The following is North alumnus Kevin Liu’s response to our questions about his college decision process, the student life and culture at Johns Hopkins University, and more.

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Liu graduated from North in 2019. He is a part of Johns Hopkins University’s class of 2023.

Within the “Hopkins Bubble” is a beautiful, leafy campus surrounded by the historic rowhomes of Charles, St. Paul, and Calvert streets. We are a small campus, and definitely not a big party school. But for me, it’s the small interactions that really make life beautiful. You will study together and work out that impossible genetics problem. You will have claimed a table for dinner at the dining hall and eat and laugh all you want with your friends. You will lay down and chill with your bros on the Beach (yes, we have a Beach).

Inside the Bubble, you will find a core group of friends who care for you, but also have a mind of their own. This was my main reason for choosing Hopkins.


Provided by Kevin Liu

But do not be afraid of Baltimore!

Baltimore is a city of neighborhoods, much like how Hopkins is a school of many campuses. Your first experience outside the Bubble may be the ritual bus ride way across town to the East Baltimore medical campus. Almost every student will do this once; many will do this again and again. 

Look out the bus window. Your surroundings will change simply by crossing a single street or traveling a single block. But that’s what makes Baltimore unique. You will cross a street and find people who look and talk differently. Maybe here the homes are beautifully restored, but over there are several vacancies. Maybe the types of cars on the road are different too. You will see different sights and smell different smells but speak and hear the same language. Baltimoreans want to be your friend, and they really got a quirky sense of humor.


Provided by Kevin Liu

Here’s what you need to know before coming to Hopkins. You will face tough classes. You will consider completely changing your major. You will have more than enough support from your friends and faculty. 

But absolutely find time to explore Baltimore. Explore every corner of the city. North, south, east, west. Go beyond Inner Harbor. Try Lexington Market for the best crab cake. Walk the streets where The Wire was filmed and see that the city is beyond a TV series. Meet people from different neighborhoods. Feel the neighborhood, because it’s the people that really make life beautiful, whether inside the Bubble or out.

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