Remember your “why.”

It’s something my cousin said when I was home for winter break, while explaining what motivates him. The idea of a personal “why” — the group of factors that motivate you towards success — hit me at just the right time. I had fallen into a slump. I was enjoying relaxing so much that I didn’t want my time at home to end. I love college, and I don’t know who I’d be without the mosaic of experiences that I’m assembling at Hopkins, but I wanted to sleep in my own bed! I wanted to see my mom and my dog every day! I wanted to keep eating home-cooked food!

My cousin unknowingly challenged me to remember my “why.” Why did I want to go to college in the first place? Why did I choose a university so far from home? Why had I decided to enroll in such difficult courses?

Here’s the answer: I’m at Hopkins because I love to learn. Because I can learn at Hopkins in ways that I couldn’t possibly learn anywhere else — there’s no core curriculum, so I’m free to pursue a double major in two very disparate fields. Because I’ve worked too hard to ever dream of giving up. Because I genuinely enjoy all of my classes, even if homework can sometimes feel like a chore. Because my worldview becomes more complex and nuanced every day. Because I love a good intellectual challenge.

What’s your “why”?