Johns Hopkins University Top Questions

What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

Kathryn

Hopkins students are often pegged as being addicted to studying, with no interest in having fun. The reality is that Hopkins students have a sort of "work hard play hard" mentality. While the week can be a lot of work, come the weekend Hopkins students really know how to relax and have a good time! All the things to do around campus make it easy to maintain a balance between work and play that fits each individual. For example, while a student may spend most week nights in the library, on Friday they will probably go to a party or hang out with friends, and have all weekend. Students find many ways to release the stress of the week during the weekend.

Kathryn

Hopkins students are often pegged as being addicted to studying, with no interest in having fun. The reality is that Hopkins students have a sort of "work hard play hard" mentality. While the week can be a lot of work, come the weekend Hopkins students really know how to relax and have a good time! All the things to do around campus make it easy to maintain a balance between work and play that fits each individual. For example, while a student may spend most week nights in the library, on Friday they will probably go to a party or hang out with friends, and have all weekend. Students find many ways to release the stress of the week during the weekend.

Alan

The stereotype of Johns Hopkins is that everyone is science driven and the social life is abysmal. However, that is not the case. Specifically, in my time at Hopkins I have met a variety of people whose academic interests vary along with their professional goals. An aspect of Hopkins that I didn't expect was the heavy presence of Greek life. Although a small percentage of the student population is involved in Greek life, most of the people involved on this campus are in Greek life.

Michelle

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Anna

Everybody thinks that Hopkins is made up of competitive nerds that never crawl out of D-Level in the library. I think there are definitely a few of those, but for the most part, I've never come across too many. In fact, the majority of people I meet are friendly and happy to go out of their way to help out. It's a tough school--it'll be hard to pull through with your sanity, a social life, and good grades without a little camaraderie and late nights working on homework in your dorm common room.

Tina

One stereotype is that there is cut-throat competition at the school. This isn't accurate. Although, there is a little competition, it's certainly not cut-throat. It's very possible to find a person to partner up with for studying or to borrow notes from if you ever miss a class.

Lauren

Stereotypes of Hopkins students usually characterize the student body as cutthroat and science-centric. I think that both stereotypes used to be true, but are no longer valid. Based on my experience, Hopkins students are motivated and ambitious, but not cutthroat. Students compete not with eachother but against their own expectations. Hopkins remains the best research institution in the US, but has vastly diversified its academic strengths in the past few decades. Many students come to Hopkins knowing only its science programs, but find once they are there that Public Health, Writing Seminars, International Relations or Economics is more interesting to them. As an undergrad, I see a huge range of majors and interests every day.

Erica

Most people think that Hopkins students are incredibly competitive and unfriendly. This is incredibly false and I have found the students to be one of the best attributes of the university.

Sarah

Everyone is pre-med - totally false. International relations is a really popular major, and our Writing Seminars and Art History departments are among the best in the country. Most of my friends actually aren't pre-med and are very well rounded students.

Kate

A stereotype at Hopkins is that we are all cutthroat people that will do anything to succeed. Yes, we are dedicated and driven students. I have NEVER encountered anyone who tried to make me fail so that they could do better. In fact, I have done a lot of work in groups where people definitely try to help others understand the material.

Joseph

The stereotype seems to be of a school with only pre-meds who spend all their time studying, but there's definitely a strong presence in the social sciences and humanities, as well as students who spend the majority of their time out partying.

Miranda

That we're cutthroat, and spend all our time in the library. People do spend a lot of time in the library, but they also spend a lot of time on their extracurriculars/having fun. People aren't cutthroat, but they do definitely work hard.

Nicholas

The biggest stereotype is that we're all competitive, cut throat pre meds. This is very inaccurate.

Melanie

People tend to think of Hopkins students as nerdy, stay-in-the-library-all-day type students. While this is may be true for 15-20% of the student body, there definitely is a social life at Hopkins if you are looking for one. Those who actively get involved and are looking to have a good time, have fun. There are tons of frat parties on the weekends and there are constantly events going on around campus. Your experience at Hopkins doesn't have to be one spend in the library 24/7; it can be as good as you want to make it.

