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Messages - JHU_Lauren

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Transfer Exchange / Admissions: Applying as a Transfer Student
« on: May 16, 2011, 10:29 am »
Transfer admissions decisions are released on a rolling basis, as Admissions_Daniel said, starting at the end of April. This means we have released some transfer decisions; however, all transfer decisions will be released by the end of May. Feel free to read this blog entry written by our own Admissions counselor Sarah about the transfer applicant review process for a bit more information. Basically, though, most people should not expect their transfer application decision until the end of May, and there's no reason to assume one way or the other until the end of May rolls around. Try to hang in there while waiting and best of luck!

Best Of... / Best of...Why Hopkins
« on: May 03, 2011, 09:21 am »
For me, it came down to a funny change in my imagination after visiting Hopkins. I've told this to prospective students in the past and, though it doesn't happen like this for everyone, I took it as an important sign: when I went home after visiting Hopkins, my abstract idea of college became Hopkins. When I thought about eating in a college dining hall, that imagined image became Fresh Food Cafe. When I thought about researching for a paper, that imagined image became our MSE Library. The fact that Hopkins stuck in my mind like that so strongly was definitely key for me.

In addition, I judged several things when I came to campus: Beauty of the campus, food in the dining hall, and dorm dynamics. It seems shallow, but think about it. You know Hopkins has strong academics and professors. Everyone does! But another important thing is student life: in other words, imagining yourself at that school on a day-to-day basis. Food and community were crucial to that. And a beautiful campus, I knew, would be able to remind me how lucky I was to come here, even if I was stressed or tired or having a rough week. They all came together at Hopkins, which is ultimately why I chose it - and why, four years later, I'm so glad I did.

Best Of... / Best of... Breakfast/Brunch Places
« on: April 30, 2011, 08:47 pm »
Agreed with Keith! You can follow them on Facebook for daily specials, discounts, etc. Also it's super convenient since it's only a few blocks east from campus.

If I had to choose a #2 breakfast joint in town, I'd probably have to go with Alchemy in Hampden. I rarely venture too far from campus for breakfast since I like mornings best when they're sort of lazy and slow, but Alchemy is within walking distance so it's definitely an option. It's a new place (just a few months old), which my friends and I checked out during Restaurant Week this year. The menu is very unique and the place is very trendy. I got the sweet potato chicken hash when I went - YUM. I absolutely would recommend it!

Student Life: The Undergraduate Experience / Enough leisure time?
« on: April 26, 2011, 09:41 am »
The great thing about college is, in short, it is nothing like high school. You don't necessarily have class from 7:30am til 3pm, then switch to extracurriculars, then homework, then sleep...and then wake up and do it all over again. Instead, you might have class for only two hours in the morning, then an absolutely open schedule for the afternoon. And, like everyone said before me, it is entirely your choice how you occupy that time. Some people prefer to do their work immediately after class to get it out of the way; others prefer to get a job and spend anywhere from 5-20 hours a week working; others still will spend that time with their friends, or napping, or playing video games, or exploring Baltimore...the options are endless. They also vary for each person depending on the day of the week - as we tend to tell prospective students, there really is no "typical" day at Hopkins!

First semester freshman year is definitely the time to figure out what kinds of study habits (and, therefore, what types of "leisure habits") work best for you. You'll also be able to gauge how much concern you should have for a certain class/exam/assignment - some require a lot of work, but others you can relax about. Don't worry if you have to try different types of study techniques to get it right - it takes a little adjusting! But I promise, if you budget your time well and don't take your classes too seriously, you'll definitely have a well-rounded and FUN college experience here.

Life in Baltimore / Safety in Baltimore
« on: April 26, 2011, 09:16 am »
I completely agree with Nick's last paragraph - the most important thing is exercising common sense. Even with all those security measures in place, things can happen...just as they can at any school, suburban or urban or even in the middle of nowhere. But if you take advantage of those opportunities (especially the escort vans, whose # is in my phone and who I call often so I don't walk home alone) and remember to be aware of your surroundings, you should have nothing to worry about. I feel extremely safe on campus and in the city of Baltimore - especially now that I've learned how to navigate the city more efficiently. One time, my group of friends even found ourselves in a bad neighborhood between Fells Point and Inner Harbor, but got lucky and met a local who guided us in the right direction. Don't bank on that happening if you wander into dangerous areas, but it just goes to show you - just like any city, there are those "bad" guys out there, but there is also a lot of help for you if you know where to look :)

Fact or Fiction / Traditions?
« on: April 26, 2011, 03:37 am »
This week is the JHU Step Up Philanthrophy Campaign! Here's a blurb from their Facebook page:

Step Up Philanthropy Week is about students understanding the importance of giving their time and resources toward philanthropic causes as they relate to JHU so that students can better themselves now and better future students as alumni.

