Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Beautiful Beginnings

Bright eyed and bushy tailed, I woke up knowing today was the day. After months of preparation and hard work, it has finally paid off. I am finally ready to leave the nest to venture out on my own and try new things. Today the UChicago cohort flies off too St. Louis for the first day of our college tours.

My family and I left the house at 2:30 AM to drive to El Cerrito High School. Where we were met by my fellow cohort members along with two buckets of Red vines to help get us through the long morning. Don went through his usual list of quick tips, info, and a few group pictures. Then the shuttle to the airport came and we were off!

I quickly fell asleep in the shuttle knowing that we would have to meet new people and share our stories during the flight.   Still exhausted, we left SFO at 6 AM and arrived in St. Louis, Missouri at 11:30 AM. We were met by a taxi driver cramming all our luggage into a van that obviously would not fit. After a long day of travel, I now lie in relaxation at the Knight Center Hotel, amongst the prestigious Washington University.

After a few hours of utilizing Knight Center's various accommodations, such as snacks and fitness centers, it was time to dress up and dine with some of Washington University's greatest representatives. I thought this was going to be like the first formal dinner we had; where we had the pleasure of meeting our various sponsors and alumni of the Ivy League Connection. Throughout the drive there, I spent most of my time, thinking of questions to ask the Wash. U alumni and admissions officers to prove that I was here to soak up as much information as possible and share it with the rest of the world. I knew I had to represent ILC to the best of my ability. We got to the Atlas Restaurant early, so we decided to take a few group photos for our blog. We then sat down and awaited our guests.

They all came in at once, to be polite I stood up from my chair, shaking each of their hands and introducing my self. I was met with warm handshakes and smiles. I knew this wasn't going to be like the past UChicago dinner. 

Each of the alumni and admissions officers seemed to have their own expertise within Washington University. I enjoyed the time talking about various college sports such as soccer and football with Reid Petty, a current student of Wash. U and president of the junior class. Michelle Zhang just finished her freshman year and compared the various lifestyles of Missouri vs. California. Jenny Alessi and Chrystal Okanta, the two admissions officers, described the campus life, demographics, and requirements of such an amazing university. Dana Robertson explained how important community service was to the Wash. U community. 

After tonight’s dinner, I feel like I know enough to move into Washington University tomorrow morning. And in a sense we will be, after our site visit and tour, we will be able to bring back our knowledge of Wash. U to our community back home.

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