Sydney

The main stereotype is that everyone is pre-med. Am I pre-med? Yes. That being said, two of the most popular majors on campus are International Studies and Writing Seminars. Sure, with Hopkins Hospital, there are pre-meds, but people forget that the hospital isn't the only resource Hopkins has. We are a train ride from DC and New York, right next to the BMA, and have centers for study abroad all over the world.

Eliza

People assume that students at Johns Hopkins are cut throat students who are completely concerned with grades and not about enjoying the full college experience. And of course everyone is pre-med. Neither of these stereotypes are accurate; yes students do take their classes seriously and yes we do have a lot of pre-meds, but there is a lot more that the students have to offer. For example, I am a writing seminars major. Few people know that Johns Hopkins has the second best creative writing program in the country. Also, we do like to have a good time here. Students frequently go out Thursday through Saturday and there never is a lack of parties or frats to go to. Of course if you aren't interested in that, there is no pressure to go out. There are always campus run activities going on and a large group of students attend.

Sam

When I first stepped on campus, my notion was that the campus was going to be mainly composed of students of Asian-American or Caucasian descent, with a lack of a major social scene. I was wrong on both accounts. First of all, the student body of Hopkins is very diverse, with many different ethnicities and backgrounds represented. There are many international students as well, which adds to the diversity and creates a great blend of cultures. When I came to Hopkins, my expectations for a great social scene were very low. However, within the first week of classes, my views changed. While there are definitely a group of kids who prefer to avoid the social scene and stick to the peace and quiet of their rooms, there are just as many kids looking to have a good time on weekends. There are always parties going on, and the whole student body is always welcome. The social world at Hopkins was one of the things that impressed me within the first few weeks of attendance in that I realized that the entire stereotype about great academic schools having poor social scenes was false.

Connor

At Hopkins, everyone is smart, whether they choose to be blatantly obvious about it or mask it with excessive imbibing habits. The majority of the student body is socially awkward, thus leading to the establishment of the "Hopkins 500", or the '500' students at Hopkins that are actually social and enjoy 'going out'. The figure in reality larger than 500, but this title exists to communicate the smallness of the overall social scene. There are many premeds, and while they are definitely competitive, I have experienced a slightly less cut-throat environment than I had prepared myself for based off of rumors/stories I had been told.

Jacqueline

Not at all. We have pre-med kids like at every school, but the school itself is pretty evenly divided with 1/3 being natural sciences, 1/3 engineering, and 1/3 humanities/social sciences.

Kevin

Whenever I introduce myself to people back home and tell them that I go to Johns Hopkins, the immediate response is "Oh, so you want to be a doctor?" And, while there ARE many pre-med students at Hopkins, my personal answer is always a resounding "No". Because of the world-reknowned hospital that we have here at the Hopkins campus, the basic stereotype revolves around medicine: students here are expected to want to become a doctor, and, as such, must study 24/7. However, this isn't at all an accurate stereotype of the school. There definitely are students who spend a good majority of their (free) time in the library, studying for midterms, but there are also many many students that participate in all the other activities on campus, from using the gym, exploring the local area, to partying (yes, we do have parties). However, it's pretty safe to say that many of the students that you meet here are hard-working and academically driven. Just not everybody.

Trisha

Hopkins is known to be full of extremely competitive students who steal each other's notes and spend all of their time in the library. NOT TRUE. Students here are really dedicated to their success, but that certainly does not mean that they would compromise their peers' education! Students are actually relatively relaxed!

Ariel

When high school students think of Johns Hopkins University, their minds tend to picture a bunch of nerdy students who live in the library and never see the sun. They picture students who study 24/7 and do not socialize with other students. This is a huge rumor that tends to be the stereotype of our school. So many students at JHU are involved in a plethora of activities, sports teams, and fraternities/sororities. Everyone at Hopkins finds friends who they can connect with, whether they are fellow teammates, classmates, or roommates. If you're worried about the social life stereotype, no need to be. You can make friends by simply joining a student group, an intramural sport, or Greek Life. You can be a student that attends all the frat parties or be a member of the chess club, or both!

