"We've got Michael in the house!" bellowed a first-year mentor across the walkway near the Freshman Quad. A chorus of cheers and screams erupted from the group of sophomores assembled nearby.
"Woo, Michael! Welcome!"
They rattled cowbells and clapped, making as much noise as possible. Michael, riding shotgun in his mother's SUV, shrunk away from the open car window and smiled sheepishly. When he pictured himself arriving as a new student at Johns Hopkins University, he almost certainly didn't envision a welcome committee quite like this.
If there's one word that best describes the atmosphere during first-year student move-in at the university's Homewood campus, it's enthusiastic. Even those who departed before sunrise to drive to JHU from places such as Virginia, New Jersey, and New York were in high spirits as they moved into their new residence halls.
Lexi Edwards, a first-year student from Long Island, New York, got an especially early start—she, her parents, and her younger sister loaded up the family minivan and hit the road at 4 a.m.
"At one point we weren't sure everything would fit," Edwards said. "But luckily it did, and it was good that we had everything packed in boxes ahead of time."
New Hopkins undergraduate students began moving in at 8 a.m. Friday morning, and more members of the Class of 2022 will arrive on Saturday. Many new Blue Jays brought with them special—and unique—reminders of home.
"I brought some Judaic books that are important to me," said Raphi Chernoff, who is from Chicago. "I enjoy them."
Pranavi Pallinti from Sterling, Virginia, brought a favorite stuffed animal from childhood, as well as memories from a summer trip to southern India with her parents.
"We wanted Pranavi to meet her grandparents and the rest of her family, because we don't know how busy the next few summers will be for her, with all the summer opportunities for research and internships Hopkins has," her mother said.
Others brought prized possessions.
"I brought, like, 10 pairs of sneakers," said Michael Liu, from Erie, Pennsylvania. "I'm one of those people who keeps my shoes pristine. My favorites are the ones I'm wearing, my Yeezys.
"I'm looking forward to meeting new people and being around people who have a hardworking mindset," Liu added. "I want to be around driven people."
Morgan Wheeler, from Oak Park, Illinois, said she's excited to meet other women majoring in STEM fields like she is.
"At my high school, we had a Girls in STEM group chat and we were a close group of friends and there was a lot of support, so I'm hoping that will continue here at Hopkins, too," she said.
Madison White, who flew into Baltimore from Reno, Nevada, said her childhood growing up in Guatemala helped her shape her goals and influenced her decision to attend Hopkins.
"Living in a third-world country and seeing the issues that come with that got me interested in International Studies and is part of why I want to research poverty issues and human rights," she said. "But mostly right now I'm looking forward to making new friends and being on my own for the first time."