As the Johns Hopkins University undergraduate Class of 2016 counts down to commencement, there's a lot of nostalgia going around campus. It's a time for celebration, but also a time for reflection.
With that in mind, we caught up with several graduates and asked them to share their favorite memories, advice to future classes, and one thing that's on their bucket list. Here's what they told us:
"It doesn't matter if nothing goes according to plan because your time in college is basically trying to figure out what you want to do. If something goes wrong, you just work with that. It's not the end of the world."
—Randy Cruz; Brooklyn, New York; Molecular and Cellular Biology
"Come in with an open mind. One of the beautiful things about Hopkins is that you have the ability to take a lot of different classes your first and second semester. So just explore. If it seems interesting to you, you'll probably do well in the end, and you'll like your time here better."
—Devany Diamond; Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania; Psychology
"People should go out and pursue extracurriculars and try to join some clubs. Maybe don't spend every waking minute in the library."
—Randy Ma; Cupertino, California; Computer Science
"Go to Miss Shirley's, eat crabs, go to an Orioles game and a Ravens game. Oh, and go on a roof."
—Andrea Joseph; Williston, Vermont; Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
"Plan your schedule out for all four years coming in freshman year. Like right away."
—Schaffer Ochstein; Dallas, Texas; Biomedical Engineering
"Realize that it's OK not to know what you want to do with the rest of your life. Your 20s is a really early time to know exactly what you're going to do forever, and it's OK to change your mind and figure it out along the way because that's what most people are doing. And be confident in that."
—Adithi Rajagopalan; Wrightstown, Pennsylvania; Psychology and Writing Seminars
"Hopkins has so many great extracurricular activities and fun things to do on campus. The workload can really make it seem overwhelming to make everything fit in, but making extracurriculars a part of my time at Hopkins has really made it a more well-rounded experience."
—Elizabeth Marley; Lower Gwynedd, Pennsylvania; Political Science
"Try to take more electives. I kind of latched onto that senior year and realized how much I enjoyed that so I would've hopefully started a little bit younger."
—Ariel Zahler; New York, New York; Applied Mathematics
"Find something else—besides classes, and homework, and research—that you're interested in. The best thing to do in these four years is just to get out of your room. Go to different performances like art, music, sports, dance. There's so many impressive things going on here."
—Dael Norwitz; West Orange, New Jersey; Writing Seminars
"Something I didn't do a lot was go to office hours. Try to make relationships with professors. Senior year I've been going to talk to them a lot more. They really have a lot of good advice. The earlier you do it, the better. They're people as well. They're fun to talk to outside of class."
—Joe Huntley; Littleton, Colorado; Neuroscience and Psychology
"Make the most out of your time here. It's a short four years."
—Katie Tobin; Palm City, Florida; Neuroscience and Psychology
"The best thing to keep in mind at this school is to work hard and play hard. Studies are important but you should also have a good time your four years here."
—Amanda Lourenco; Amherst, Massachusetts; Molecular and Cellular Biology_
"Enjoy your freshman year a lot because work gets harder after that."
—Leela Subramaniam; New York, New York; Electrical Engineering
"Everyone around you is probably just about as confused/terrified/worried as you are. It kind of takes a minute or two to actually realize that because it sounds like no one could be. Anyone is desperate for some new friendship. Reach out and talk to the person across the table from you. Sit down next to someone else—they'll be happy."
—Oren Fishman; New York, New York; Molecular and Cellular Biology
"Grades aren't everything. Make sure you enjoy your time here as much as possible. It's OK to get a lower grade and have a little more fun than just slaving away in the library."
—Philip Mak; Brooklyn, New York; Biology
"My sophomore year some friends and I went over to Peabody and actually got to go to a concert and see an art festival. Taking time to get off campus and actually see other parts of Baltimore makes it a more memorable experience."
—Bryce Rowan; Atlanta, Georgia; Public Health Studies
"Eight hours of sleep. Don't do all-nighters. It's not worth it. You either know it or you don't."
—Amelia Gavurin; Vienna, Virginia; Writing Seminars