To the Class of 2014, welcome to Hopkins! As your parents pull away from your freshly organized dorm room, you may find yourself with one word on your mind: FREEDOM! For perhaps the first time in your life, you are completely in charge of your decisions. You suddenly have no curfew, no chores, no schedule, and no parents to tell you what to do. While this new freedom brings great opportunities, remember that it also comes with responsibilities. While we want you to enjoy your first few weeks of this new found freedom, we also want you to be safe.
As you begin to explore Hopkins and build new relationships, keep in mind you are in an entirely new environment. You may find yourself exposed to situations that are completely foreign to you. Don't let your vulnerability become a hindrance on your JHU experience. These first six weeks of school can have a great impact on the rest of your collegiate career. As new students, you are also in the greatest danger of experiencing negative consequences due to careless behaviors, particularly when it comes to alcohol and sex.
No matter what activities you choose to participate in this week, choose to be safe. Look to your RAs and Peer Ambassadors for advice and suggestions on how to have a safe and enjoyable time. They can also inform you of things to avoid to keep you out of harm's way. There are many fun and interactive Orientation programs occurring that offer a great chance to make connections and friendships. While you may be free from the confines of home, you are still new to the Hopkins scene. Trust in those around you to keep you safe so that you can begin your college career on a positive note.
And to the upperclassmen that may be reading this, you've been through this all before. Be helpful and look out for your fellow students. Welcome them to the Hopkins family by being a positive role model and mentor. We're all in this together!