It’s April 24th: exactly 12 days before the last day of classes and one month before graduation. The unfortunate mixture of senioritis and impending assessments is at an all-time-high. In between desperately trying to find some motivation to finish out the year, I’ve found myself to be incredibly nostalgic. Now I know it’s to be expected four years later etc etc., but I have an underlying frustrating when I think about all of my memories here. And as cheesy as it sounds I think it’s because as I filter through all of my experiences, I’ve been trying to make my final list of “why Hopkins”, or I guess more of a “why 4 years of Hopkins was genuinely one of the best decisions I’ve made” type of list, and I’m struggling. There are so many things, people, and moments, that I can’t quantify them all…or maybe I’m just really bad at condensing my thoughts.
This weekend, though, I did decisively conclude on one, big, overarching thing—Hopkins has given me unbelievable opportunities. I know I’ve said it before, but I have no regrets repeating it over and over. My 17-year-old self would have never imagined the things I’ve been able to do or the people I’ve gotten to meet just because I chose Hopkins. If you’re wondering what exactly triggered this thought process, that’s an easy answer. This past Friday was DREAMS (A Day of Undergraduate Research in Engineering, Arts & Humanities, Medicine, and the Sciences). In order to qualify, or defend your spot for Honors in Neuroscience, students are required to present their research at an undergraduate research symposium, and faculty from the undergraduate and graduate departments evaluate our work. Presenting my research from the last 3 years was a great learning experience, and can I just say a little nerve-wracking because my evaluators happened to be some pretty important professors from the graduate department. But my poster aside, walking through the symposium showed me just how many things our students are able to do. Projects ranged from molecular biology to solar cells to pressing public health issues and urban planning in the city. In total there were 238 posters, and each was unique in its field. It was pretty easy for me to conclude that each of these students will move forward and have an important impact on the world, and that inspires me. The list in my head might continue to be a big mixture of mumbo-jumbo but this one thing is strikingly clear: each student has the opportunity to pursue their passion in so many different ways, and we owe a large part of that to Hopkins.