Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
November 30, 2023

How to survive Hopkins 101 (Q&A)

By SOPHIA PARK | September 1, 2022



Park gives her best answers to some of the most commonly asked questions from freshmen.

Hello new Jays! First off, welcome to Hopkins. I know you are all probably bursting with excitement and anticipation to begin your newfound college careers. You have also probably scoured YouTube, Reddit, Quora and basically every website that can give you an ounce of insight into your next four years here at Hopkins. We have all been there. Well look no further, as I, an aging senior, have compiled some of your questions and have — to the best of my ability — answered them. Here is the 101 on how to survive Hopkins.

Q: Is it difficult to make good friends?

A: I would just like to start off by saying that many of you had this question. For me, this shows that many of you are equally concerned about meeting the people you can truly connect with. Every freshman enters college in this same boat. You are bound to meet new people everywhere, whether that be in class, in a club or at a party. Embrace these opportunities. I wouldn’t say it’s difficult, but it can be if you don’t come into college with the right mindset. Be open to saying “hello” to the person who sits next to you in class. Check out the Student Involvement Fair and pop into some club meetings until you find one or a few that fit. But, fair warning: just because you find the perfect friend group in freshman year, doesn’t mean that this friend group will stay fixed for all four years. Focus on making meaningful relationships rather than forcing mediocre ones to stay in place. 

Q: What is the party scene like?

A: “Hopkins isn’t really a party school.” I know we have all heard or read this and kind of knew what we were getting into. But honestly, I think the party scene is what you make of it. There is Greek life here at Hopkins. Obviously it isn’t to the scale of “Bama Rush” and the big state schools, but it is present. There are always fraternity parties going on during the weekends, the iconic Power Plant Live! has college nights on Thursdays and barhopping in Federal Hill and Fells Point is also a popular option. If you are more into the party scene, I suggest rushing a sorority or fraternity, as there are several options available on campus. Even without joining one of these organizations, you can definitely still go out and have a good time. 

Editor’s Note: The News-Letter does not condone underage drinking. 

Q: Is the culture really as toxic as it is made out to be?

A: No. The way Hopkins is described on the internet has really blown this stereotype out of proportion. Yes, there are a lot of pre-meds here. Yes, the classes are rigorous and challenging. However, once you get here, you realize that everyone, once again, is in the same boat. We are all trying to figure out what we are doing with our lives. We are all stressed. If I miss a lecture, I can rely on my friends to send me their notes, and I would do the same for them as well. Before an exam, we all share our study guides and meet to go over practice questions. You will occasionally meet someone who isn’t as open to doing so, but generally, most people are. In my opinion, the one thing to guard against is comparing yourself to others. Focus on yourself first and avoid watching what other people are doing. Cheer on your peers’ successes but don’t make their success feel like your failure.

Q: Is there a prejudice against Humanities/Social Science majors from STEM majors?

A: I would say that there are a few people who think that their major is supposedly much harder than others and develop a bit of a superiority complex. I think this mentality is stupid. Everybody is inclined to different things, and everybody chooses their own major. If you think your major is so difficult then change it – don’t go raining on other people’s parades. I know that this school notoriously has more STEM than Humanities/Social Science majors, but for the most part, we all respect each other. If you happen to meet the few that don’t, avoid them.

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