Hopkins Schoolreview by Williams College student. Hopkins in general is fantastic. If you want to go more in depth on a topic or are above the levels being offered, they will set up a program for you. My math class senior was three kids, and I ended up as a freshman in college having already completed math courses that math majors don't finish until the end of their sophomore year. It is a pretty competitive place, but you will find people equally motivated and interested who will be your close friends for the rest of your life. My siblings who did not go to Hopkins often regret that the friends they had in high school were not as ambitious or engaged, so they have ended up growing apart from their high school friends. Hopkins does a great job preparing kids for college and have found the workload to be pretty comparable. There is more reading in college for sure, but Hopkins keeps you busy and does great work on writing. The downside of that is, especially as an athlete, I did not have much free time in high school. I actually have way more free time in college, even as a member of a varsity tennis team and an a cappella group, than I did at Hopkins. But that is more a function of how much tennis I played and how far it was from home--you will find kids who do well and do not do too much work. It is really what you make of it. The teaching philosophy was mixed between lecture and discussion, focusing more on discussion. The whole idea of Hopkins is to bring up young adults who can think for themselves and contribute to society, and it comes through in the teaching style. Hopkins does a great job of getting students to think creatively in different ways. I have found that the classes I take in college are pretty similar to those I took in Hopkins in terms of how they are structured. Class sizes are small, teacher availability is high, and the workload is real but not too much. I loved the small classes, and teachers were always able to accelerate someone who wanted more or to meet with students who were struggling to understand the material.
The school is definitely more liberal than conservative. Peers help each other and often hang out in the student center. The campus has almost a college campus feel. I was on the discipline committee my senior year, and I think the school's approach to discipline is appropriate. Discipline is handled by a rotating committee of faculty and students (selected through application) who meet with the person who broke school rules, discuss the consequence, and decide on the consequence. In my experience, it was quite fair. The ethnic and socio-economic background is varied, but you will find a lot of super wealthy kids. The school's surrounding neighborhood is good as well.
I do feel the school does a good job of balancing student life. There is time for music/arts/athletics/hanging out with friends built in to the day. Community service groups are huge with one overarching group that oversees the rest of the events. The school had a big fundraiser every year for the Connecticut food bank that got most of every grade to participate--Hopkins is the single largest donor as a result of this endeavor. Students usually spend a few hours a day on athletics and the arts. I may be overestimating though because of how seriously I played tennis, but everyone has to do athletics for at least an hour a day, if I'm not mistaken. Besides that, most kids do some form of the arts three of four times a week for an hour, and others do even more. Students there are very well-rounded.