Saturday, June 20, 2015

Hello, My New Home...

We started off our day early at 6:50 AM in the morning. Since a couple of us slept really late blogging about the wonderful day we had the day before, we were a bit sleep deprived. We decided the night before to get a coffee run in the morning before we left. But unfortunately I didn’t wake up to the alarm at 6:00 AM, I woke up to my roommate Helen at 6:30. Thankfully, Justice being a great friend got me something even though I wasn’t there.

Since I packed my bag the night before I was all ready to go. All I needed was a change of clothes and to do my morning routine of washing my face and brushing my teeth. When Helen and I finally finished preparing to leave, we went downstairs where all the cohort waited for the cabs to take us to the Washington, D.C. Amtrak station.

Having a cohort of 7 people (including a chaperone) had its disadvantages. For example having to split the group into half for transportation purposes as well as not traveling together. But overall, everyone in the cohort is just as adult-like and responsible to make sure we all reunite from a split. Helen, Julie, and I were the passengers for the first cab that reached the hotel. We quickly placed our luggage in the back, belted up, and left.

Our cab driver’s name was Kenny. He was a funny and admirable character. He would make conversation with us and met us half way with each conversation. He asked us where we were going and why we came to D.C. We explained that we were part of this amazing program (obviously the one and only, Ivy League Connections Program) that allowed us to expand our knowledge about the opportunities outside the West Coast and experience the college life as well. We also explained we were seeing Georgetown. 

After some great chit-chat, we learned Kenny was not only a dedicated cab driver but finds leisure time in going to the gym as well as he loves to cook. He proudly boasted about his recipe for baby back ribs and coleslaw and even stated “I promise you, it’s the best”. Besides him being an amazing cook he was also born and raised in D.C. He also admitted that D.C. was that most beautiful and greatest places ever and confessed he would be stupid if he’d ever move.

When we got to the Amtrak Station, it wasn’t too long until Mr. Chan-Law and the others caught up to us. We went inside the Amtrak station, grabbed some breakfast, and headed to Philadelphia for our last college tour (besides Cornell in Ithaca).

But today wasn’t like a regular schedule that went in the order of information session, college tour, and last of all meet and greet with the students/alumni of the university; today’s schedule was sequenced in a different order. When we first arrived to Philadelphia, we went to the U Penn lunch at a restaurant called White Dog with three current students of U Penn.

The lunch was a different experience from the dinner. I really like it because it was a lot more casual and there wasn’t any pressure to dress formal and be formal. I felt like I could be myself a lot more since I could dress like myself. We met extraordinary students, Dyana So, Kahaari Kenyatta, and Briana Williams. Each student was different from where he/she came from as well as stories of what compelled him/her to come to U Penn.  They are all rising seniors and all interested in different fields, which gave us a better understanding of how they were able to manage different majors as well as what it takes to pursue them. Dyana, an  alum of the ILC program (Yale and Cornell), was from Pinole Valley High School. She was a passionate student who really wanted us to realize the opportunities that the University of Pennsylvania has to offer. Kahaari, born in LA and raised in New Jersey, majored in Public Health and minored in chemistry. Last but not least, there was Brianna who majored in criminology and minored in studies that allowed her so go abroad to South Korea.

Like Brianna, Kahaari, and Dyana have a lot of experience from going abroad as well. They told us their experiences and how each trip related to their studies. It was very interesting to here what they did within the different country/countries they visited. For example, Kahaari's interest in public health, allowed him to join a program that gave him the opportunity to study the health and conditions of women throughout countries like South Africa, India, and Italy. Their variety in countries helped us understands the ties and connections the school has not only within the schools area but as well as outside the country. They told us that UPenn is a great school for study abroad because not only do they provide the resources to go abroad but the school’s financial aid can be applied to it as well. Since I'm interested in going abroad I thought it was a great aspect of the school I would, as well as my peers, should look into. 
The Amazing Group of the Day!
After the lunch, we rushed to the information session for U Penn since we were a little late due to the lunch. We got there just in time for one of the admission officers to go over admission to the school, what’s required, and financial aid/needs. As I was listening and taking notes I heard a few things that interested me and discouraged about the school. For example, unlike Georgetown, which requires three subject SAT tests, U Penn changed their requirements and doesn't require subject tests. But the admissions advisers do strongly suggest to take them and include it in the application. In addition, one thing that discourages me from going to U Penn is that they don't give academic scholarships. When the admissions officer stated this I was surprised but I wanted to look into it more. Although they don't give academic scholarships, U Penn has a great financial aid that helps students pay their tuition based on what they need.
An Example of Beauty
During our tour, we were guided to only a few places. Our tour guide seemed new and looked as if she was having trouble going around, but then again there were twelve other groups touring as well. Regardless of how many people or groups, we were able to see the important aspect of the school. For example, the dorm rooms/housing, library, the buildings for different schools for example The Wharton School of Business and the building where the nursing school is located.

Overall we saw a lot of U Penn. I was lucky enough to see this beautiful campus. Conta Conta Community college is nowhere near U Penn's beauty because U Penn is so beautiful and so stunning. Not only that but the U Penn campus life seems so friends and family like. Although the college tour didn't exactly show us how great the U Penn community is, the lunch definitely did.

This whole day we learned that U Penn is a great place with so much opportunity. Various students with different studies can happily explore in there fields with confidence because they know U Penn is giving them one of the best education with opportunity, such as going abroad and internship opportunities. It's something that students at our local community college can't say.

Later, after the tour we made our way to Ithaca! "FINALLY!", I thought to myself when the small plane with huge propellers finally allowed passengers to go in. When we finally reach Cornell, it was around 12:00 AM. Although it was dark, I could see it was an amazing and beautiful campus. Can't wait to see more of it tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you had plenty of spare time to soak all of this in and think of these wonderful things to write about in your blog. :-)

    Sorry we had to cram so much into such a brief period of time.