An Eye-opening Experience at Johns Hopkins Engineering-Innovation Program

by Anthony Acosta, Waukegan High School, Class of 2015

Johns Hopkins University's Homewood Campus - photo credit

Traveling from Waukegan, Illinois to Baltimore, Maryland to attend a summer college program was an overwhelming feeling. It was the first time I had ever traveled alone. I luckily made some friends on the plane trip there who were also in the Engineering-Innovation Program at Johns Hopkins University. When I arrived at Johns Hopkins’ Homewood Campus, I was dazzled by its enormous size, preserved old-fashioned architecture, and its modern eco-friendly features.

I stayed in Wolman Hall, Johns Hopkins’ newly built dorm that fortunately had air-conditioning. There, I made all sorts of new friends from all over the world—places like Puerto Rico, Malaysia, England, China, and Saudi Arabia.

I took an engineering class that was an actual college class taught by college professors, which was more advanced than any of my normal high school classes. The class incorporated all sorts of new math and science concepts that I had never learned before.  It did become difficult at times, but fortunately I was able to learn these new ideas with the help of the teacher, the teacher’s assistant, and friends. The course gave me an eye-opening experience in the world of engineering which will help me better focus on the academic field I would like to study in college. 

I was worried that I was going to be studying all of the time, but in reality I was able to take a break from homework with the big trips our Resident Counselors planned to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, Washington D.C., and Hershey Park. There were also little trips we could take around the campus like going to the movies, mall, a Japanese restaurant, and bowling. No matter where I turned there was always something to do in Baltimore, which I missed after leaving. I also missed having the independence of living on my own and studying what I like.

When I left Baltimore, I was reluctant to leave my friends and college life behind. Fortunately, I know that I will have even better experiences when I actually go to college in two years. 


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