Thanks for asking me questions – that’s what I’m here for!
I was not involved with student government as it really wasn’t much of an entity at my high school (our National Honor Society took over most of those duties I think!). However, that was just my experience, and if student government interests you, you should definitely pursue it!
It definitely sounds like you have an interest in language! You might like to know that we have a German club at Hopkins as well - my roommate is a part of it. As a part of the Cognitive Science major, we choose two areas of the discipline to specialize in, and I’m thinking of pursuing linguistics, which sounds like something you might be interested in too!
You seem like you have a diverse range of activities. Hospital experience is definitely a great opportunity, especially if you’re interested in following a pre-medical track. I wasn’t much of an athlete either (gym was actually one of my hardest classes, oops), but remember that you don’t have to be a varsity athlete and school president and the leader of 10 different clubs – we just want to see that you’re passionate and dedicated to your interests outside of the classroom.
As far as grades and classes, try not to stress too much – it’s still your freshman year! It’s easy to get caught up in the stress of wanting perfect grades and test scores and being valedictorian (and I can definitely relate), but you still have three more years of high school, and a lot of things can change! Hopkins looks for academically strong students, so GPA and test scores are definitely very important, but don’t let it stress you out too much because it's not the only thing that matters!
At Hopkins, we use a holistic application review method, so we look at grades, scores, activities, recommendations, essays, and many other things. Because of this, knowing my GPA or test scores really won’t help much since such things vary so much from high school to high school, and there’s no numerical formula for the “ideal” Hopkins student. Having a strong GPA and test score is important, but we don’t expect you to be perfect in every aspect of your application - We want you to have time to enjoy high school, too! Hopkins isn’t just full of students who never got anything but A+s in high school; it’s full of students who are truly interested in what they study and who have demonstrated that both inside and outside of the classroom . . . and, in my opinion, that makes us a much more interesting group of people! :)
As far as SAT subject tests, Hopkins recommends but does not require them, which means that the scores will be considered if submitted. I took Math II, Chemistry, and Literature.
My all time favorite book is a bit strange; it’s Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach. I first read it in 7th grade and it was one of the reasons I thought about studying medicine! Last summer I read and enjoyed Into Thin Air and Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, and the freshman read for JHU which was The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman!
I’m glad I can be of help, especially to someone with similar interests - If you have any more questions, feel free to ask or comment on my blog! Good luck with AP Bio – it’s a lot of material but for someone interested in science, it was probably my favorite AP class!