An Interview On
Johns Hopkins University

Background

Interview Date:Fall 2018

Gender Identity: Female
Race/Ethnicity: Black
Sexual Orientation: Pansexual
Graduation Year: 2020
High School Experience: Public school in Nebraska with a graduating class of about 375 students. The majority of people aimed for four-year colleges. Some minorities did go to trade schools and the military.
First Generation College Student: Yes
Major: Psychological Brain Sciences
Minor: African Studies
Extracurricular Activities: Co-captain of a cultural dance team on campus. I’m a member of ASA (African Student Association)

Did any of your extracurricular activities have a particularly big impact on your experience?
Being on the dance team has helped me learn to juggle multiple things. It’s kind of a time commitment but is something I can excel in as well as school. I am thankful for what the team has taught me, and what I can teach the team as a captain.

Academic Experience

Can you describe the weekly coursework for psychology?
I have two labs with around 5 assignments weekly. I’m doing a lot of introductory and lower level courses so it’s just a lot of writing based assignments and exams.

What is your class in your major?
Intro to developmental psychology – We learned about how people grow up

What is your least favorite in your major?
Research methods about experimental psychology – It was intense

Is there anything that you feel the psychology department has done especially well or poorly so far academically?
I think the professors really like their job. They seem dedicated to helping their students. I’ve never had a bad experience in this department.

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
It’s collaborative. I think this collaboration overshadows the competitive part. It’s competitive, but not as many people are involved as we think.

How accessible have your professors been?
They make themselves very accessible. Some of them are hard to communicate with outside of the department, but they are good at being able to be around people.

What made you choose psychology, and are you happy with your choice?
Well, I came in doing neuroscience. The reason why I switched was because neuro was a lot for me, and drained me. Psychology allowed me to study the mind from a different perspective. I think it’s a good decision because I’m healthier overall and still get to learn about interesting things.

How was transitioning academically as a first-generation student? Were there systems in place that made this transition easier?
For me, transitioning academically wasn’t too bad. Getting here was the hard part. I didn’t know anything about applications of FASFA, so it was a huge learning experience about how it all works.

On and Around Campus

Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Omaha – 1 roommate and 2 Sweet mates
Sophomore: Charles Commons – 3 roommates, all single rooms
Junior: off-campus with two roommates

What has been your favorite living situation?
My current one with two roommates.

How was transitioning from Nebraska to Baltimore?
It was definitely a huge change, but a change I was anticipating and excited about. In Nebraska, everyone was the same. Coming to a more diverse place where there are different ideas make me excited.

Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
I feel safe all the time. The times I feel unsafe are around some guys because they are usually Black men who love to hit on Black woman.

What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
Probably my girlfriend’s place. She lives off-campus in Maryland.

Pros and Cons of being in Baltimore, MA?
Pros: (1) The public transportation is fairly reliable.
2) It’s on the coast and being here there are a lot more diverse people to meet in local shops.

Cons: (1) Poor living conditions.

Social Opportunities

What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you participate in at Hopkins?
The black fraternities throw parties, and those are fun. There’s a lot of places in Baltimore we go to on the weekends. I like to go out to eat or the local movie theatres but aren’t as expensive as the mainstream movies.

How happy were you with the nightlife options at Hopkins?
I would hope for more people to be interested in hanging out with different groups and wish more people wouldn’t be so busy with work. I wish nightlife was more of a thing here.

What nights of the week do you regularly do things?
They are pretty sporadic but usually Friday or Saturday at night.

How has someone who identifies as pansexual affected your social experience?
I don’t think it has, it’s not something that comes up a lot but people do know it about me. In public men like to ask if I’m with my girlfriend or stare rudely.

Campus Culture

How did you meet your closest friends?
I did a program before I got there, targeting first-gen minorities coming into school. Those people are now super close, there was a group of us about 40. I’ve lived with at least one every single year. I’m also close with the people on the dance team.

How would you describe the overall social scene?
There are lots of sections to it. It’s very pieced apart which makes it difficult. It’s separated by types of people and I don’t think there is a huge overall school social scene.

To what extent do you feel people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
I think in the classroom and semi-formal settings they do fine. I think people bond over pain here, always feeling tired because of the work and assignments. For the most part everyone is chill with everyone. [In the class of 2021 about 29% of students are Caucasian, and 30% are Asian.]

What have been some of your favorite times at Hopkins?
I really like when the ASA has a big event in the spring where people can donate baskets. Everyone is really nice. I love my dance team showcase during the spring, it’s a big thing I get to enjoy.

Do people generally seem happy with their college choice by senior year? Do people “love” your school?
I think a lot of people joke about being hurt, but I think once you make it through it was fine. This is what a lot of younger alumni have said.

Academic Experience

How would you describe the overall social scene?
There are lots of sections to it. It’s very pieced apart which makes it difficult. It’s separated by types of people and I don’t think there is a huge overall school social scene.

To what extent do you feel people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
I think in the classroom and semi-formal settings they do fine. I think people bond over pain here, always feeling tired because of the work and assignments. For the most part everyone is chill with everyone.

What have been some of your favorite times at Hopkins?
I really like when the ASA has a big event in the spring where people can donate baskets. Everyone is really nice. I love my dance team showcase during the spring, it’s a big thing I get to enjoy.

Do people generally seem happy with their college choice by senior year? Do people “love” your school?
I think a lot of people joke about being hurt, but I think once you make it through it was fine. This is what a lot of younger alumni have said.

Careers

Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
Not internships but I have had the opportunity to shadow doctors and survey which is cool.

What have you used the career office for? How helpful have they been?
I have not, but I’m starting to use the professional office. I’ve heard its almost one in the same. I go there for my pre-med stuff, to discuss how I should build my profile here.

Have you learned any computer programs or languages that have been or will be especially helpful professionally?
I haven’t learned anything very difficult. I’ve learned “R,” along with other simple coding methods.

Financial Aid

Have you used financial aid? If so, accommodating was the office to your needs? Were they responsive to your questions?
Financial aid has always been a struggle. The most recent semester I actually got an advisor who talked to me about my situation. The other advisors who didn’t help is a really big negative. My first one was not my permanent one, but had him for two years. You really had to get on his neck about it. I got switched to an even worse woman, so I switched again to one my friend told me about and he’s been pretty good.

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

What is something you wish you knew about Hopkins before entering as a freshman?
I wish I knew how hard classes were going to be. I wish I knew how different classes are and time management is in comparison to that of high school.

What is something you wish you knew about your school before you entered as a freshman?
I wish I knew how hard it was going to be, and what the typical day would look like

What does your day typically look like?
I get up early around 7 and start working or take a shower. I then go to class. After class on Monday’s and Wednesdays I have lab work, come home to chill then do more work. It’s very repetitive.

What is something someone who is a first-gen student or African American student should know that has not been mentioned?
You can feel different if you don’t reach out to people with the same socioeconomically background as you.

What is something someone who identifies as LGBTQ+ may want to know about?
There is a community here if you want one but you can also be yourself and people won’t give you problems.

Reasons to attend Hopkins:
1) It’ll look good for you when you make it through
2) You will learn a lot of quality information
3) There are tons of opportunities here

Reasons to not attend Hopkins:
1) The food is getting worse
2) The culture of being sad and tired can be draining for some people
3) If you have to work a job to come here, good luck because it’s really hard

Notice: Johns Hopkins University is a trademark. Induck uses it for descriptive purposes, not to imply affiliation with, endorsement from, or sponsorship by Johns Hopkins University.

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