It's actually a really interesting tradition that can be a lot of fun each year - you text STEP UP to a certain phone number before the week starts, and the entire week you'll get texts/Facebook event invites about free giveaways and fun contests going on around campus. This year, there'll be free ice cream sandwiches, burritos, coffee, smoothies, Silly Bandz, a photo scavenger hunt to win an iPod, and even a pre-game pep rally on Saturday before our big Homecoming game. You can check out the main Facebook event for a full listing of the week's festivities!

Best Of... / Best of...Relaxing Spots
« on: April 26, 2011, 03:23 am »
Like many of the answers before me have mentioned, the Beach is the BEST place to hang out with friends, take a cat nap, and do some leisurely reading or football-throwing in between classes. But I also love walking down the path to University Parkway that leads to the Rec Center - it's lined with trees that smell amazing in the spring and it tends to calm me down a little. Sitting outside of Nolans in Charles Commons when it's nice out can be great too, especially during the evening as the sun is setting - there's usually a light breeze and it's nice to look out over St. Paul Street while unwinding from your day.

I'm also known to spend hours in Levering Food Court eating lunch with my friends. There's something about being surrounded by friends and other chatting, happy people that calms me down!

Student Life: The Undergraduate Experience / Personal Finances?
« on: April 12, 2011, 09:46 am »
As a senior now, I'm getting even more of a taste of having to "fend for myself" in the world, specifically in terms of finances. I was good with budgeting before when I was on a meal plan and didn't have rent to pay but, now, it has become even more important that I balance my financial aid with my paychecks...and even more difficult to do so with bills coming in all the time. But you can't just give up, because it's really crucial to have enough money for food, going out with friends, clothes, and whatever else you want to spend it on.

What I started to do this year was keep a sticky note on iGoogle (the personalized homepage for your Gmail/Google account) with all of that information, specifically the amount of financial aid that had to be in my checking account for my rent payments. Each month, I would subtract my portion to keep an updated total, which I could easily compare to the amount in my account to make sure I was on track.

It's hard to believe that working three different places and having financial aid to cover your rent would still leave you broke, but a lot of months I was definitely in that situation. This taught me to make meals for myself (and have potlucks where my friends come over with different dishes to contribute), take advantage of happy hours and daily discounts at local restaurants, and learn to eat smaller portions (like the club sandwich at Carma's - perfect, petite lunch!). Turning 21 was also difficult because you do tend to spend more social time at bars, which can get expensive. But staying aware of my finances at all times - and sometimes leaving my debit card at home to avoid the temptation - really does help!

Academics: The Insider Perspective / Academic Help
« on: April 12, 2011, 09:38 am »
Like Mandy said, the Writing Center is an amazing resource for undergraduate and graduate students who are doing nearly any type of writing: we help with essays, theses, personal statements, grant proposals, etc. Read my blog entry about it and feel free to comment if you have any questions!

Extracurricular Activities / SGA: Student Government?
« on: April 12, 2011, 09:18 am »
We just had our 2011 SGA Exec Board elections! Check out SGA's website for updates on all of their initiatives, starting soon.

Best Of... / Best Of... Piece of Art on Campus
« on: April 12, 2011, 09:15 am »
I think my favorite is a recent installation of a tree stump sculpture near Levering Hall. It got here sometime around last winter and, while it's not necessarily the most beautiful piece of art around campus, it definitely was the one that sparked the most discussion! (Actually, I'm still not sure why it's actually there...)

Best Of... / Best of...Spring Fair!
« on: April 12, 2011, 09:12 am »
Quote from: "JHU_Mandy"
And since I'm 22 and allowed to say it -- beer garden is a fun part of spring fair (once you're 21, that is, so mostly juniors/seniors).  Different student organizations have booths selling different drinks (you pay them with tickets that you purchase from more official people) and the proceeds benefit their clubs.  Last year, I got to help in one of the booths which was really fun!  And just to add in the disclaimer, there is a lot of security (checking IDs and making sure everyone is behaving) and the beer garden is closed off from the rest of spring fair.  None of the other events sell/allow alcohol.

I'm also really looking forward to the corn dogs and lemonade sold on the Freshman Quad. Every year, I have to set aside a special budget just for them!

Best Of... / Best Of...Student Jobs!
« on: March 15, 2011, 09:42 am »
I work at the JHU Writing Center as a tutor for undergrad and graduate students who need a bit of help writing essays, personal statements, thesis projects, and anything in between. It's a lot of fun, pays really well, and helps me feel like I'm really using my skills to benefit others. You can read more about my job on my blog!

