Johns Hopkins University Top Questions

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Deedee

So students here are rumored to be pre med, cutthroat, and anti social. Yes, there is a sizable pre med population, but please don't forget that there are sooooo many students who are humanities or social science people. Cutthroat? Please. You won't be able to do really well unless you get help from people and correspond over material. The library is always full of study groups every single day. And we are definitely social!

Samita

No, I wouldn't say so. I don't fit it, and neither do my friends.

Ryan

To a certain extent. It depends on the major. The science kids are much more cutthroat and competitive. And there are a lot of socially awkward, nerdy kids on campus.

Jordan

A Hopkins student says that a major stereotype is that many students are too career-focused.

Jordan

A Hopkins students says a stereotype of students is that they never leave campus.

Jordan

A Hopkins says that one stereotype of Hopkins is that students are apathetic.

Jordan

A student says Hopkins and Baltimore is stereotyped as being unfriendly but it is actually much more vibrant and fun.

Logan

Not at all. Students study as much as anyone at a decent school would study. If you compare it to a party school, obviously, you may consider it intense, but if you compare Hopkins to its peer schools and the prep schools that most students come from, the study/workload/collaboaration level is really no different. The school needed to stimulate the arts more, sports facilities and other activities for students to enjoy outside of the classroom, but I understand they have progressed that since I left over a decade ago.

Reese

lol...we do study all the time and that's how we have fun!!! Just kidding we do have a heavy work load but there is definitely time and opportunity to have fun...sometimes.

Jerry

To a certain extent, yes. A lot of kids do spend all of their time studying, but a lot of kids don't. It all depends on your major and what kind of student you are (engineers typically get more work and go out less, but some engineers can do well without studying).

Alex

While we do spend a lot of time in the library (they know how to make you work hard at hopkins), we know how to have a good time too :o)

Shelby

Not really. (Not from my experience)

Brittany

Well the most famous walk-of-shame is the walk at 3 AM when the library closes to the Hut, our 24 hour study library.

Amy

i think there is a nerd in everyone. but it doesn't mean you can't be cool.

Jess

Some are: students are very studious which at times limits their social interaction with others Some are not: it is a multi-ethnic school with a diverse student body of many, not only Asian, cultures; and not everyone is studying medicine

clare

to some extent

Gregory

While it may be true for some people, most students are not premeds and few are "cutthroat". Most students are happy to help their peers with coursework, even if graded on a curve.

Alex

There are a lot of people that fit the typical pre-med/ engineer image but certainly not everyone.

Lauren

Yes.

Ben

We are definately all weird and awkward. . . a large number of people are socially retarded, but the cutthroat aspect of Hopkins is only felt as much as you let it affect you. Study hard get good grades and no one else matters.

Gene

no

Cody

There are many people like that, but there are plenty of people who are active on campus and do things. The best part about people who stay in their room or the library all day is that you never have to see them.

Lane

I am speaking only from my observation.

Devon

1. Not entirely. 2. No. 3. Not entirely.

Shawn

There are a large number of pre-meds but this is not a bad thing. The school is only competitive if you make it competitive. I have never faced a situation where I felt that people were trying to compete with me to make me look bad.

Meagan

No!

Jessica

There are boring people but I don't associate with them. I have lots of fun here. Baltimore is one of the best cities in America, HONESTLY!!! Baltimore beats Washington, DC and Paris, France (two places I have lived) for community, defiant spirit, local celebrities, weirdness, local music, etc. We have an anarchist coffee house, a farmer's market, a Lithuanian dance hall, warehouses, intimate concert venues, and, best of all, the experimental music festival High Zero every year. Hopkins students are very varied. There are many depressed people, many competitive people, people who cry at bad grades, people who are autistic, people who do not have adequate communication skills, people who sit in their rooms all the time. There are outgoing people who are in the library all the time and are very committed to the ten volunteer activities they head. There are kids who drop out to do coke, suicidal kids, kids who drink bourbon from hip flasks and play in loud bands. We tend toward political apathy. There are very few Catholics. Frequently at the library a big table is speaking Korean. Anime is popular.

Lorie

While Hopkins is an intense school, students often collaborate on work, studying, and other projects. Students are also almost always willing to help each other.

Natalie

To an extent. Students here generally want to do well, and there are students who are dedicated to their work, but there are also JHU students who are the complete reverse of the stereotype.

Andy

The problems with some of these stereotypes are they are true, though it all depends on who you make friends with. There are a large group of kids that spend most of their time studying as well as any fun time they do have playing video games or something of the sort. Though, there is also a group that is big into the bar and club scene and do actually go out and party. There are also the 'artsy' kids who go to concerts in the area, art shows, etc. It really depends on what crowd you enjoy being with most. Most students hate JHU and Baltimore in general the first few years and some never stop hating it. Others fall in love with the city, which can drastically change how you enjoy JHU as a whole. JHU is really want you make of it.