Sara-Lee

There are many different stereotypes when it comes to Johns Hopkins University students. They range depending on different variables including major, gender, year, etc. The main stereotype which usually pertains to all students, however, is that everyone is super competitive and that no one looks out for anyone else. For instance, people aren't too keen on studying in groups or helping out with homework. Everyone just looks out for themselves. Some people even say that when in class, some people will not even lend you a pen or a calculator because they want to do whatever they can to stay ahead of you. The truth about this stereotype is similar to many other stereotypes in the world - it depends on the person. Truthfully, I have come across those people that will act as though they haven't completed their homework as yet so they "cannot help you" with yours or they haven't started to study for a certain exam so they do not want to "study together." But at the same time, I have come across other students that are more than willing to help with homework, studying, and anything else you need help with. Of course everyone is really focused and really busy with homework, exams, work, research, internships, etc. so it cannot be expected for people to bend over backwards for another. Fortunately, the students who refuse to ever help allow you to find the nicer bunch who aren't out only for themselves.

Ruthie

Most people think that Hopkins is a school full of nerds who don't have social lives and are incredibly competitive. I believed these stereotypes when I was applying, too. From personal experience, though, I can safely say that this isn't really the case. Yes, you will find students who do fit this stereotype, but they're not the majority here and, to be real, you're going to find that at any college, not just at Hopkins. And if anyone has any doubts about the social scene here, well – they shouldn't. A bunch of Loyola and Towson kids come to Hopkins parties every weekend, not the other way around. On campus, there are more than plenty of things to do, and that's not including all of the places in the Inner Harbor and Mount Vernon that are just a cab ride away!

Elizabeth

Stereotype of students at Hopkins is nerdy med students who study too much and take life a little bit too seriously. Although there are a lot of pre-med students at Hopkins who live in the library you would be surprised by the number of humanities majors on campus (and some engineers and pre-meds) who are involved in student activities and venture out of the library to have some fun! Even those who live in the library emerge on the weekends :)

Samita

When I hear people talking about Hopkins, the image that comes to their heads is of competitive pre-med students who spend most of their nights and weekends at the library. And considering that many people also see Baltimore as a dangerous city, that factor gives students more reason to stay secluded in the Hopkins bubble, right? Wrong. I don't think I have pulled a single all-nighter here at Hopkins, and I'm now a senior. Most of my friends, and many of the students I know, have learned how to prioritize their studies, and still have time to go out to dinner at the Harbor, or watch a movie at Towson, or participate in community fairs and festivals throughout Baltimore. I do not doubt that you can find some students who are interested in studying alone, but I have not met any. Since my freshman year, I have studied with friends, classmates, and colleagues in our common rooms, the hallways, the cafeterias, and the quad. You learn to build a community, and when you're around intellectual people like yourself, you learn very quickly that it is much more valuable to socialize with them and learn something new, than purely from a textbook.

Ian

Not true at all. Only around 20% of campus is pre-med, and students are not cut-throat. Granted, academics here are very strong and students do not take them lightly. However, if you are ever struggling in a class people are very friendly and willing to help you out-- I have even been offered a set of notes to help me review for an exam by a complete stranger! We also have great humanities programs (for example, writing seminars) and lots of students are involved in the arts. One of my favorite things to do on campus is actually to go see the numerous a-capella groups perform (check out www.octopodes.org to hear the Octopodes, one of the many a-capella groups).

Katherine

Hopkins students are known for leading a heavy library life. Expect to work hard and to work long hours, but to enjoy it if you enjoy learning. The professors and other students will challenge you to think and to defend your views, so don't think of coming to class unprepared unless you're prepared to keep quiet!

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