Name: Jessica Wright
Year: Class of 2009
Hometown: Pasadena, CA
Major(s): International Studies with a Spanish Minor
Favorite Hopkins ---: Favorite Hopkins food is absolutely the strawberry-mango smoothies at Nolan’s on 33rd – they’re new this year and really good!
When I first arrived on campus the beginning of my freshman year, I was constantly asked “Why did you come to Hopkins if you’re from southern California?” The truth is I never really wanted to leave my hometown, let alone my home state, for college. Being apart of a huge University of Southern California Trojan family, I always wanted to end up there.
However, during my junior/senior years of high school, my college list expanded to include other universities in California as well as the East Coast. I decided that I needed to be near a body of water, even if it was not the Pacific. Ultimately, as one might have guessed, my final college decision came down to Hopkins or USC. Do I stay in California and go to a school that is 20 minutes from my home (in no Los Angeles traffic), or do I branch out a little and go to a school about 2,700 miles from home?
Obviously, I chose Hopkins, not only for its excellent and challenging academics, but because I needed to branch out and do something completely different than the rest of my family. By coming to Hopkins, I removed myself from my comfort zone, and placed myself in something completely foreign to me. I had only been to the East Coast once before coming to JHU and the thought that I couldn’t come home when I wanted worried me. However, I really wanted to have a college experience that I could call my own. So, on the last day of Orientation, after saying goodbye to my parents and being officially left at college, I realized that it was up to me alone to make the most of my college experience and to truly live up to my goal of branching out.
I came to Hopkins already knowing that I wanted to be an International Studies major because of its multidisciplinary aspect, encompassing Political Science, a foreign language, History, and Economics. However, I decided to have a job on campus that had nothing to do with my major. I mean, college is a time to experiment with other fields, so why not? I currently work as a Student Athletic Trainer in the Athletic Training Room. I have learned so many things that normally I would not have had the chance to learn. In addition to being CPR/AED certified, I have learned the basics of sports medicine. I have worked the practices and games of our Varsity teams and have been able to meet a lot of people. We also have some “training room fun,” including our holiday ornament contest. During the month of December, all the trainers are allowed to use anything in the training room, from tape to Gatorade cups and pre-wrap to cotton balls, to make a holiday ornament. Freshman year, I decided to make a Christmas tree out of tongue depressors, Gatorade cups, and pre-wrap. I actually won first prize, the prestigious award of a nutcracker atop a plastic cup.
In addition to my on campus job, I am a member of Phi Mu. Before coming to JHU, I definitely did not think of myself as a sorority girl. I am naturally shy, quiet, and quite frankly, I prefer dinner/movie nights to frat parties. Rush, although overwhelming and intimidating at first, turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life. I have met so many wonderful, intelligent women through Phi Mu, and I was surprised at its diversity. Being a part of a sorority is great, not just because of the date parties and formals, but also the service projects and giving back to the community as well as it gives me something to belong to on campus. I would definitely recommend going through rush, even if you are not entirely sure a sorority is for you.
Hopkins students have an amazing variety of resources at their disposal. You can pursue any of your interests, whether it is research, medicine, foreign affairs, or music. I know many students who intern at the medical campus or take classes at other Hopkins schools. This semester, I had the opportunity to take piano lessons at the Peabody Conservatory, and for credit! Although I decided to wait a semester before taking lessons, just knowing I am able to pursue my musical interests and learn from those at a well-renowned conservatory excites me. One of the main things that I like about JHU is that the university offers so much, but the student is encouraged take the initiative in pursuing their interests. Professors, the Career Center, and Academic Advising are all accessible, but the student makes the appointment, the student fills out the application to be an intern, and the student applies to study abroad and makes sure that credits will transfer.
If you take advantage of all that Hopkins has to offer, your college experience here will be so much more rewarding!