Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
October 5, 2022


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

How to survive Hopkins 101 (Q&A)

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.

Wadsten gives her take on some of the most underrated places in Baltimore.

Baltimore: the offbeat and underrated

I knew next to nothing about Baltimore before I moved here four years ago, but it’s become a place I fondly call home. From a community research job at the hospital, working as a dog walker and sitter, learning about the city in classes, writing and editing for The News-Letter and exploring Baltimore on my own, I’ve gotten to know the city, and I hope you get the chance to burst the Hopkins bubble over your time here too. 

Tuschman shares some helpful lessons she learned throughout her college career.

How to achieve the best college experience

Navigating college involves a lot of trial and error. Whether it’s oversleeping for an exam or switching majors three times, we inevitably have missteps that we can (hopefully) learn from. But there are some lessons I wish I didn’t learn the hard way. Here are a few things you should know in advance in order to have the best college experience:

One way to support fellow Blue Jays is by attending sports games.

An introduction to Hopkins sports

While Hopkins is known for its top-ranked academics, it also boasts some of the best teams in collegiate sports. As sports writers for The News-Letter, we have the privilege of covering Hopkins athletics, and we encourage you to attend their games to have fun and support your peers. Here, we will introduce some of the teams that we have covered in depth.

John describes how she met her first friend at Hopkins.

My first friend at Hopkins

Hi! My name is Shirlene John. I'm from the Bay Area, California, and I’m thinking of majoring in English and maybe Neuroscience. I love running and being outdoors, and I can't wait to explore Baltimore! I love reading pretty much anything, so let me know your favorite book recommendations! I also love trying new foods, so please feel free to reach out to me!

The sports scene in and around Baltimore is unmatched.

Exploring the Baltimore sports scene

With the fall semester just around the corner, Hopkins students are slowly making their way back to campus. Since most venues have opened up, attending sporting events is a great way to enjoy yourself outside the realm of academics. Ranging from top-notch sports leagues like the National Football League (NFL) and Major League Baseball (MLB) to collegiate, minor and local sports leagues, the opportunities are endless. Here are some exciting, in-person sports events that you can witness in Baltimore this fall semester.

Mattoon gives her best tips on how to make it through Baltimore’s cold winter season.

My first winter at Hopkins

You may have sweat your body weight during Move-In, but enjoy feeling hot while it lasts. Soon, we’ll see the first leaves of fall, the first frost of winter and the long wait for springtime. I’m a Texas girl, and my Christmas dress has short sleeves and falls just to my knees. Like most of the Class of 2024, I also moved to Baltimore in the depths of January. When my friends proposed an excursion to The Charmery, I shivered the entire way there and opted for a hot cocoa instead. While in some ways winter never gets easier, I have found some practices that help me get through the season without feeling dead inside.

Gebo shares advice on how to maintain a healthy work-life balance in college.

How to balance your social and academic life

Classes at Hopkins are hard. They’re rewarding and exciting places to bond with brilliant students and professors — but they're hard. While some homework feels more tedious than others, late nights spent sitting in Brody Learning Commons, eyes glazing over as you open yet another reading, problem set or lecture is a near universal Hopkins experience. 

Lin explains how to overcome unrealistic expectations when entering college.

How to manage your expectations in college

Ivy-covered walls, arched entryways, spirited football games — it’s impossible not to come to college with some of these preconceived notions. But having these imagined visions of college to look forward to isn’t the problem. It’s a matter of how tightly you hold onto them once you get here. 

Mulani shares her best tips on how to look after yourself in college.

How to take care of yourself away from home

Hi! Hello! Welcome! I’m going to assume that you’re reading this article because you want to learn some secret, foolproof way to look after yourself now that your everyday life isn't following the same monotonous schedule of school, homework, dinner and bed. 

Maultsby gives her ratings of various spots around campus. 

Vibe checking the buildings on campus

When it comes to course registration, we students are primarily concerned with factors like credit counts, subjects, professors and meeting times. Understandably, venue-related factors (things like interior ambiance or architectural charm) are low-priority.

Bahar necessitates the importance of experiencing college with an open mindset.

How to find yourself in college

Walking into my Wolman Hall suite last year, I felt secure in what the coming year would bring. I spent the summer talking to peers on Instagram and Discord, chose my roommate, built a four-year plan and knew what clubs I would join. I was even getting dinner with my soon-to-be best friends that night!


What you need to know about Baltimore

Every year, new Blue Jays flock to the nest of Hopkins, eager to make it home for the next four years. However, it’s important for students to realize that this new home extends beyond campus and into Baltimore City. Like any city, though rich in diversity and culture, Baltimore is riddled with issues that disproportionately impact various communities. As you enter an institution that has played an influential role in shaping the city’s history, educating yourself and becoming aware of the issues plaguing the city are the first steps to popping the infamous Hopkins bubble and making the most of your experience here.

Mendpara prepares freshmen with advice on how to make friends.

How to make friends after O-Week

The moment I saw my picture and biography on the Hopkins Class of 2025 Instagram account, I instantly began picking the skin of my cuticles (kinda gross, but whatever). I must have sent that paragraph talking about my potential majors and favorite boba flavor to seven people, asking if I came off as personable and charming. Seeing this post made me realize that this is it: This is what will define my fate for the next four years. 


How you can get involved in Baltimore

When you enroll as a Hopkins student, you don’t just happen to live in the city of Baltimore. You are now a resident of Baltimore. Your main focus is to earn that degree, of course, but hopefully you have aspirations to engage with others both on and off campus. In the same way you devote attention to the happenings in your home’s community, you have a responsibility to be respectful and attentive to the city that you will call home for the next four years. This is not only a responsibility; it is also a privilege. 

Lacey suggests some local businesses to visit while in Baltimore.

Small businesses to look out for in Baltimore

Baltimore is a vibrant city full of small, local businesses. When you’re taking a break from classes this semester, consider supporting the many restaurants and shops found throughout the city. Not only will your visit provide you with fun weekend (or weeknight) plans, it’s also an opportunity to explore Baltimore beyond the typical “Hopkins bubble.” Many of these organizations also support non-profit organizations, making your visit a mutually beneficial decision. Below is a list of just some of the countless small businesses found in Baltimore. 

An anonymous writer describe their first date at Hopkins.

My first date at Hopkins

We had spoken online throughout the fall of my freshman year, and I eagerly anticipated our first in-person meeting. Our idea of a first date was nothing special. Essentially, in an attempt to be somewhat COVID-conscious, he and I planned to meet up on-campus and drink wine in one of the white tents meant for students to socialize in accordance with public health guidelines. (Sharing a bottle of white wine with a stranger is probably not in line with those guidelines... Sorry Hopkins!)

Huang advises freshmen to learn to put themselves first after describing her first kiss experience.

My first kiss (a bad trade)

My first kiss happened in a stuffy, poky bedroom. The room was dark, not unlike a cave. I was on a spring break trip with my new boyfriend at the time, and we shared the same bed in our rental home. The bed, quite dusty, occupied almost the entire length of the bedroom. Beside it was a single-hung window with horrible soundproofing. Throughout the night, I could hear cars zooming past or honking their horns. Not the most romantic setting.

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