Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
February 24, 2024


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.

After dealing with imposter syndrome herself, Li describes strategies on how to tackle imposter syndrome. 

How to overcome imposter syndrome

As a rising junior, I wish I could say that I’ve overcome imposter syndrome and have somehow reached full confidence in my abilities, but of course, I still compare myself to others all the time.

Gutierrez reflects on their journey of exploring their gender identity at Hopkins.

My journey of gender exploration at Hopkins

It was late freshman year when I realized I wouldn’t be able to pass, nor did I want to. On the verge of a crisis, I remember sending a series of panicked texts to my guy friend, asking how I could dress and act more masculine. He responded in confusion and afterward listed the kinds of clothes he wore. However I only felt increasingly alienated, as I’d tried his fashion style before — I had already tried the men’s button-down shirts but could never really “pass.”

Abidi discusses the lessons he has learned while planning to graduate in three years.

Graduating early amid a pandemic

How do you feel about graduating? I have been asked this question almost every day for the past couple weeks leading up to graduation on May 22. To be entirely honest, I am not quite sure how I feel. As someone who is graduating early after three years, with COVID-19 sending me home for almost a year and a half in the middle, I have certainly not had the “traditional” college experience.

Pannone and her friends share their favorite places in Baltimore.

Favorite places in Baltimore from '22 grads

For many of us, Baltimore might not have been the first city that came to mind when we envisioned our college life. But after spending four years here, I've grown to appreciate the city and its hidden gems. So, without further ado, here is a list of places in Baltimore that have become favorites for my friends and I:

Im discusses her changing mindset in regards to college as she prepares to graduate.

My ever-changing impression of college

My impression of “college” was a place that determined who you would be, perhaps permanently. This idea haunted me, because I had repeatedly been told that I needed to obtain a certain level of college education in order to start my life right. If not, well, maybe that was it for me. 

Sangana reflects on learning to enjoy time with herself and to explore Baltimore on her own.

A year of bike rides through Baltimore

I think it’s fair to say that everyone lost their minds during quarantine in different ways and dealt with it in different ways. Me? You guessed it — I developed an addiction to lazy bike rides in the Texas sun through my suburban neighborhood.

Vu discusses the tumultuous path to college as a first-born, first generation student.

On being the firstborn and first in college

College was neither a guarantee nor an expectation. It was my only resort. College was a word passed around my community like a looming icon of the mythical “American Dream” — a dream of social mobility, wealth and generational prosperity. My parents fled from their homes, as their families were torn apart along ideological lines, to a foreign land with the hope for a better future: a future of prosperity for their children. 

Hanna Suh and Adyant Balaji list the top things to do at Hopkins before graduation.

22 Hopkins things to do before you graduate from ‘22 grads

While this list compiles a few events and activities that (as the title suggests) must be experienced during your time at Hopkins, it is most enjoyable when they are done completely by accident. We encourage you to spontaneously do random things as well and create your own list. If you find yourself wandering through campus and hear commotion and noise from Arellano Theater, approach it. And always say yes to free food — you’ll find yourself staying for the event.