I also work a bunch of hours in Admissions each week and, for two semesters and two summers during my undergrad years, I've held internships in Media Relations, Public Relations, Publications, and Television Production. Working at college has been an amazing experience for me - not only have I been able to make money that allowed me to live/eat comfortably and to more fully explore Baltimore, but I've learned so much and met so many great people in the process. It makes me feel like I'm being really productive, especially when I feel like I've hit a wall in academics or extracurriculars. There's always something new to do in one of these three jobs - it keeps life exciting!

Housing / Dorms: AMRs, A&B, Wolman, McCoy
« on: March 15, 2011, 09:10 am »
I lived in Wolman Hall my freshman year and I absolutely loved my experience there! Once you enroll, you'll receive a housing survey that asks you questions about your living behaviors (to match you with a "good fit" roommate), plus your housing preferences. They'll ask you to rank the buildings and also rank your preference of a single, double, or triple room. Though there's no guarantee you'll get your first choice combination, the percentage of people who do is very high. There are a bunch of singles in Wolman, so you have a good shot. I know JHU_Mandy lived in a Wolman single her freshman year so she can better tell you about the experience of getting and living in one!

And yes, Comcast will be on campus during the first few weeks of class if you/your roommate want to sign up for cable. They give pretty good deals to students - I remember getting HBO for free and an awesome monthly rate during my freshman year.

To see some of the rooms in Wolman Hall and get a feel for how you can set them up, check out our CRIBS videos. And if you have any more specific questions, feel free to ask!

Best Of... / Best of... Things to Do in Baltimore for under $10
« on: March 03, 2011, 11:38 am »
One of my favorite things to do in Baltimore is actually something very unique to the Baltimore area: duckpin bowling! It's like regular bowling except the pins and balls are much smaller, and you get three shots per frame instead of two. My favorite place to go is probably Patterson Bowl down in Fells Point: it's $2.00 for shoe rental and only $4.00 a game. It's also BYOB/BYOF (food of course), so they don't "get you" with pricey menu items. Pretty good deal...and a lot of fun!

Best Of... / Best of...Restaurants Around Campus!
« on: February 15, 2011, 10:28 am »
During Baltimore Restaurant Week this year, my friends and I went to Hampden for brunch at this new restaurant called Alchemy. It's a small place and it's very trendy - brick walls, cocktails, perfect lighting, even the bowls/plates they use to serve food are shaped funky. Keep an eye out for new restaurants popping up all the time - they're always worth a try.

But my favorite place around campus to eat is still a toss-up between Pete's Grill (an award-winning breakfast spot and only place in Baltimore I've found to cook scrapple just right) and CVP (Charles Village Pub, which serves classic bar food with its own signatures here and there).

Best Of... / Best of...Ways to Get Around
« on: November 28, 2010, 06:58 pm »
I use the buses! I will admit that it isn't quite as direct as the bus systems in most other major cities, but our bus system in Baltimore is cheap {less than $2 for a one-way ride} and really efficient. My first taste of the public transportation here was when I used one bus line to get to/from work each day when I was an intern at the National Aquarium, but I use them now to go to the Enoch Pratt Free Library, drugstores to get my photo film developed, Inner Harbor to shop/eat, Towson to shop/meet up with friends, Penn Station to catch a train.. and even Wendy's when I just want a bite to eat that is a little more "exotic" than our standard places around campus :)

Best Of... / Best of...Buildings on Campus
« on: November 21, 2010, 03:29 pm »
Gilman is definitely my home at Homewood - I work there {at the Writing Center}, all of my departments' offices are there because it's the Humanities hub on campus, and 4 out of 5 of my classes take place there. I do my best work in the Hut and I've even done two film projects in/around Gilman this semester. I wrote a blog about it while it was still under construction {read it here!} that I think describes perfectly how I feel about it... you just can't beat its ability to make you feel capable and scholarly.

But for funsies, I also really like Maryland Hall. I'm not a big fan of the inside of the building, but outside has such character - I love sitting on the brick stairs to read when the weather gets nicer, I love the tall windows and wrought iron details, and I love how the trees creep up and frame the stairs/windows like a picture. It's really pretty and, for some reason, just being around the building makes me happy.

Best Of... / Best Of ... Places to Visit on the Weekend
« on: November 17, 2010, 05:36 pm »
Quote from: "JHU_Keith"
Angelo's has the largest slice of pizza in Baltimore and is pretty cheap, too.
And some of the best cannoli in the city. Not an official "best of" award or anything, but I'm sure the rest of Baltimore wouldn't disagree.

