Today started early, at 6:15 AM. Shanti and I got ready quickly and met the rest of our group downstairs in the hotel for our shuttle that was going to arrive at 7:00 AM. We were leaving Washington, D.C., and heading to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
We were taking the Amtrak train to Philadelphia, which I love. I've taken Amtrak several times in the Bay Area, to Santa Barbara as well as to Denver, Colorado! I love the sound of the train and it's very relaxing and easy to sleep on Amtrak as well.
Our Amtrak ride was less than two hours, unfortunately, but we were all eager to go to Philadelphia. Before we had our university tour at University of Pennsylvania, we had lunch with three students from UPenn. We had the pleasure of sitting with Dyana So, Kahaari Kenyatta, and Briana Williams. It is always really helpful to talk to students and alums from different colleges because they offer their personal experiences that you might not hear from official college tours. We could also ask them a lot of questions about a wide variety of subjects, such as academics, athletics, and housing. Kahaari Kenyatta was really great to talk to because he explained his interests and how they changed to his final area of study for now, public health. UPenn’s programs allow for study in all kinds of fields, not just the one you originally planned on taking.
|University of Pennsylvania|
After our lunch, which was a bit rushed because we had to make our university tour at 1:00 PM, we walked to the campus of University of Pennsylvania. The campus is really lovely as well, and reminds me a little bit of Georgetown because of its huge trees and large brick buildings. We gathered in a huge hall to listen to the opening presentation part of the tour that covered admissions and the application process. There were hundreds of people there, which was different from our other tours which were much smaller. University of Pennsylvania is need-blind, just like Georgetown is, which means they don't take into account how much money your family can pay, which is really helpful for those of us who don't have excess amounts of money!
After the first part of the tour, we split into smaller groups to tour the campus. Our guide led us around campus, but I didn't find the tour that helpful because we didn't go into any buildings, and I never really learned anything more about the school. While it was nice to wander around campus for an hour, which is really beautiful, I would have rather been learning about classes, different majors, different places to go, etc.
As our campus tour wrapped up, we walked to the University of Pennsylvania bookstore because bookstores are beautiful places that I could spend days in. I didn’t buy any books, but I made sure to write down interesting titles that I could look for once I returned to El Cerrito.
Once we left the bookstore it was time to head back to the Amtrak station and relax there for a couple hours before heading to the airport. Relaxing is a misnomer though, because we all had to blog and download our photos from the day. It was nice to sit in the air-conditioning though, and work on our blogs during a rare quiet moment during our trip.
We all left for the airport, which is the final leg of our trip to Ithaca and Cornell University. None of us were too excited to be on another plane, but the trip was less than two hours which wasn’t too bad at all.
We all straggled into Cornell University late at night to check in to our dorms. Checking in took a long time because there were four of us and only one key to let us into each room! We set up in our rooms, ready to blog, but the Internet was not working well, the Ethernet cables weren’t providing a connection, and the RAs just told us to wait till tomorrow’s check in because it was after midnight that night.