The Life Design Lab held a webinar titled “Finding the Right Fit: Navigating your Interests and Co-Curricular Experience at Hopkins” on Sept. 2. Hope Burke, the assistant director of Life Design, hosted the event on Zoom to help students reflect on their goals for college and plan out what student organizations to join.
Burke emphasized the importance of Life Design in applying the principles of design thinking to the perplexing problem of planning out one’s life.
“Our goal is to make sure you feel a sense of coherence in your life. We really want to make sure who you are, what you believe and what you are doing are in close alignment as possible,” Burke said.
Freshman Alexa Delaney found the webinar especially helpful for determining her goals as a college student and deciding what student organizations to join.
“Even if it was virtual, it did help because the leader was very interactive. She had us writing on the screen and split us into breakout rooms. It made it more personal, at least for me, and I still think I was able to get what I needed out of it,” Delaney said.
Burke explained that the design-thinking mindset begins with determining one’s personal goals and beliefs in order to decide what kind of life to design. The mindset includes reframing, mindfulness of process, radical collaboration and bias.
The attendees were then given a few moments to reflect on and articulate both their college views and involvement views. Students were put into breakout groups to share what they hoped to get out of their college experience and discuss their priorities in looking for student organizations to get involved in.
Burke focused the remainder of the webinar on guiding the students through using Hopkins Groups to attend the virtual Student Involvement Fair. She highlighted that students must be realistic about the amount of time and energy they can devote to clubs in order to avoid the pressure of joining many extracurriculars.
“You certainly do not need to get involved in 10 different student organizations right now. You can potentially choose some of the ones that feel good for you right now and think about how you can add on or deepen those relationships as you move forward in your Hopkins experience,” Burke said. “Make sure that your goals and values align with the organization’s opportunities, values and mission.”
Freshman Yiyang Liu noted that she would definitely attend more of these webinars in the future. However, Liu suggested that the Life Design Lab should attempt to get more students to take part in these events to guide freshmen with their experiences.
“This would be a much better session if there were some panelists or upperclassmen present to talk about their experiences in different clubs and with time management,” Liu said.