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I spent my last night of break with one of my closest friends from high school. In the small Connecticut town in which I live, nothing is open after 8 pm so we ended up just driving around town and catching up. Somehow we ended up in the parking lot of out high school. Memories came flooding back. It’s been almost three years since I graduated. Today in our weekly SAAB (student advisory admissions board) meeting, I realized that we will soon be welcoming in the class of 2020! Suffice it to say, I’ve been feeling old.

In the three years since high school my life has changed a lot. But after seeing Dan, my friend from home, I realized how much we had both changed as individuals. I’m a different person today.

This time three years ago I was a nervous wreck. I applied early decision to Hopkins and was terrified I wasn’t going to get in.

I’ve thought a lot about the one piece of advice I would want to give graduating seniors. I would say, don’t be afraid of what’s to come. Accept the changes in your life, and maybe let them change you. We grow up in our parent’s households. We are our parent’s children. We absorb their values and rules without hesitation. But at some point we all have to leave home.

I came in to Hopkins as a history major, but I decided to take classes in all different departments my freshman fall. Introduction to Neuroscience stood out from the rest. Although I had loved my history classes the most all throughout high school, I realized I was ready to explore a new field. I’ve since spent every semester taking core required science classes and upper level neuroscience courses. The way I think is different now. I have a different perspective on life.

I’m not sure if I would have observed the changes I see in myself today if I hadn’t come to college with a truly open mind. I urge every somewhat shy, nervous and naïve graduating high school seniors to take risks and do things you have never done before. After getting a good education, isn’t that what college is really about?