Monday, June 25, 2012

It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's Our First Day in St. Louis!

I rolled up to El Cerrito High School just before 2:45 this morning in a tired haze.  I showed Don my papers, thanked my lucky stars that my suitcase weighed under 50 pounds, and before I new it, I had said good-bye to my mom and we were on our way.

Mariko and I enjoy the window seat in our room
Our travel was pretty uneventful.  We had two relatively short flights with a quick layover in Phoenix.  Even with the challenge of fitting our luggage and ourselves into the rental van, we managed to check-in to our Washington University hotel by about 3:45.  It immediately struck me how different Missouri is from California.  The weather is hot and humid, the landscape is incredibly green, and a lot of the buildings are made out of bricks.  Due to earthquakes, the Bay Area doesn't have many brick buildings. The hotel here is beautiful.  It is on campus, the rooms are big and fancy, and we have even heard rumors of a complimentary snack closet for all guests.  Chloe, Mariko, and I are sharing a room and once we got settled in we freshened up and got in to our fancy clothes for dinner. 

For dinner, we met with two students from Washington University, Charlotte and Gideon, as well as two admissions officers for Northern California, Holly and Ashley.  I sat next to Gideon, who moved to St. Louis from Atlanta.  He is double majoring in Economics and Spanish.  In fact, around 70% of WashU students double major. Charlotte, a double majoring rising Junior, told us about her experiences moving from Chicago and some fun things to do in St. Louis.  Two that particularly stuck out were the City Museum, a huge jungle gym for all ages with a 3-story slide and a Ferris wheel, and the Zoo, where they sometimes let out the penguins to walk around with everybody.  

Of course, the food was delicious

Both Holly and Ashley grew up in Northern California, so they completely understood the transition and they told us about experiencing true seasons for the first time.  They were both very helpful answering any questions we had.  I was happy to learn that WashU has strong study abroad programs, great food, and an overall friendly and supportive student community. I am seriously looking forward to our campus tour tomorrow.  I have already learned so much about this school, but I'm excited to see what else it has to offer.  It's safe to say that today was a great start to our summer at Penn.

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