Thursday, July 9, 2015

The School of Purple and White

Even though we had a later wake-up today, I still felt exhausted. This was partly due to the hotel blankets, which were quite comfortable, but just barely covered my feet. I miss my bed at home…Regardless, I tried my best to stay alert and awake today, since we had another college visit and important dinner today, this time at Northwestern University.

Breakfast was at the hotel restaurant, and it took quite some time to finish, since we became caught up in an epic game of Contact, a game that involves guessing words. By the time we finished eating, it was nearly 11:30, so we headed to the metro station.

The metro system in Chicago is better than BART, the rapid transit system we have in the Bay Area, because there are a lot more stations across a larger region. Also, the view is better.

After getting off the train, we walked to Northwestern’s visitor center for our info session. During the short walk, I noticed that around half of the buildings looked old, while the other half looked nearly brand new. Later, I learned that Northwestern is continuously expanding and remodeling their older buildings. For example, they recently remodeled their residence halls.

The info session covered most of the same things that the info session at Washington University talked about. I paid close attention when the admissions director introduced their engineering school. At Northwestern, apparently they encourage something called “whole-brain engineering.” All freshmen in the engineering school get put into small groups, and they get a client whom they must solve a problem for. I thought this was an incredible idea, since it is important for future engineers to have real working experience. Also, this builds the students’ communication and teamwork skills, which are also crucial. This especially made me consider applying to Northwestern University.
The Lakefill on campus is a popular destination.  Expansion continues in the background.
On the tour, we explored the campus more, and learned a lot about student life and activities. Overall, I thought that the campus was incredibly nice, since it was literally right next to Lake Michigan, and everything was immaculate. We learned that there were beaches on campus, and one of them was reserved just for students. Having access to a beach whenever you want seems like an incredible luxury.

Our tour guide also talked about the various student groups and activities. Apparently, at Northwestern there’s a club dedicated to making the students happy. They give free hugs and do other things like that, but on finals week, they bring retriever puppies to help de-stress. Also, later at the dinner, I learned that Northwestern has a Taiwanese student union, which is cool, since I’m Taiwanese. Our tour guide also brought up some student activities, like when students danced for 30 straight hours to raise over one million dollars for charity.
Our cheerful tour guide
After the tour ended, we took the train back to the hotel and prepared for the dinner at Gibson’s Bar and Steakhouse. Brandon and I both decided to iron our shirts, but we ran into technical difficulties. For some reason, the hotel steam iron dripped water everywhere, and only worked periodically. In the end, we were slightly late to get downstairs, and I still had a wet collar and sleeve as we walked to the restaurant.
We’re outside the restaurant.  Sue, the admissions officer, is on the very left.
Outside the restaurant, we met the people we were dining with. There were two admissions officers for Northwestern, Ms. Sue Kwan and Mr. Robert Ellis; two recent alumni, Mr. Andrew Choi (‘14) and Ms. Viral Patel (’14); and one current student, Mr. Monte Nelson (rising senior). I ended up sitting next to Sue and Monte, and I did my best to ask about things I was curious about. I ended up learning a lot about the school, both Sue and Monte, and random things. For example, Monte, a sociology major and psychology minor, taught me about what he was studying. Apparently sociology is the study of how people interact in society. Also, after listening to Sue talk about Northwestern’s music program, I decided that I might end up double majoring in engineering and music. It’s funny how even if you can’t decide on something by thinking about it for hours, you can make the same decision quickly just by talking to someone for a little.

Even though today was tiring, I feel like it had an impact on my future. Originally, I didn’t really think I would apply to Northwestern University. But after seeing the campus for myself and listening to firsthand accounts on the school, I’m seriously considering Northwestern. This is the benefit of the college visit; you reconsider schools that you overlooked before. Anyways, it’s late, so I’ll turn in for tonight…Until next time!

1 comment:

  1. After all of this work to be a part of the Chicago cohort you’ve learned the most important lesson: there’s nothing like sleeping in your own bed.