I expected to enjoy the Northwestern tour, but I didn’t expect it to be so exciting. First came a quick, 45-minute info session with about 40 other people. After that we split up into several different tour groups. We went with Kristina, a rising junior from Texas. As we toured Northwestern, she entertained our group with funny anecdotes and random facts about campus. For example, there is a longstanding Northwestern tradition that all students must paint “the Rock” at least once before they graduate. The Northwestern campus felt quite large, but I didn’t get bored doing so much walking on the tour because the campus is so beautiful. It’s right on the lake and there are lots of trees everywhere. It was also much cooler today, which helped make the tour enjoyable. It cooled off even more when it started to pour partway through our tour, necessitating a quick return to the admissions building.
Admissions officers Aaron and Shannon, Kristina, and a few other Northwestern students joined us for lunch. We tried out the Northwestern dorm food, which I found pretty tasty, although Kristina kept reassuring us that the food was even better during the regular school year. Once we were done eating, Aaron gave us directions to the nearest L stop so that we could get back into Chicago.
|Beautiful Chicago skyline|
|Chloe can do handstands!|
We disembarked at Millenium Park, where we headed over to the Bean to take pictures. After about 5 minutes the glare reflecting off of the stainless steel got too bright, so we walked over to the open-air amphitheater. We relaxed on the grass for a little while, joking around and trying to do cartwheels and headstands. When this got boring, we walked to the Crown Plaza Fountain. Chloe, Clara, Ivette, and I ran through the fountain multiple times, getting completely soaked. We tried to get Alysa and the boys to join in, but they refused. I was so happy that we had some free time today to go sightseeing, as it would be a shame to pass through an amazing place like Chicago without taking advantage of what the city has to offer.
|Chloe and Ivette relax at the Millenium Park amphiteater|
Tonight we dined at Mastro’s Steakhouse with Aaron and Shannon, Stephanie, and several other Northwestern students. We split up into two different groups because there weren’t accommodations big enough for all of us, so I ended up at a table with Chloe, David, Shannon, Stephanie, and three other Northwestern students. Shannon, as an admissions officer, was able to give us some valuable advice about the applications process, especially getting letters of recommendation from counselors. Since we only have two counselors for about 1300 students at ECHS, I barely ever talk to my counselor and wasn’t sure about getting a letter of rec from her. Shannon gave me a few suggestions as how to smooth this process, which was really helpful. After dinner it threatened to rain on us as we waited to catch a cab, which would have made it the third time in one day, but we were able to make it back to the Drake without the need to put newspapers over our heads.
|Seafood tower appetizer at Mastro's|
|Hey there, Stephanie!|
The main idea that came through to me was the diversity of Northwestern students. We met with about 10 different students throughout the course of the day, and all of them were involved in different clubs at Northwestern–various community service options, cultural clubs, freshman orientation hiking groups, to name a few. I thought it was great that these people could be such good friends and all have such radically different interests.
|Shannon and Chloe|
I’ve learned so much about myself for these past four days just through college touring–I can’t wait to see how much I’ll have changed by the end of July. We fly to Philadelphia tomorrow, and from reading the blogs of the Cornell cohort I suspect that I will love it. I can’t wait for the next chapter of our Penn story to begin.