Friday, July 10, 2015

College Visit No.3

Wake up, get ready, and go downstairs to meet up with the rest of the cohort. I’m starting to get used to living like this. This morning wasn’t so different from yesterday morning, or the morning before that. The only difference is that we didn’t eat breakfast in the hotel, but instead got on a taxi to get to the bus station.

Unfortunately, the first cab we could find had only four passenger seats, but we decided to try to cram in. Our chaperone Alana got the front passenger seat in the front, while the rest of us were packed into the backseat. Aisha and I had the right and left window seats, respectively, while Brandon and Tamika were crammed in the middle right and left seats. And since there were only three seatbelts, well…things got complicated.

After a few minutes of uncomfortable tightness, we arrived at the bus station at around nine, grabbed a quick breakfast, and got on the bus that would take us to South Bend, Indiana, home of Notre Dame University. It was approximately a two hour ride, and after half an hour of trying to find a comfortable position to sleep in, I finally fell asleep.

By the time I woke up, we were just pulling into South Bend. Basically, it looked like we were in the middle of nowhere. Alana tried finding a cab, but accidentally mistook some yellow and grey police cars for taxis. Finally, we found a cab on the other side of the bus stop, which was also an airport and train station.

As we drove towards the campus, I noticed that here there was much more space between the houses, which were nice and quaint, making me get the feeling that South Bend was an incredibly small town. I myself prefer more urban universities.
There is no lack of open space at Notre Dame.
The administration building. The gold plating on the dome
actually goes on the diplomas of the graduates.
After looking around the campus a little, we found the undergraduate admissions office in an imposing building with a golden dome and figure adorning the top. We signed some forms and read their handouts like we had done at the other schools. Soon, the info session started.

This was our third info session, and all the information was starting to get repetitive. Here were a few important things that we heard: Notre Dame is around 80% Catholic, and was founded on religious principles. There is no Greek life, but the university makes up for that with the residential system. Houses are selected almost completely randomly, with regard only to gender. The school tries to teach people to adapt to new kinds of people by creating close-knit communities in each residence house. This leads to a high satisfaction rate among the students. I thought this was actually pretty neat, since you won’t get bored of talking to someone exactly the same as you.

One of the two lakes on campus. There aren't any in the photo, but there were
tons of birds around the area.
Soon, the info session came to a close because there wasn’t enough time. I found it unusual that the speaker saved the information about financial aid for last, and ended up not talking about it at all. Anyways, we took a short break, and then began the tour. Our tour guide, a rising senior named Dan, was very helpful in pointing out the various quads and buildings. The architecture on campus all seemed impressive and grand, and Notre Dame even had its own basilica. Dan took us around campus, showing us the library, football stadium, two lakes, various academic buildings, and several quads.
The basilica, one of the tallest buildings on campus.
The back of the library is covered by a mosaic.
They call it "Touchdown Jesus," since it's
across from the football stadium.
Dan also told us stories about one of the presidents of Notre Dame, Theodore Hesburgh. He helped the university gain prestige, and was also involved in both national and international politics. Apparently, after he helped raise funds and awareness for Cambodia, and President Carter granted him a favor. Hesburgh decided to go on a ride in a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, one of the fastest aircraft ever built, and still holds the world record for the fastest any civilian has flown. That's just something I found amusing.

Finally, the tour ended and we went to the south campus dining hall for an extremely late lunch; it was nearly 4:00 (Central Time; South Bend runs on Eastern Time, so technically it was 5:00.). Then it was a quick walk back to the pickup/drop-off area, another taxi ride to get to the bus station/airport, and we were on the road back to Chicago. The rest of the evening the cohort just relaxed and readied ourselves for move-in day tomorrow.

I was less impressed with Notre Dame than I was with Northwestern and WashU. However, Notre Dame did have its perks; I just feel like I wouldn’t be experiencing all the benefits since I’m not Catholic. Anyways, I’m nervous about tomorrow…who will my roommate be? Will my teacher be nice? I guess we’ll soon find out!


  1. I’d like to know more about this time zone thing. Sounds a bit strange, doesn’t it?

  2. Jae-an, I am glad you mentioned Father Ted, as he was a key player in the Civil Rights Movement and the campus is currently mourning his loss.