ECCT 8: Hate Saying Goodbye

[Written on Saturday, October 12th]
I am currently sitting in the airport between Emma and Isabel, and in the middle, is my Chipotle food baby. I always regret eating so much when I am wearing such tight leggings. Behind me, is Jack, who is another one of the many boys on this trip begging to be featured in my blog. This blog might serve to get me a boyfriend as well! Just kidding it would take a lot more for somebody to sign up for that. Anyways, it’s a really bittersweet time right now; I am excited to go home just for the sake of relaxing and telling my family about how much fun I had, but I really wish it wouldnt end and that we could continue on the tour and maybe head over to New York. It has been so much fun and I have gotten to know so many people through this trip as well as strengthened new relationships with friends, like my roommate Caroline. We have gotten so close from this trip, especially considering we laughed so hard in our room every night that I peed my pants a good three times. Once on her bed, so I am sure you can assume that she made me switch beds with her that night. Today, we visited Georgetown, and it wasn’t the college for me. I absolutely adore its location and campus though! The area of Georgetown is preppy and polished, aligned with dozens of high-end shops and restaurants embellished with bright paint and funky architecture. All along the sidewalks you will see middle-aged couples with toddlers in fancy attire and classy college kids strutting their way around in Sperry’s, puffy vests, and cacky pants. Combine your favorite expensive shops plus famous restaurants from New York and a prestigious, yet fun atmosphere and you get Georgetown. If I were to have any college town, it would be this one, yet the school itself was not for me. Georgetown focuses more on politics and sciences rather than English and the creative liberal majors that I am interested in. I feel like if I am going to pay a lot of money to attend a great school, it should have a dang good college or program for the subjects I am interested in. The campus is absolutely gorgeous just like the college town, but I don’t know much about the school because our tour guides were not actually real tour guides, they were just Chaminade alumni who attend Georgetown and could really only give us a vague description of the school. We didn’t get to tour any dorms, dining halls, see the library or gym, walk into many buildings or really anything, we kind of just looked at all the exterior of Georgetown. I felt like I was a stranger to the school by the end of the tour, which is not how I felt when I went to places like Drexel, BU, or Muhlenberg where I felt at home immediately and really got a taste for what the school was for. I feel as if having a great tour guide makes ALL the difference in how you end up feeling about a college, and can really even determine if you go there or not, because you are going to love a school if the tour guide made it seem perfect for you! The tour guides just didn’t do that for me at some of the schools. So it wasn’t for me, but I still bought myself a Georgetown field hockey shirt because why not?
    Afterwards, we did a bit of sightseeing in D.C. and visited the White House as well as the Capital. The White House is in fact, VERY white and from the front it doesn’t look all that big! The Capital on the other hand is HUGE and has a long, fresh, green lawn of grass in the front, almost like it’s own red carpet. We took some pictures and had a bit of fun and hoped back on the bus to catch our plane.       
Overall, I really had an amazing time on the college tour and I gained so much valuable information about all the colleges I visited, and also about myself. I entered the trip having a vague idea of what I wanted in a college; wasn’t sure how important Greek life and football games were to me as well as really much about any of the colleges I was visiting. I typed down on my handy IPhone sticky notes just about every word our tour guides said, got a feel for the schools, and realized what aspects of college life were most valuable for a school to have for me. Now I know that I want to be in a sorority, it doesn’t matter if my college has a football team (after all ice hockey is so much more fun), and I am still stuck on whether I want a city school or a more campus-focused school, but I think I am leaning more towards city school. I am so inspired to work hard in my classes, take advantage of extracurriculars, and make a darn good application for colleges now, because I want to get into all of these schools! I know that if I hadn’t gone on this tour, I would still have been sitting at home watching Gossip Girl rather than researching colleges, and I probably wouldn’t have had the slightest clue more about what I want in my future school, whereas I totally do now.

