Welcome to Hopkins! It feels like I was just in your shoes — or on your computer screens, I suppose — nervously reading The Cover-Letter. I had no clue what to expect from college, but I knew it would be different than anything I’d experienced before.
Let me begin with saying you can chill out a little bit, you don’t need to stress too much about struggling to make friends. You’ll find your people. Start saying yes to everything because it works so much better that way — every Carma’s invite and pong night and the chance to listen to music with new acquaintances in the AMR I study room.
I may be the 1,038th person to tell you, but Hopkins is officially online this semester.
What a ride these past couple months have been. From filling out a housing form to buying new school supplies, many of you were probably ready to come to campus. For that experience to be taken away three weeks from the start of the semester must have been difficult, and I empathize.
Who are you? It’s a question, in one form or another, you’re going to become accustomed to answering on the daily. You’ll be talking to a peer in one of your classes, and they’ll ask, “What are you thinking of majoring in?” You’ll be attending a virtual trivia or movie night and someone will say, “Tell me about yourself.” Surely, your First-Year Mentor (FYM) may have asked you, “What’s a random fact about you?” I should know — it’s something I asked my mentees during our first meeting.
If I had to total the number of times I heard the word “fit” during my college application process, I’d get bored within minutes and give up. There’s a reason I’m majoring in Writing Seminars and not Applied Mathematics and Statistics. That isn’t to say I’m bad at math, or that I don’t comprehend its value to me, but that I’d prefer to make my point through writing rather than arithmetic.
“Don’t worry, you can still go to law school,” a fellow News-Letter copy reader told me, inspiring me to write my first article for the paper, a vindication of the often teased Writing Seminars major.
Once you proclaimed yourself to be #JHUClassof2024, you undoubtedly received questions of “Oh, are you pre-med?” and “Which science are you majoring in?” While many of you may be coming to Hopkins with a STEM-oriented plan in mind — I was no exception — I want to remind you to keep your options open.
I’m going to start and end this article with an apology: I’m sorry. I’m sorry for all that you’ve undoubtedly had to go through this past half-year, I’m sorry you won’t be able to have an on-campus beginning to your college experience and most of all, I’m sorry that you’ll have to take a full semester of online courses. No matter what anybody says, the simple truth cannot be denied — learning online isn’t the same. However, accepting that can be the first step to making the most of the many opportunities still available.