The first leg of my wonderful part-college-tours-part-NYC trip started with, well, college tours! I had already toured a few last summer out in California (Chapman and UCLA) so I had an idea of what to expect. It was still a bit nerve-racking though, as I would be looking at places to potentially spend four or more years of my life.
UNC Chapel Hill
|The clock tower! Absolutely gorgeous.|
UNC has quite a gorgeous campus (see another picture here)- we loved it the second we drove in! One of my best friends and her mom came on the tour with my mom and me, which made the whole experience even better! On our first night there, we walked around to get the feel of the town. There are cute little boutiques everywhere and plenty of places to eat. It definitely felt like a college town as a World Cup game was going on, so the sports bars were packed with fans.
The tour was in the morning and it started with a neat little info session about the generics of the school- admissions, statistics, etc. Then there was the actual tour! We had a super nice student show us around. She told us all about her experience and the school, including some of their quirky traditions and what not! The campus seemed a little dead as it is summer and all, but it was still great seeing it all.
We also got to talk to a current student, which was great. She told us a ton of helpful info that we didn't hear on the tour or in the info session. Definitely talk to a student if you go on a tour!
After the tour, my mom and I said bye to my friend and her mom and we headed off to Charlottesville, Virginia!
University of Virginia
Oh. My. Goodness. UVa (yes, the "a" is lower case; not sure why) is absolutely stunning. The campus (or rather the "grounds," as they call it there) is simply beautiful in every single way. Right in the middle of grounds is The Lawn (pictured above). It's gigantic and amazing.
On the first night there, my mom and I walked around grounds and took some pictures. We got a good feel for the campus and then had ice cream for dinner (because why not?). In the morning was an info session and the tour! The tour was perfect, because our tour guide was majoring in what I want to major in, so after the tour, I talked to him for a good bit about his experience. I also got to talk to an admissions officer for a while, which made me feel a bit more secure about the whole application process.
Fun fact: see the "Z" on the steps of this picture? There are a bunch of secret societies around UVa including the Z Society and the 7 Society. They help out, donate money, etc. Wouldn't it be cool to be in one?
After the tour, we headed out to tour Thomas Jefferson's house which was quite appropriate considering he founded UVa.
Thomas Jefferson designed the whole thing himself and then modeled the university after it! They say he used a telescope to monitor the process of the building of UVa from the top of the hill that his house is on.
University of Pennsylvania
After spending a night at my grandparents' house, we headed off to tour UPenn in the morning! What's crazy about UPenn is that it's right smack dab in the middle of Philadelphia, yet it somehow still feels like a campus! The buildings are old and quite picturesque, yet the insides of them are so modern. It's quite funny to walk into a years-old brick building to see the latest Apple technology lining the walls.
I really enjoyed seeing the campus and hearing about all the available programs. They have this really cool class that you take as a freshman in the business school where you get to work with a real business in Philadelphia to help them promote themselves and get their little shop out into the world. I think it's great that they throw students right into the real world like that.
After the tour, my mom and I got gelato at what was apparently rated the best gelato in the entire world! And let me tell you, it was quite delicious.
|See this picture here too.|
The next day, my grandparents took my mom and I to see the Princeton campus. We didn't take an actual tour, but it was still great to see. The campus itself truly feels homey and quite like Hogwarts! I wasn't planning on applying to Princeton before I walked around the campus, but now I feel like I could see myself there next fall. (That is, if I get in...)
I'd say the biggest thing I learned from these college tours in two phrases is this: Work hard on the essays, and touring a campus can change your perspective on a college. (I'm planning more posts on college applications/tours/etc.)
Have you guys toured any campuses or have gone through the application process?