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I had planned on writing this article on balancing my senior year course load, but seeing as how school refuses to start, what with provincial strikes and what not (I won’t bore you with Canadian politics), I have been forced to change the subject.
Thus, I have no choice but to tell all about my previous cross-country road trip, where I visited universities that I hope to apply to, and universities that I would rather eat chalk than apply to. And while I realize that not everyone can visit every college that they want to attend, the aesthetics of a college are a serious concern to me. What if I don’t like the scenery? What if the students there all have a dead look in their eye? What if the cafeteria has poor lighting? Though there is no such thing as a perfect college, I hoped that by visiting as many as possible, I would be able to tell where I will feel most comfortable.
So here it is. For those who cannot travel and visit their dream university, I have done it for you. Listed below are the schools that I feel are worth mentioning (I couldn’t possibly mention every one, or this would be more of a novel than an article).
University of Pennsylvania:
When visiting this school, I had the luck of viewing it amidst a dreadful downpour. My shoes were never the same. But despite the weather, I loved this school. If you’re a fan of red brick buildings, then UPenn is the school for you. In spite of the old school exterior, the interior was relatively new, and didn’t even smell like mold (which was a huge plus). There were many statues, even one of a giant white button. The tour guide was incredibly cheery, and told many stories about the school. (Apparently they have a zamboni that cleans up toast after football games. Trust me, it’s a long story.) Overall, the people seemed friendly, buildings clean, and the trees were lush and looked beautiful covered in rain (I, however, did not).
New York University:
As advertised, this university has no campus gate. It is one with its environment (and Greenwich Village sure is one great environment). If you’re into living in the city, then you’re into NYU. The view from the library is stunning, and the trees in Washington Square (which many consider NYU’s quad) offer a lot of shade and beauty in the summer. More importantly, the wifi is very easy to access, and according to the guide, there is a lot of free food during the school year. The guide also mentioned something about internships in New York and many job opportunities, but I zoned out after he stopped talking about food.
University of Michigan:
It was either really good luck or incredibly bad luck that I visited this school on move in day. There were people everywhere. There was loud music everywhere. There was free food and hoodies everywhere (I held onto my pride and resisted taking anything that was meant for new students). Overall, it was a very welcoming environment, and looking at the campus, it was obvious that Greek life was in abundance at this university. The campus itself was stunning. The Ross Business School was incredibly grand, and happened to have many glass features. The residence halls seemed too beautiful to actually be residence halls (though no guarantees about what the inside looks like). Most importantly, the trees were plentiful and complimented the mixture of architectural styles that each building had (if you haven’t noticed already, trees are very important to me).
University of Chicago:
Once again, despite terrible weather (it was so humid, I had sweat dripping down my back after walking a block), the university itself was beautiful. The buildings all had that ancient Hogwarts vibe, and there was an abundance of ivy covering the walls. The tour itself was well organized, and I admired our guide’s ability to talk while walking backwards (plus, they gave us free sunglasses). There was a lot of talk about traditions and clubs and cafes, as well as one dollar milkshakes on Wednesdays (or was it Mondays?). In essence, this university seemed like an incredible mixture or tradition and innovation. (I mean, they have a library that looks like a glass boiled egg, how much crazier can it get?)
After giving this review, I realize how useless it must be. No reference to research opportunities, internships, studying abroad, or even types of courses offered. But those can all be found online (at least I hope they can, or else I would have paid more attention). It’s the feeling of the campus, the way the locals walk and the type of bagels they offer that you cannot find in an online forum. And after visiting all these colleges, I came to my own epiphany. I would honestly be happy going to any one of these colleges that I visited. The ones that I thought I would like, I loved, and the ones I thought I would dislike, I loathed. So really, this trip was quite pointless. However, it did soothe my worries, and let me know (and in effect I am now letting you know) that despite all the anxiety, a feeling of home and comfort can be achieved at almost any university if you really set your mind to it.
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