Michelle

To some extent; yes, lots of people are very driven and committed to "learning for the sake of learning," as cliche as that sounds. Most people are very talented in a number of areas and will give a lot of time and effort to do well. Competition is not overwhelming; most of the hardest majors emphasize cooperation, and the school has done a good job to encourage collaboration and a more "fun" student environment compared to decades ago (based on what I have heard from numerous alums). Yes, lots of people are pre-med or engineers or IR, but they also do a lot of other interesting things, and most people are NOT premed, either when they come in or when they leave. However, JHU has the highest % of students who complete advanced degrees within a short period after graduation...I think that emphasizes the truly academic/professional atmosphere at the school, which is one of its great selling points. Baltimore is truly a great city of neighborhoods, and those students who invest some time in figuring out how to get around (safely!) will truly enjoy their time in the city. There is a lot of revitalization going on, and there are lots of neat places to discover if you're willing to leave the campus bubble. This year, the deans began offering a special off-campus Intersession program for freshmen, to try to encourage them to make use of more of B'more.

Ryan

Honestly, for a large portion of the student body, they really are. You have to look hard to find people that want to have fun. And even when you do find fun people, we're different here than other schools. You spend a majority of your time studying, no matter who you are. Then you have the people who choose to spend all of their time at the library, and there are far too many of those.

Andy

No. Students work hard but they are not out to get each other. Hopkins students are hardworking but not evil.

Josh

The stereotypes are completely false. Hard working is the only one that is true, but JHU students are not overworked. Most of the time before a test people are taking advantage of group study and help each other out. There is plenty to do on and off campus that is fun. Hopkins students know how to find a way to relax after schoolwork.

Athlete

The idea that all hopkins kids are awkward is very true. Even the "normal" kids are awkward. it's hilarious and at the same time depressing. The idea that all Hopkins kids do is study can be verified by going to the library on a Friday or a Saturday night to find that more students are there than at the local bars. However, those kids who do party, party hard. The kids who attempt to make Hopkins more like the traditional college experience we are told about (you know, parties, making friends, drinking, having fun, crazy stories) exist, and most of them know each other because there aren't that many of them compared to the 5000 undergrads. Most of them are either athletes or involved in greek life, or both. Lots of undergrads are premed when they arrive at Hopkins, but not as many stick with being premed or an engineering major, for 4 years. Many switch to Econ or IR, which are easier.

Mandy

The idea that all JHU students are pre-med is entirely inaccurate. Of course there will be some students who are hyper-competitive and who prefer the library to a relaxing evening, but these students are in the minority and a part of every student body, regardless of the school. I, personally, have had no incidents of cut-throat competition and have never been the library on a weekend for more than a couple of hours during the day.

Andy

I'd say these stereotypes aren't accurate, although I have seen instances in which they seem true. For instance, for the "pre-med" stereotype, depending on who your friends are, you might end up spending a lot of time with many pre-med people. If you're a pre-med student in a natural science major, you might find that many of your classes are dominated by pre-med students. However, the overall student population isn't as pre-med as you might think - most students at Hopkins *aren't* pre-med! As for the cutthroat stereotype, that's largely untrue. Many professors encourage collaboration among students in completing homework and studying for exams, and most people I know are willing to help out others. I must warn, though, that there are some students who tend not to help other students, but they also tend not to ask other students for help. Meanwhile, I've encountered a few students who truly are the definition of "cutthroat" - however, I can count them only on one hand, and compared with the overall student body, they're a very small minority. Plus, there's nothing as socially alienating as a cutthroat reputation! Finally, for the "perpetual studying" stereotype, it's not true in the sense that we definitely don't spend all our time outside class studying. Most students here spend a lot of time with extracurricular activities, jobs, community service, socialization, et cetera - but yes, at the same time, we do study a lot here. This school isn't a piece of cake. Still, studying all the time is definitely not the scenario here.

Stefanie

No, although Hopkins students are very active and serious about their studies, it does not come off as "cut-throat". Students are focused, but they are also young adults (aged 18-22) who have fun outside of the classroom.

Robin

It's true that JHU kids take academics very seriously and put academics ahead of most everything else. This doesn't mean that we don't like to be creative and have fun and do things.

Jamie

No. Yes, there are a lot of science majors, but there are also a lot of public health majors and IR majors. The writing seminars program is also very good.

Jordan

1) A lot of people are as hardcore as if they were applying for med school, but there are plenty of other science majors, engineers, etc. There are also lots of slackers - ie lacrosse types - and kids in between. 2) It's easy to have a social life, just not a campus life. Especially once you move off-campus (practically a requirement by the time you're a junior or a senior, though there's now some housing for upperclassmen) you pretty much hang out with your friends, and there aren't really a lot of school or campus activities to get involved in.

Tristan

No. While there are a large number of pre-meds at Hopkins, it is not true that everyone is pre-med. In fact, the most popular major at Hopkins is International Relations. This is quickly followed by Public Health (which can be take as either a natural science or social science), Neuroscience, and I believe Writing Seminars. Last year, most of my friends happened to be International Relations students, although a few of them branched out into other more specific programs. Nevertheless, it is clear that this rumor is untrue. In regards to the rumor that Hopkins is cutthroat, I have not found this to be the case. While classes are very difficult, especially considering that we do not have grade inflation, people are more than willing to share notes, do homework in groups, and even tutor you in specific subjects. I don't know how I would have gotten through Calculus without my friend helping me each week.