Here’s the thing: at Hopkins, we love a good challenge. I mean, it’s only natural that when you put some of the most intelligent, driven and passionate students from around the World in one place, an unbelievably bright and hardworking environment emerges. Whether the accomplishments are personal or school-wide, our community has an overwhelming sense of pride at what we have and continue to accomplish. That doesn’t mean though that sometimes the challenge seems unattainably difficult.
It’s a commonly accepted fact on campus that while the month of October brings pumpkins, spice, and everything nice, it also brings midterms…lots and lots of midterms. At Hopkins, we don’t have a set week of midterms; instead, each class operates on a separate schedule of curriculum and exams throughout the semester. In many ways I think this is great because if I’m lucky, my schedule of exams will be spread out and I can divide my attention equally to everything. Unfortunately, last week I was very, very unlucky. It was a four-day week because of Fall Break, and I was staring at five exams in the face. Saying it was hard might be a huge understatement. It felt like I didn’t have time to devote to any of my subjects, and I definitely did not sleep enough. But while I was stressed and crazy-eyed as I logged ridiculous hours in the library, I wasn’t the only one. We were all there together, comforting one another and reminding each other that as long as we tried our best, there’s nothing more we could do. And that’s where both the best and the worst of the Hopkins experience are revealed.
Hopkins is hard. There’s no denying it and no point in shirking around it. The academic expectations are extremely high and can be incredibly frustrating. It can sometimes feel like the effort put into a class or an assignment isn’t paying off, and for lack of better words, it really sucks. It can be really hard to have perspective when I’ve been pushed to give my best and I don’t feel like my work is reflected in my performance. But here’s where the good emerges: I have a support system. The entire student body knows just how hard it can be and is always willing to lend a helping hand. While we each are unique in our passion and talent, we are common in the effort we have to give to move towards our goals. We are similar in our diligence and dedication. And most importantly, we are resilient. We might face frustration and disappointment, but that doesn’t stop us from pushing forward, because sometimes it’s crazy what we do achieve. So I would say it’s another commonly accepted fact that though sometimes it feels like we are facing an ever-growing pile of work, we’ll never quit.