Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
May 30, 2024

Since it finally dawned on me that I’ll be graduating in a couple of weeks, I feel obligated to impart my pearls of wisdom on every underclassman that passes my way. College truly is a learning experience, and I’ve got enough life lessons bouncing around in my head to land me on a couch with Oprah.

Here are just eight of the many things that I’ve learned after four years of calling Homewood my home:

1. Falling is a part of life.

This isn’t a metaphor; you’re literally going to fall somewhere at Homewood at some point during your Hopkins career. One rainy day when you’re rushing through the Breezeway, or on a not-so-sober night during an icy Intersession, you’re going down. What else can you expect from a campus that’s made almost entirely of marble?

2. Failing is a part of life.

And now for the mushy life lesson: you’re not perfect. You can’t be good at everything. You’ll probably realize this after you get the results of your first major midterm. Don’t let this kill your confidence, though. The best way to become good at something is to fail doing it and then to learn from your mistakes. So go ahead and fail if it means that you’re bettering yourself. Just try not to overdo it. Don’t blame me if you end up on AcPro.

3. Let your voice be heard.

I spent my entire high school career in a Scrooge-like misery because I felt misrepresented, but I never took action. I wasn’t going to let that happen at Hopkins, though. From exposing microaggressions on JHU Confessions to helping with the logistics of “I, Too, Am Hopkins,” I can say with confidence that I’ve learned to help solve the problems that I observe on campus, with the hopes of making the Hopkins community a better place to be. It’s so easy to complain about everything that Hopkins is doing wrong, but the true test of character is what you do about it.

4. Philosophy of the Mind is trippy.

Once upon a time, I was an ambitious freshman who thought she would look cool by telling everyone that she was taking Philosophy of the Mind. And then my brain nearly exploded. I’ve never questioned so many things in my life. Do other people have minds? Are we even real? Can tables think? Is there a heaven for a G? We may never know.

5. Chore schedules are next to godliness.

Every neat freak’s nightmare is being stuck with a roommate who doesn’t value cleanliness. I’ve been stuck scrubbing mold from coffee mugs, pulling hair from sink drains and taking out bags of garbage that smelled like crypts, just so I wouldn’t be distracted by the germs I imagined infesting my living space. Then it hit me: create a chore schedule for me and my roommates. It’s so simple, yet it’s  so effective for someone who may or may not be a little obsessive-compulsive.

6. Do things for yourself.

There are countless students whose ambitions are influenced by other people’s opinions. Case in point: it took me two years to fully realize that I only wanted to become a doctor because people thought I was “too smart” to work in media. Although I had to scramble to fulfill all of the requirements of a Writing Seminars major, I’ve never been happier, and my transcript has never looked better. My career path may not be entirely defined, but, hey, I’m doing what I like to do instead of forcing myself to do what’s expected of me. So when it comes to your personal goals, do things for yourself - Not for your parents, not for your résumé, not for the Vine – yourself.

7. Work and play at the same time makes Jack an okay kind of guy.

We’ve all heard it before: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Well, Jack must be a Hopkins student because he clearly understands that there are academics, sleep and social activities, and the first reigns superior. One thing I’ve learned at Hopkins, however, is the beauty of multitasking: you can have a guilt-free social life if you incorporate your academic life into it sometimes. Study with your friends. Turn up with your textbooks nearby. I can’t guarantee that you’ll actually be productive, but at least you’ll have somewhat of a life.

8. You’re great.

Everyone at Hopkins essentially has the same goal: to be great. That said, it’s easy to feel a little inferior sometimes, but that’s not the case at all. We’ve all pulled all-nighters. We’ve all gotten a little emotional over a test grade that wasn’t as stellar as we expected it to be (don’t deny it!). We’ve all hung out on the Beach after a week from hell, and we’ve actually forgot for a second that we were sitting in front of the very place we spent countless hours studying/writing papers/seriously considering dropping out and working at Chipotle. So when it seems like everyone around you is a rocket scientist, and your problem sets look like they’re written in hieroglyphs, remember that the universe brought you to Hopkins because you were meant to be here.

And, in true senior fashion, my sappy farewell: it has been an absolute pleasure writing for Hip Hop, and serving as Editor over the past year. I appreciate those who got a chuckle out of my column, those who mistook my sarcasm for seriousness, and the dedicated columnists who have contributed articles.

To all of the seniors: We made it.


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