Saturday, April 27, 2013

A Tale of Two Cities: the College Edition.

I won't argue with the fact that I got very, very lucky this year.  A lot of people never get the chance to apply to college, let alone get packages of financial aid that makes attending actually feasible. After looking at my choices of 7 schools, 3 of which were UCs, I narrowed my list down to 2- NYU and American. With the ILC's help, I had the opportunity to attend admitted students days at both of these colleges.

NYU's Admitted Student Welcome!
NYU's "Weekend on the Square" took place on Sunday, April 21. I woke up with enough time to shower, dress, eat breakfast and still arrive early, but due to an elevator's technical difficulties I shot out of the hotel doors with only enough time to grab a taxi. With a freshman class of about 4,800, it was no surprise to see that the line to get into the arena was horridly long. I forgot all about the wait, however, when I stepped inside Cole's Sports Arena. It almost felt like a concert, or TED talk- a huge stage, spot lights, a giant screen were all incorporated into the presentation. After the welcome speech, I went over to the College of Arts and Science, where I was accepted to study economics. They had a separate welcome video there, with more specific information on the college, like its alumni and its job placement rates.

After the CAS session, I had the opportunity to talk personally with my financial aid officer. They even played Disney's Beauty and the Beast while I was waiting! I really appreciated being able to talk to someone in the financial aid office, and I'm really grateful for the package that I received. 

The gate at Washington Square park. Most of NYU's
campus is centered around this area.
New York University is proud that they are "in and of the city". But for someone who's from the opposite coast, having no campus is rather intimidating. I definitely felt better after a campus tour, however,  seeing as the majority of the buildings were centered around Washington Square Park. The park almost functions as a quad for NYU, and plenty of students were out studying during the gorgeous Sunday weather. The hustle and bustle of the city is extraordinarily alluring to someone like myself, who always likes to have something to do. At the same time, it's slightly scary to feel that you can't retreat from all the noise and people.

Some ofAmerican University's campus. Too bad I just
missed the cherry blossom festival!
On Monday I woke up early and ready to catch my train to Washington DC.  American is just outside of DC, a 20 minute bus and metro ride to the Washington Monument, which is an enticing factor as I'm deciding between the two. In any case, I arrived at American an hour early to Check-in so I took the chance to walk around the more traditional campus. The weather was a little colder than New York, but still sunny and crisp. I returned back to McDowell Hall, where the admitted students overnight would start, and introduced myself to a few other students who had also arrived early. People were from all over, though I had travelled the farthest. 

AU at sunset is a gorgeous sight to see! 
I had another "Admitted Students Welcome", though less ornate than NYU's, and then a campus tour. American's campus has an "academic quadrangle", where the all the buildings surrounding the quad have classes in them. I applied to the College of Arts and Sciences, again for economics. American has a gorgeous campus, one that also prides itself on being almost entirely environmentally self-sufficient, which I think is really cool. After dinner at TDR (Terrace Dining Room) we were all assigned our hosts. Unfortunately, my host, Sam, had a final and an essay due the next day so I went with the group to see the monuments.

The Lincoln Memorial is gorgeous, especially at
night. Watch out for those marble steps though!
The last time I was in DC I was in 8th grade, and significantly less mature than I am now. This time around, especially after taking AP US History, I got to more thoroughly enjoy the history behind each monument. After walking back from the Lincoln Memorial (see how casually I said that? It'd be an everyday trip if I decided on American!) I got to meet up with my host Sam. She was really fun and really nice- you have to be nice to agree to have a complete stranger in your room for a night. We went to sleep decently early, as I was exhausted from a full day of travelling and she was in the ROTC and had training in the morning. The next day I had to say goodbye to the friends I had made because I had to run to the airport to get home. 

I'm so glad that the ILC gave me this opportunity to see both the campuses that are options for me. I honestly don't know what I would have done without being able to see them. I've been struggling for a while about where I want to spend the next few years, and loving both of the schools didn't really help. Even after just a day on campus, I remembered how much I loved living like a college student while I was at Brown. I know I can't wait for next year, wherever I end up!

1 comment:

Don Gosney said...

The way you describe things, Emily, it makes us feel good that we were able to afford you an opportunity to visit both of these schools to check them out thoroughly before deciding.

You can check out their web sites and attend their college fairs but it’s not the same as being there and talking with people who attended.