Johns Hopkins: not just a pre-med school

Megan PeoplesI started out so excited to be going to Hopkins. Finally, here was proof that I was as smart as I kept telling people I was. Even my mother was more than pleased with the bragging fodder my acceptance provided, and the knowledge that I’d be going to a top school was more than a little pleasing to my ego. Of course, like everything in life, people just had to ruin it.

“Oh, wow! John Hopkins? They pump out so many wonderful doctors every year, that’s really wonderful.”

I like to think of the above as an amalgamation of all the congratulations and compliments I received over the summer. More annoying than having to correct everyone on how to pronounce our beloved institution’s name, I was constantly irked by people’s vision of Hopkins as a pre-med school.

It was almost amusing to see people’s reactions when they found out that I hoped to be in university for only four years. They just couldn’t fathom that a student would choose Hopkins for something other than pre-med; thankfully I live to prove people wrong.

Hopkins is definitely a premier pre-med school, and it seems like 80 percent of the people I meet intend to dedicate their lives to late nights, student loans and hallways that smell like antiseptic wipes and old people. However, there is much more to this wonderful University of ours than the public, and even some Hopkins students, know.

Starting with: We exist!

Non-pre-med students are everywhere: getting lost on their way to classes, cramming in the library for a test they’d forgotten about or taking a quick nap that turns into 10 hours of sleep. (This happens to other people, right?)

While perhaps under-appreciated, we non-pre-med Hopkins students have more than a little to contribute to the campus. Maybe we can’t identify organs with our eyes closed or sew up injured kittens (I have no idea how pre-med works), but we do add a certain spice to the JHstew. We make campus interesting.

So fear not, my fellow non-pre-meds! While you are going to have to endure uneducated ramblings of, “Hopkins is just a school for doctors” or “I’m pretty sure it’s pronounced John,” there is certainly a place for us here. And for all of those pre-med kids who kept reading, be glad that Hopkins is so set on encouraging diversity and, more importantly, different ways of thinking.

Despite my summer of abuse and the constant stream of “So what kind of doctor do you want to be,” Hopkins is most certainly not just a school for pre-med.

There is such a diverse group of people out there with all different kinds of interests. I’ve met art history majors, Writing Seminars majors and even a Peabody kid (which was surprising because I still wasn’t quite sure that they truly existed). More than anything, Hopkins is a school of people — a school of varied interests and opportunities.

So if you’ve found yourself surrounded by people who only seem interested in medicine and science, who are taking Calc III and Orgo in their first semester, or who were roped in by the tour guide’s constant repetition of how Hopkins is “America’s first research school,” then fear not.

If you dig a little deeper, I’m sure you’ll find your fellows. We few who really do just think that the humanities are just swell, or that science doesn’t need to lead to medicine.

So don’t worry students (pre-med and non alike), no matter your interests, no matter how far your major skews the public image of Hopkins as “that doctor school,” you will find your place here. And that’s why I’m really glad I came.


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