Johns Hopkins is a top-ranked university that is especially known for its strength in the medical, public health, and biomedical engineering fields. SoFlo expert Tutor Alisa Sivertsen is currently completing a 4 year Neuroscience BS/MS program at the university. In this article, she shares her thought process behind choosing Johns Hopkins and offers advice for students who are making their own college choice decisions.
How Did You Approach Your College Applications?
When approaching my college applications, I was particularly interested in the course structure and how much agency I would have to personalize the curriculum. I wanted to find a school that had a rich curriculum that allowed me to pursue various interests as well as be an environment where I could easily get involved. I also knew I wanted to study brain sciences so I was able to focus my search around that.
Why Did You Choose Johns Hopkins? What Factors Did You Consider?
I ended up choosing Hopkins for many of the reasons specified in the previous question. It had a smaller student body which meant that there were many research opportunities for undergrads available on campus and in the surrounding area. Their core curriculum also meant that degree personalization was easy and encouraged, which has resulted in me taking many fascinating non-major classes that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to. Location-wise, I also preferred the East Coast due to proximity to family.
What Was Your Testing Journey Like?
My school offered an SAT prep course that met once a week for a month. The main benefit of that course was that we were given the SAT prep book. I mainly prepared by taking the practice tests from there and reviewing the content that I consistently struggled with. In addition to the PSAT, I had experience with the testing format from yearly elementary school state testing.
Do You Have Any Advice For Students Applying To Colleges Right Now? Any Advice For Students Taking The SAT?
It can be hard to figure out exactly what you want to do with your degree, and those intentions can often change during your 4 years at college. That’s why it’s important to identify a range of interests both academic and extracurricular. As much as you can, look into the curriculum for your intended major, and if you’re undecided, see if any of the majors/ courses offered could be interesting. Is it easy to change your major if you change your mind? How much support can you expect from the institution? What sorts of hobbies can school clubs help you nurture? What sort of extra-curricular engagement opportunities does the institution offer? I find taking a holistic approach is what will help you find the most fulfilling and well-rounded college experience. And remember, it is what you make it.
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