One Semester Down, Seven More To Go:
A Farewell to Covered Grades and a Hello to Second Semester
After living on campus for more than three months, I have successfully completed my first semester as a college student. (Only seven semesters to go!) I must say, my time at Hopkins has been everything I’d expected. From the people I’ve met to the the classes I’ve taken, it seems more likely that my expectations have been exceeded. Looking back, I remember the anticipation I had when I first arrived on campus at the end of August. I was so excited for orientation, and I couldn’t wait to meet new people and explore all of campus. I was no longer just a “prospective student” or an “admitted student” I was a Blue Jay! For months now, I’ve been doing just that – meeting and exploring. In fact, the friends I made during orientation are still some of my closest friends today. Even though I’ve only known them for a couple of months, it most definitely feels like a lot more.
Myself and my 1,309 peers in the class of 2019 came to Hopkins not knowing exactly what to expect. I’m sure we all had a general idea of what college would be like, but there was no way of knowing the individual experiences we would have. I constantly had questions on my mind: Should I be taking pre-med requirements? Am I really interested in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering? Where will I stand compared to my peers academically? I have learned that from one semester at Hopkins, it is not easy to know the answers to all of these questions, and this is perfectly okay.
I dedicated my first semester at Hopkins to exploration. The most unique class I took, one that I never would’ve foreseen myself taking was Expository Writing: Love and Morality. Since my high school had a strong focus on math and science, this course took me out of my comfort zone. To add to the unique subject matter, I found out that my overall grade in the class was not based on my participation in the class or my performance on mid term and final exams. Rather, it was determined by an average of four essays that I would write over the course of the semester. Essentially, the class combined moral philosophy with various theories on love, and reading philosophical literature on these topics were in fact very interesting. So interesting that for my fourth and final essay for the class, I wrote a seven-page paper solely on love (and got an A!). My teacher really enjoyed reading my paper, and she said it made her think of love in ways she hadn’t previously considered.
For the other fourteen credits I took this semester, I am thankful for covered grades. This is not because I did poorly in any of them, it’s rather because covered grades allowed me to adjust to my new college life to the point where I didn’t have to solely concentrate on my GPA. I was able to join clubs, my favorites being SAAB (Student Admissions Advisory Board) and SGA (Student Government Association), and was even able to get a job at the DMC (Digital Media Center). That’s why I think that covered grades for first semester freshman at Hopkins are a great thing, especially if students take advantage of it; I know I sure did!
Back home now, I have a couple weeks to relax and reflect on how far I’ve come since the beginning of the year. I get to spend time with my family over the holidays and rejuvenate my brain after reading period and final exams. During the second week in January, I’ll be heading back to Hopkins for intersession, and can’t wait to see my friends once again.