An Interview On
Johns Hopkins University

Background

Interview Date:Fall 2018

Gender Identity: Female
Race/Ethnicity: African-American
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2021
High School Experience: Public school in New Jersey with a little over 100 students in the graduating class. There was a culture of going to college.
First Generation College Student: Yes
Major: Undeclared
Minor: None
Extracurricular Activities: African Students’ Association, Black Student Union, March, which is a fashion magazine, and I volunteer with kids through a class called Environment and Your Health.

Did any of your extracurricular activities have a particularly big impact on your experience?
Volunteering with kids because I like to help people.

Academic Experience

What is your favorite class so far?
Intro to Sociology

What is your least favorite class so far?
Chemistry

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
Among students it’s collaborative, but some teachers like to teach, and some don’t like to teach.

How accessible have your professors been?
Freshman year they were more accessible. I think as your schedule changes and you have more afternoon classes, it can be difficult because most office hours are in the afternoon. It depends on the teacher, and if they will meet with you outside of office hours, [I’d say about half will try to meet with you].

How was transitioning academically as a first-generation student? Were there any systems in place to help you adjust?
There was a program called Hop-In that was helpful because they offered tutoring and had a summer program where we got to take a course so we could understand the pace of the school. They also helped us get our textbooks and papers and things like that.

On and Around Campus

Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: AMR II in a double
Sophomore: McCoy Hall

How was transitioning from your neighborhood in New Jersey to the Charles Village neighborhood in Baltimore, MD?
It was fine. Both are cities, so I’m used to that.

Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
I think it’s safe on campus and around campus. I think people overexaggerate how unsafe they think Baltimore is. As long as you’re not in a dark alley at 3 AM, you’ll be fine. I will say that sometimes the security guards can be kind of intimidating because they like to try to approach female students and that is uncomfortable.

What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
I don’t think I have one.

Pros and Cons of being in the Charles Village neighborhood of Baltimore, MD?
Pros: It’s fine. I feel like it’s like any other city.

Cons: (1) There isn’t a lot of college affordable food options right next to us. The places here are a lot more expensive than what is affordable for a college student. The only thing that is affordable for college students is the Chipotle nearby.
(2) I’m used to New York and New Jersey where things close a lot later, and Baltimore isn’t like that where things are open all the time.

Social Opportunities

What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you participate in at Johns Hopkins?
Not a lot. My friends and I will try to find places to eat or go to some of the events on campus. We try to leave the campus area so we’re not on campus all the time. We like to go to concerts in D.C. because the MARC train is cheap. Also, the black fraternities and sororities have big events that I go to, and the events the different multicultural dancing and singing groups hold are really fun.

What have been your favorite times at Hopkins?
My favorite times at Hopkins have been with my friends. Luckily, I’ve been able to make really good friends through Hop In. Hanging out with them, even just in our rooms, has been really fun. I’ve also been lucky that I’ve had really good roommates, so I’ve had a lot of fun times with them too.

Campus Culture

How did you meet your closest friends?
Through Hop In is how I made my closest friends.

How would you describe the overall social scene?
I think it’s pretty active. There are always events and parties to go to.

To what extent do you feel people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
I think it depends. There are some people who understand that race and sexual orientation doesn’t mean anything and you should treat people right, but then there was also an instance last week where somebody made remarks about my friend who is Black that were racist, so I think it varies.

How would you describe the student body?
I think that the student body reflects the people in charge of the campus in that some are nice and some are prejudicial. The minoritized groups on campus don’t necessarily speak out about it all the time because from where we come from, we’re used to certain things like that. [See “Reflecting on the history of black students at Hopkins.”]

How was transitioning to a large university?
It was fine because I hang out with a very similar group of people [as I did in high school]. I still make new friends, but the type of group of friends I have is very similar. It was different in terms of realizing how different people are. From state to state, and even different parts of states, people act and talk differently, so that was interesting.

Financial Aid

Have you used financial aid? If so, how accommodating was the office to your needs?
I have used financial aid. They’re just kind of there, they can’t really help any more than what they say the can. Some of the people in the office are nice.

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

Have you used financial aid? If so, how accommodating was the office to your needs?
I have used financial aid. They’re just kind of there, they can’t really help any more than what they say the can. Some of the people in the office are nice.

What is something you wish you knew about Hopkins before entering as a freshman?
I wish I knew how much curved grading happens in classes. The class average will be a 50%, and they do the curve. It’s jarring because you study for a test for a week and then you get a 50%, but then you look at the curve and realize that you’re average. In high school you’re used to getting the grade you get, but here a lot of classes are curved.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
The Baltimore Museum of Art.

Reasons to attend Johns Hopkins:
1) The [brand name] of Johns Hopkins.
2) The people. You can find some very cool people here.
3) The rigor of the school.

Reasons to not attend Johns Hopkins:
1) The food.
2) The rigor of the school.

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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