Congratulations to the Class of 2018! I cannot believe that one year ago I was still in high school, I had no idea what college was going to be like, and I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life! The question of what I wanted to major in was constantly on my mind, and I had constant anxiety over the issue.  Last week, though, I officially changed from a pre-major to an official neuroscience major!

What did the angry brain say to the nociceptor?  You’re a real pain

What did the angry brain say to the nociceptor? You’re a real pain

I’m a very indecisive person.  Combining that with all the amazing different majors Hopkins offers led to a disaster. I went from History to Public Health to Neuroscience, Biology, and then back! Every single class looked so cool.  How was I supposed to decide one major? I spent hours pouring over major requirements, taking stupid quizzes online, and researching different career paths. To pre-med or not to pre-med? It was all so overwhelming.

I know for a lot of my friends, taking a variety of classes the fall of freshman year helps to rule out a lot of potential majors and create new interests in others. Since we do not have any requirements (just another reason why Hopkins is the best!) it is so easy to just take a wide variety of classes that truly sound interesting to you! I was able to take classes in the anthropology, neuroscience, public health, romance language and chemistry departments all in one semester. Within all those amazing classes, Introduction to Neuroscience, taught by Professor Hendry, stood out.  I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed class lectures more. Before Intro to Neuroscience, I had never thought of the three pound mass of grey matter in my skull. Now I know it to be different lobes, gyri, sulci, and different nuclei.  I know it to be the source of our senses, our thoughts, and our pain. The best part of the major to me, though, is that the more I learn, the more I realize that there is so much more to learn!  There are new breakthroughs every day in neuroscience.  Everyday in class I discover something new that completely astounds me.

Why did the action potential cross the optic chiasm?  To get to the other side

Why did the action potential cross the optic chiasm? To get to the other side

While the Neuroscience department is amazing and one of the best in the nation, what makes it even better are the people in the major.  I love being in NeuroJAYS (The JHU Neuroscience Journal Asociation for Young Scientists) where I get to talk to other neuro majors and discuss cutting edge research in the field.  Talking to upperclassmen, including JHU_Noah, has helped me decide what classes to take and when I should be starting research.

If you went back a year from today and told me that I would have immediately found a major that I love, I wouldn’t have believed you.  Last year I was so unsure of everything! I still am not completely sure how my life is going to turn out, but I do know that I will be spending the next three years studying the coolest subject in the world. I couldn’t be happier.