First Impression of Hopkins and a look into my everyday mornings

In the future, I can imagine myself back at Montgomery Blair High School, meeting up with old friends and old teachers, describing all of the exotic experiences we have had living it up in our colleges. I can imagine Jason Ma rambling on for hours about the crazy atmosphere in MIT, where seems oddly intense academically, but at the same time, a huge f**king party school. Henok seems like he’s doing great, and I can imagine him describing his lavish dorm life, how he has one of the coolest suites ever with a huge T.V. installed to play FIFA and Project M. As we go in a circle, everyone becomes excited talking about their colleges, bubbling with fervor as they share some crazy anecdotes, and that’s good. College life should sound energetic, fun, adventurous, and everything that was made out to be in Van Wilder (to a certain extent). Yes, college will be academically rigorous, but the ecosystem built around college campuses is one of the most unique settings to ever be surrounded in. It lets you thrive as a teenager but slowly mature into an adult, gaining both academic and social experiences in the real world.

As it finally comes for me to speak, I cannot quite pitch Hopkins to my friends the same way they have pitched their schools to me. Hopkins is certainly a fantastic school, but it is a school not meant for everyone. In a way, I understand why their admission rate is dropping to the 12% and maybe lower than the 10% this year. You truly have to be a very unique character to not only get in, but also perform well here.

Most graduate students would say “treasure these four years, you’ll never get that experience back.” At Hopkins, their mantra is “treasure that freshman fall semester, it’s the only semester where your grades are covered.” Oh boy. Even as I am writing right now, I am experiencing the torrent of midterms, the onslaught of the difficulty curve in homework, and the emptiness of any school spirit or cheer, since everyone is studying (Lacrosse season doesn’t start until the Spring).  At the same time, however, I am enjoying the breadth of their incredible research opportunities and resources, the possibilities in Biomedical Engineering as they let you become more hands-on with science than any other college, the lovely walks around the Homewood Campus and Inner Harbor, and some of the most interesting group of people i will ever meet. Such polarizing feelings of Hopkins. For some reason, the negative aspects gets blurred out as the positive aspects are just so rich. Weird, isn’t it? Ultimately, I imagine all secondary schools to be somewhat fallible, but the student body tries to ignore some of the faults when advertising their school to you. I can’t bring myself to do that in this blog, even though I want people to apply here.

A Morning in Hopkins

Here we go again.

Alright Richard, it’s 8:30 AM, the alarm is blaring, so that means it’s time to fire up those neurons and get the blood flowing, we got a long Thursday ahead of us. Let me catalog today’s cycle as #051, and pull up the schedule and assignments due for Thursday’s classes. There we go…hmm…let’s see…

                10:30 AM – 11:45 AM  – Physics

                12:00 PM – 12:50 PM – Biomedical Engineering Modeling and Design

                1:30 PM – 2:20 PM – Calculus III Section

                3:00 PM – 5:00 PM – Biomedical Engineering Modeling and Design

That’s not too bad I guess. Physics is a breeze, as long as you show up Richard, you’ll get your points. Biomedical Engineering is a tough cookie, but we’ll cross that road when we get there. You know…haha…this might feel like a pretty good Thur-….

wait a second…

is that alarm still blaring? Holy cheese on rye Richard you are one lazy motherf**ker. Get the f**k up, class starts 10:30 AM and it is…




10:25 AM. Richard. As your conscience, I say this with all due respect that you are the most LAZIEST MOTHERF**KER I HAVE EVER KNOWN. HOOOLY F**K. LISTEN TO YOUR DAMN ALARM, AND WAKE THE F**K UP.


“Yo…Kyoung-A, I just had the most crazy dream ever. maybe I shouldn’t have stayed up until 4 AM finishing my Calculus III homework.”

Kyoung-A, ignoring my incredible hindsight, shakes me, pushing me into free-fall in my dream, and awakening me in reality. Thank you #basedkyounga. Kyoung-A is my short but stout friend that is also majoring in BME. We belong in the same clan in BME Modeling & Design, and since we overlap on many of our classes, she will often crash in our living quarters. She has become a permanent resident of Room 307, and she pays her tribute by vacuuming our carpet every month. Plus she wakes my dumbass up.

Such a godsend.

“Yo Rich, if you don’t get up in 10 seconds, I’m ditching you.”

Scratch the last thing i said about her.


“K, C YA.”

In my struggle to wake up, I am now alone, desolate and barren, as my blankets have fallen to the floor. Why thous has forsaken me?

Everyday,  I am also met with some initial regret of ever coming here. Dawg, why am I even an engineer doh? Those feelings quickly evaporate, as there is little time to reflect; I must weave through the lethargic march of late people to physics.

10:35 AM. I’m 5 minutes late, but the professor always dedicated the first 5 minutes of explaining where office hours are. It seems my body has calibrated my circadian rhythm to waking up just in the nick in time for actual Physics to begin.

It’s 11:50 AM already? Time to trek to BME Modeling and Design. I exit out of Physics awake and fresh, now able-bodied to appreciate the beauty the Homewood Campus has to offer. Yesterday it was Summer. Today, its as if all the trees sprouted glorious autumn leaves. As the sun shines, its rays refract around the multicolored trees across the quad, transforming the landscape into a phantasmagoria that I wish was perpetually stuck in Autumn. Magnanimous.

OH CRAP 11:55 AM WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF, I WILL ADMIRE THE TREES SOMETIME LATER. If other colleges were a mile run or a 5K run in terms of how easy-going/chill you can allow yourself to be, Hopkins would be a sprint. In my case it is quite literal.

I sprint to Modeling & Design faster, as I posit that one day these BME classes will break me into thinking like an engineer. That day could be this day.

Next post will be a more serious post on BME, and it will encompass everything I have seen so far. This post was just half serious, half fun. Needed to let out some steam from some bad midterms QQ.



Filed under Personal

2 responses to “First Impression of Hopkins and a look into my everyday mornings

  1. Callie

    Haha loved reading this 🙂

  2. Alan Lang

    Your passages alternate between a formulaic mode and an unstructured, free-indirect mode, all while maintaining a curiously strict colloquy. It exudes personality, self-assurance, decadence and self-indulgence, the latter two certainly intended specifically for this piece. I very much enjoy the manner in which you express essentially your love and gratitude for your own existence and potential, manifest in both your external and internal environments. The high energy and the erratic shifts evoke a childish excitement which translates into an almost unbridled exuberance of thought and action. An outpouring of feeling that buries doubt and negativity. I am glad to appreciate this.

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