Rhonda63 pls answer





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Discus: Parents Forum: 2004 Archive - Part 2: Rhonda63 pls answer
By Donna1o26 (Donna1o26) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 08:48 am: Edit

Read your post about attending JHU. Know it was awhile ago, but if you dont mind, what happened that made your experience so bad at hopkins.
My son is currently a sophomore and is doing great. of course I take year by year. He is a engineering major and plays baseball. Even though this was his first choice, mine would of been lafayette or leigh being they are only 1 hour away. Thanks

By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 09:06 am: Edit

Wow, this is the third thread w/my name in the title (of course, I created one of them myself)...

Now that my ego is stroked, I'll answer your question. First, just to let you know when this was -- I started JHU in fall of 1981 right out of HS and left after soph year. I started as a pre-med and was miserable by the end of the first month. I want to say most importantly that the problem was most likely more me than JHU -- I may well have been unhappy anywhere.

The things I didn't like about JHU -- I think the biggest negative, which has been remedied somewhat, is that they only had housing for freshman. There were 12 (small) freshman dorms and only freshman ate in the cafeteria. Then everyone moved to off-campus apts (there was some limited student apt housing, but it was more expensive than the market rate for off-campus). As you can imagine, that really affected social life -- you didn't eat w/people in the caf anymore, and it was a little isolating. It was hard to meet people so you ended up pretty much stuck with your freshman year friends. I think they have dorms for freshman and sophs now, right?

The other problem I had was the shock over not effortlessly being the smartest one in the class anymore (this was obviously my own problem, not Hopkins'). I had never done much work in HS but had always done very well, and I clearly could not continue to operate that way at JHU.

Finally, I didn't like the premed classes, all of which were HUGE (350 in Intro Chem, this at a school that wasn't all that big then, maybe 3K undergrads?). At least 1/2 of the freshman class was pre-med and there was a really strong cutthroat atmosphere in the Chem labs in particular. I think I would have been much happier as a non-premed.

Finally, there were very few women when I was there. I had gone to an all girls' school through tenth grade, and had only sisters at home, so was used to a lot of women around. Hopkins was about 1/4 female when I arrived (our freshman class was a little better, about 1/3). To give an idea, out of the 12 freshman dorms, two were women's dorms, 4 were coed, and 6 were all-male.

I should note that my H was at JHU the same time I was and had a fine time there. He had his minor complaints, but overall liked it and graduated with honors in a non-premed major, went on to an Ivy league grad school. The academics were excellent all around, no complaints there. Grading at that time was quite tough, and based on what I've read in the Hopkins Alumni magazine, it still is.

I hope this helps a little -- as I said, I think the problem was more me than Hopkins, so don't let my story concern you regarding your son. I think JHU is a wonderful school with an international reputation for academic excellence. A good childhood friend of mine is a prof there, and I just yesterday encouraged a friend's son to apply (he's NOT going to be a pre-med!).

By Donna1o26 (Donna1o26) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 09:43 am: Edit

Rhonda
Thanks for all the information. Like I said, so far all is great for him. As far as the girls, its quite different now. (he would of never went there). Stevens Inst. gave him loads of money, but wouldn't think of it because of No girls. My biggest concern now is paying all this money for an education. Will it pay off in the end. My son always wanted a college with a good academic reputation. He felt if he did good the jobs would come to him. We are pushing for internships at NASA and applied physics lab for this summer. That experience along with a good gpa might open some doors.

This is my first time responding on this website. I have been reading it for 2 years now.
Thanks again.

By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 09:49 am: Edit

Donna -- I think everyone has to make their own decision about whether the cost is worth it. IMO, a child's education is a wonderful investment.

As far as whether JHU is worth it, I personally think it is. I would be willing to pay full fare for my child to attend there. It certainly has an excellent academic reputation and the name is recognized worldwide. I think a degree (physics?) from JHU will always be a "plus" to have on his resume. But just my opinion. Glad he likes it there!


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