A Fearless Hopkins Experience
There was an Eleanor Roosevelt quote that I found recently that resonated with me.
She says, “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” Her idea of living in the moment struck me as both a challenge and a comfort. Challenging to be present all of the time experiencing life to its fullest potential yet comforting that life itself is as rich as it possibly can be. Roosevelt’s belief surrounding life’s true purpose causes us to ponder our own lives. As both a senior reflecting on my time at Hopkins and the last four years of my life, Roosevelt’s quote caused me to ask myself questions. Was I really taking advantage of the entire Hopkins experience or was I limiting myself to only parts of it that were familiar? What is my place here on The Hill during this last year, and what was it during my other years at Hopkins? Life at Hopkins is often filled with stress and difficult times, but in total, each year provides an opportunity for you to discover something new about your “Hopkins” self.
We find ourselves focusing on the negatives of our current situation instead of viewing each situation with a positive outlook. I challenged myself to think of the most exciting portions of each year at Hopkins as a way to continue to be positive and take advantage of each moment and opportunity given to me. We should both view and live our lives to be filled with happiness
instead of being balls of stress worried about the next test.
To the freshmen, this is your first year of high school at Hopkins. Try so many new things. Try out for sports teams, audition for plays, and do things out of your comfort zone. Say hi to people in the hallway and make new friends. It allows you to learn the most about yourself and who you wish to become over the next four years as a Hilltopper. The moments are only just beginning but they will stay with you for a long period of time.
Sophomore year, for me and many others, is a year to deepen the friendships made during freshman year and continue to develop your identity as a Hopkins student. As leaders of the middle school, you have a better understanding of your surroundings yet still have the freedom to take risks and try new things. Being a Hopkins student becomes an enjoyable daily task where you can live freely and physically enjoy each minute without worrying about others.
I felt a transition in developing my Hopkins community between sophomore and junior year. Maybe it was starting the upper school and gaining leadership positions, taking classes that are electives that I chose to take, or specializing in what I loved doing. Junior year was the time to appreciate the opportunities that Hopkins provides and feel good about the work you are producing and the community you have created. There is always room to grow and discover new things about yourself in your Hopkins community as well. Although junior year is a year of first AP courses and times of great academic intensity, having or finding a support system helped me and can also help you to find the joy in learning and in school to allow you to appreciate every moment.
Seniors, this is our year of lasts. Enjoy the moments in advisor group to laugh with one another. Enjoy asking the silly questions about determining Skittle flavors while not seeing what color it is first or what is your definition of the meaning of life. The next few months together will be the last time we, as a senior class, get to experience Hopkins from the student perspective. I believe we should cherish that time and soak in everything about Hopkins that makes us proud to call this place our home.
We constantly discuss the ideals of the Hopkins community, but the Hopkins community is created by us and for us. Roosevelt challenges us to take on life with a new perspective. Take on each year of your Hopkins experience without fear. We need to live in the moment in order to understand fully our role in the community at large. Each of us in our respective classes have something to offer to this community; seize that opportunity and use it as a tool for both individual and class growth.
Every year on The Hill has its purpose. Time does not allow us to speed up or slow down a series of events, so it is important to make use of all the time we have. Make the Hopkins community your community, and don’t just survive in it, but thrive with it.