Hello! I would love some advice and/or edits on my admissions essay. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
When planning my large-scale East Coast college tour in the summer of 2010, Johns Hopkins University had just barely made my list. My mother had recounted disenchanting stories staring an overly competitive, anti-social student body in a dangerous city. She alleged it was a pressure cooker, a sink-or-swim environment, and that the school was indifferent to undergraduate students. However, when it came to writing my college tour list, I considered Johns Hopkins obvious strength - academics - and added it to the list in the tenth and final spot.
Upon visiting the campus, I was pleasantly surprised that the stereotypes about Johns Hopkins were unfounded or outdated. The area surrounding the Homewood campus put my mind at ease - calm, student oriented, and relatively safe. The students I saw on campus seemed unexpectedly friendly - a student I had just met even offered to show me her room to see a typical dorm at Johns Hopkins. They raved about undergraduate research opportunities and the personal interest professors take in students, which appealed to me because of my research background. Nevertheless, I had reservations regarding how comfortable the university would be for me. Would someone a little nerdy, a little free-spirited, and incredibly quirky fit in? Despite these concerns, the excellent impression of the school quickly moved Johns Hopkins up to the top of my college list.
My time at the XYZ College has been a period of growth and self-exploration. I have developed a more accurate understanding of what I need from and desire in a collegiate environment, and I firmly believe that Johns Hopkins is the right fit.
Johns Hopkins appeals to me because it is set in a vibrant urban environment amidst the Inner Harbor, the Maryland Science Center, and local cafĂ©s. It fits my desire to engage with a diverse student population from all 50 states and from 71 nations, enabling me to interact with countless cultures, worldviews, and life experiences. However, what solidified my decision to apply were the comforting words of a close friend, [Name Removed to Protect Privacy] - a freshman at Johns Hopkins, who assured me that there is no typical Hopkins student except that everyone is kind, friendly, and genuinely interested in their studies. She guaranteed me that I would fit in flawlessly with the student body, perhaps more so than she does. She explained that everyone with passion has a place on campus. I would make mine in a sorority, with the Baltimore Rescue Mission Clinic, and in the lab.
Above all, the university fits my academic interests perfectly. Johns Hopkins encourages individual growth through a self-directed and research oriented approach, something that specifically appeals to me because my preference for a more individualized educational experience. The university also offers a wide variety of courses in my intended major - neuroscience - such as Cognitive Development, Neuroscience of Decision Making, Synaptic Function and Plasticity, and Psychopharmacology. These courses coupled with research opportunities working with neuroplasticity induced by environmental factors including drugs and brain injury with Professor Gorman and Professor Baraban would enable me to explore my interest in the external factors that effect neuronal patterns associated with decision-making.