Best Of... / Best Of ... Places to Visit on the Weekend
« on: November 16, 2010, 02:03 am »
My favorite weekend hangout is definitely Pete's Grille. It's within walking distance from campus {just a few blocks east} and has the BEST food, the BEST deals... plus, it always makes me feel like a real Baltimore citizen, which is really nice. It isn't ever hard to recruit friends to walk over early in the morning on Saturday or Sunday for a great, filling breakfast!

Best Of... / Best Of ... Study Spots
« on: October 24, 2010, 06:11 pm »
I have two: HopStop {now called "Blue Jay Cafe" in Levering Hall, but I'm old so I can't stop calling it by its old name} and The Hut in Gilman.

When I was a freshman, The Hut was basically where my life happened: I conferenced with my humanities professors about assignments and exams, met my friends to talk about projects and share lunch over studying, and wrote some of my most intimidating {and best} college papers. It was so old and it felt that way - but it was good because I would think about all the people who had studied there before me and what successes they went on to achieve, and then I would get super inspired without fail.

When Gilman Hall closed for two years for serious renovations, I had to find other places to study. I studied in the lobby of Garland, in Nolans, on Q Level of the library, and of course my bed. But I adopted HopStop as my sort of Hut-replacement and can't seem to give it up now that the Hut is back. It's quiet but it's ok to talk, it gets a lot of light, and it has really comfy chairs. I also love that there is an old wood bar in the room where they actually used to serve alcohol to students who were of age. "The good ol' days," one alumnus told me one day when I walked him from Mason Hall to the Breezeway :P

You can tell one of my major criteria for a study spot is some sort of history: the atmosphere has to feel scholarly and official and old for some reason, to remind myself that what I'm doing is important and relevant. Call me a nerd but I love that feeling :D

Best Of... / Best Of ... Late Night Snack Spot
« on: October 17, 2010, 04:04 pm »
Maxie's is 100% wonderful - the kitchen is open until they close and, if you stick around til closing, you can even get some pretty great pizza deals since they're trying to get rid of the slices for the next day. The staff is great and friendly as well, and every time I walk in I feel like I'm on Cheers or something - they all know you if you go often enough so it's a really comfortable, warm place to grab food and do work in the daytime, have a good dinner with friends, or go out at night {since there's a bar downstairs}. In terms of their food, I'm in love with their Buffalo Chicken pizza and the new Chicken Alfredo pizza, yummmm!

Best Of... / Best of ... Running Spot
« on: October 13, 2010, 05:41 pm »
I'm not a runner either, but my friends and I like to go for walks in the area around my apartment all the time. Behind my apartment {which is across the street from the lax field} is the edge of the Roland Park neighborhood, so it's filled with pretty houses and tiny little streets. It's such a nice change of pace from the city streets I'm used to! I also love walking over to Hampden. My roommate and I do that a lot - we take a windy route down University Parkway and around Wyman Park to get there. There are usually kids sports going on, people walking dogs, and we even once stumbled on a huuuuge flea market/yard sale. It's definitely worth taking the scenic route...and, if you walk fast enough, you won't feel a smidge guilty when you stop for Angelo's Pizza or hot cocoa at Chocolatea afterwards :P

Best Of... / Best of ... MSE Symposium Speakers
« on: October 07, 2010, 03:09 pm »
I haven't been to too many MSE events myself, but this year I am really excited to see Jon Landau speak on October 21st. I'm a Film/Writing Sems major and would really like to become a film producer in the future, so to have the chance to listen to an extremely successful producer right here on campus {he produced Titanic and Avatar, plus held a fancy job at 20th Century Fox and won all sorts of awards} is such a great opportunity. I'm looking forward to it already!

And of course I'm impressed every year by the list of former speakers. I would've gone crazy if I could've seen Nelson Mandela or Bob Woodward!

Best Of... / Best of ... MSE Symposium Speakers
« on: October 05, 2010, 01:02 pm »
This week, movie critic and Emmy-award winner Richard Roeper {of Ebert & Roeper fame} is coming to Hopkins to speak as part of the annual Milton S. Eisenhower Symposium.

For our first "Best Of..." discussion, we want to know: who was the best speaker you've seen in your years at Hopkins? What was the theme of the MSE Symposium that year and why was he/she so entertaining?

Established in 1967, the Milton S. Eisenhower Symposium is a widely acclaimed lecture series sponsored by the Johns Hopkins University. The symposium is designed to present an issue of national importance to the university, as well as to the Baltimore and Washington communities. All events are free and open to the public. The Symposium is run entirely by undergraduate students at the Johns Hopkins Homewood campus. The Symposium has a history of attracting some of the world's most prominent leaders, politicians, artists and scholars.


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