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Today, at 3:00 PM EST, 2,309 students were accepted to The Johns Hopkins University Class of 2023. Today, 2,309 students experienced one of the best days of their lives. 

Today is special to me; it marks the one year anniversary of one of the best days of my life. I still remember sitting in front of my computer at 2:48 PM, my mind (and heart) racing at a million miles a minute for the next 12 minutes (which is, like, 12 million miles altogether). I remember experiencing one of the most abrupt changes in emotion—from complete and utter dread to instant, unbridled joy. I remember hitting ‘refresh,’ seeing CONGRATS!, and knowing immediately the trajectory of my life had changed forever.

senior year me ready to leave the nest and join another one

And that’s not to say that college is the only determinant of future success—I’m a firm believer that college is what you make of it, no matter where you go. But for me, Hopkins had been a girlhood dream turned reality (as I’m sure it was for many of the 2023’ers!)—getting in simultaneously legitimized the sacrifices of my immigrant parents and served as the culmination of one of the longest projects of my life. It was a manifestation of the investment I had put towards my education, something I certainly do not take for granted.

College for me has been a breeding ground for the passions I didn’t even know I had. I came in as simply a Neuroscience major on the pre-med track (which is completely acceptable, by the way!). I’ve since realized that I’m just as enamored, really, by the social workings of a city I’d always been apart of but never really took advantage of. Nowhere else is it so encouraged, so normal, to pursue studies in completely different fields (like Neuroscience and Sociology, in my case). In the short semester and a half I’ve been here, I’ve both assisted in surgery on embryonic mice and have been awarded a grant to study the efficacy of recidivism reduction programs across the United States (we love an interdisciplinary education!).

my mouse brain slices. are they not the most beautiful things you’ve ever seen?!

So, to the Class of 2023, to those that have committed to making Homewood their home, and to those that have not yet made the leap (what are y’all waiting for?!):

You got into Hopkins, one of the 10 best schools in the nation! You’re one of the most selective classes chosen since the University’s conception, only 7.7% accepted out of a pool of 30,163 applicants! The University did not admit you solely on the academic rigor of your courses, nor did they accept you for your standardized test scores. Out of hundreds and thousands of applicants, they saw your potential to effect change, your dedication to academia, and your commitment to service.

the compulsory ‘i got into college!’ pic

As you break the news to friends, family, teachers and mentors, let yourself be excited, exhilarated, even. Your acceptance is a testament to your hard work and continued effort – now is a time for pure celebration. Over the next few months, tell your teachers how much they’ve helped you, hang out with your parents a little longer, hug your best friends a little tighter. Explore your hometown one last time, re-visit the places that have shaped the most formative parts of your being. Enjoy your senior year—you’re already in college (I feel compelled to say, however: do NOT let yourself fall victim to senioritis, it is truly a pervasive epidemic).

me + my cute bff’s; oh how i miss them so

I might be biased, but Hopkins is the best home for you! Let it be the breeding ground for your passions just as it’s been mine, let yourself be swayed by the boundless idealism of your peers and your professors. Build relationships with the community, explore the world outside of a lecture hall. 

You’re a Blue Jay now. Come claim your nest.