One of my favorite parts of Hopkins culture (which I first learned from Hopkins Insider actually, back when I was a high school junior) is the fact that people, on the whole, are pretty transparent with how stressed they are by school. I liked that students here seemed to be pretty honest about how difficult it was to make it all work—classes, studying, clubs, research, personal health, etc. I felt like it took the pressure off on trying to pretend like it’s easy to be challenging yourself up to 16-18 hours a day. As a current student, I’ll say that I think it makes doing all these things easier, when I know that I can talk to nearly anyone around me about feeling a bit stressed out, and they’ll understand exactly what I’m talking about (Whiting vs KSAS jokes aside). Moreover, people here at Hopkins are very kind in my experience; just yesterday I got a nosebleed during the middle of an exam. During the few minutes I was in the bathroom, at least three people checked in on me and asked if I was okay. People here definitely want to help you, friends, professors, strangers, etc.
That said, Hopkins is definitely still a challenge and even though the start of next semester is only a little over a day away, I’m still trying to figure out what my schedule will look like.
I definitely didn’t take advantage of add period during first semester, but this semester I want to use it to test out two classes: Digital System Fundamentals (EN.520.142) and Computational Modeling for Electrical and Computer Engineering (EN.520.123). The add/drop period is a unique feature of college and I think that it helps take a bit of the stress out of college. Being able to fill your schedule with as many classes that fit your passion helps make putting in the hours toward a class just a little bit easier. It also helps academic culture at Hopkins, when classes can be filled with people who are passionate about the subject, the classroom experience is a lot more enjoyable and also inspiring. I really encourage incoming freshmen to keep this in mind when it comes time to choose schedules for next semester in a few months, and also in their first few weeks at Hopkins. Especially with elective classes, I encourage everyone reading this to keep their mind open and try out as many classes as they can.