC, has tons of history, and close to Philly and D.C.

If you could teach one class at Hopkins, what would it be? (already exists or invented by you!) “MCB-0984: Biology and Physiology in Literature” to explore the intersectionality between biology and literature. So pretty much using the technology that we have and the biology that we know to figure out how is the monster in Frankenstein possible, or if it is possible at all.

What are you most excited to do in Baltimore? Quite a lot. Go to the aquarium, go to a Ravens game, go on a few night time adventures at the Inner Harbor. But above all, running! I haven’t looked into them too much yet, but I am sure that Baltimore has a ton of scenic routes that are amazing for running. Also on my bucket list to participate in the Baltimore marathon during my undergrad years.

What do you hope to get involved in on campus? Oh a ton of things! Well first the Outdoor Pursuits club, love to go backpacking and rock climbing! But also some intramural sports—badminton and hopefully I am good enough for running as well. Pertaining more to my major and career direction, I would love to be a part of the Hopkins Emergency Response Organization (HERO), acting as an EMT and giving back to the Homewood and Baltimore community sounds great! Lastly I want to write for Hopkins Insider. Let’s hope that I can handle the course rigor and am able to do at least half of the things I listed. I will check back in four years.

How has your family background or life experiences shaped you? I immigrated to the United States when I was 10 years old, and that was probably the defining moment of my life. Coming to a new country at that age gives me a perspective into both countries and both cultures. Moreover, my parent’s experience and perseverance in their move motivates me to work hard.

What’s your best piece of college search advice for high school students? Cast your net wide and look beyond the prestige, the Ivy League, the T20s, and the U.S. News! I, too, was a bit blinded by all those things, and cared about what other people would think if I got into this school or that school, but at the end of the day, you are the one who is going to spend 4 years at that chosen institution, so pick your best match!

What crazy invention would you love to design? I’ve probably been reading too much science fiction lately, but an AI/computer within our brain. So a smart device that can tap into our neural networks and communicate with our minds without the need of verbal commands (hey siri) or other gestures. A finished product will allow us to do things by just thinking; for example, we just think about how good that steak was from Outback Steakhouse, and the computer will already be placing an order on Doordash. Ok the more I write, the more ridiculous it is becoming; it will probably forever live in books.

What are you most excited for about college and/or coming to Hopkins? Be surrounded by all the brilliant minds! I am so excited to participate in lectures that are taught by the most qualified scientists in the world and be inspired by my peers who are equally passionate about their studies.

What is the accomplishment you’re most proud of? (big or small!) Getting into Hopkins! But besides that, probably becoming an Eagle Scout. It’s 6 years of hard work but also 6 years of loads of fun. Some of my best and fondest memories come from the camping trips and all the stupid things that I had done in the wilderness. The different values in scouting have also taught me to become a better person and community member; something that I couldn’t have learned nearly as well elsewhere. The Eagle Scout honor can be seen as an accumulation of that entire side of me, which is why it’s so meaningful.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? (dream big!) Aha, all of my day dreaming was built for this! So in 10 years, I will be living in New York City, and working as a neurosurgeon. But on the side, I will be the owner of a small antique bookstore and a cafe. In my free time, I will sit on the street side tables, enjoy a good cup of coffee, read my favorite book, and glance up at the passerby from time to time. Every year, I will also be participating in the Boston, New York, and Chicago Marathons. I will also be going on a lot of camping trips, upstate NY and the Northeast has a lot of amazing sites! And if we are really dreaming big, I’d love to set out on some grand wilderness adventures, including but not limited to climbing Mount Everest, ascending Mt. Kilimanjaro, and in my wildest dreams, reaching the top of El Cap via the Freerider line.