            Now that I am sitting on the plane, I might as well mention Serena who is sitting to my right, completely invested in her book, “Looking for Alaska” and nibbling on chocolate raisins which are surprisingly better than I thought. I am SO glad she signed up for the tour last minute, because she is one of my best friends if not my best and it wouldn’t have been as fun without her. We have a lot in common, so we liked the same things about many of the schools except that she is looking more towards pre-med majors. We both know that if we go to the same school we are totally rooming together, that’s for sure! Earlier, she was getting mad at me because I farted and it stunk up the entire row, but how can you blame a gal after she ate an entire Chipotle burrito? We were also spying on Jack, who is sitting in front of me and is now sleeping. We took pictures of him, and before that I was attempting to start a seat-to-seat chat with him kind of like texting through these fancy little screens in front of each seat in the plane. Unfortunately my keyboard wouldn’t work so I couldn’t secretly chat him, but this might have been a good thing because I know that my fantasy sophomore boyfriend, Alec, who was also previously featured in my blog as my slave, would have gotten jealous. If you are wondering why I am mentioning so many people in my blog, because I never usually do too often, you can assume that it’s because they all wanted to get famous through it.

            So whether I choose Emerson, Drexel, Bu, Muhlenberg, or whatever school I please, I know that I will end up happy wherever I go because I am good at making the most of what I have, and being positive. It’s all about being proactive in college, because you aren’t going to make friends, connections, and memories by sitting around in your dorm all day, you’ve got to go out into the world and escape from your comfort zone to realize the things you never knew you loved and the people you never knew you’d bond with. If college is supposedly the best years of your life, than I am going to make certain that those years will be unforgettable. I will always be thankful for this experience with all of my friends, new and old, touring the East Coast and having the time of our lives.

~xoxo Ali~

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^^^ what a nice, comforting sign to see right in front of the White House

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^ me doin’ ma thang in front of Obama’s crib

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^^ me and Caroline

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^ Georgetown

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^Georgetown

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^Georgetown

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^^ me at Georgetown :)

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^^ Me and my slave/bf Alec in front of the Capitol!

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^ Isabel and I

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^^ Back to LA :(

ECCT 7: Philadelphia Freedom

        Other than Boston, most of the cities and towns we have traveled through and toured colleges at have been quite sleepy, empty, and almost a bit like ghost towns; of course this isn’t too much of a problem considering the colleges offer the majority of their student’s fun and entertainment to be found within campus grounds. Philly on the other hand, was like returning back to the bright lights and action of Boston, but in a more New York reminiscent community. When we arrived, I immediately knew that I could totally see myself going to college in a town like this, with people bustling about at all hours of the day and a dozen random restaurants and theatres to enjoy.                      

   Today we visited Drexel University, a city-busy school that specializes in their co-op program. This program allows you to pursue both you educational needs as well as work in the field of your study by doing internships and jobs during your school time. For example, you might intern at a new station in LA for one semester while the next one, you are back at Drexel focusing on your Fashion Design Major while playing the lead in a musical at school. This requires most students to be at school for 5 years and they also really only have one summer vacation that is completely free. While this seemed unappealing to me at first, I soon realized once I got to know the school that it is so worth it. The year after college is over while many students will be stressing over job interviews and worrying about their lack of experience in their field and if they will get hired, I might already have a solid position at a company or doing something I love for good money because I had so much experience in college with it.  I absolutely loved my tour guide, she was super honest about everything about the school; both the perks and downsides and I loved this because I could really get a feel for how the students enjoy the school, not just how the “tour guide putting on a fake show” is dialoging. And another plus, the dorm rooms are so spacious and roomy! The other colleges all had the same small, narrow dorm rooms which I don’t mind, but these ones were super big and had their own air conditioning and free cable as well as a spacious window seat with a giant window that out looked Philly. So nice! What I also think will be a major factor in deciding my school is the location and what there is to do; in Philly they have entire street of Greek houses that apparently throw huge house parties not to mention you are welcome to party with U Penn which is across the street, and everybody knows that they throw good parties. Plus, Drexel is located right in the heart of the center city where everything you could imagine surrounds you and there are about a million ways to get around town without the need for a car! So, maybe I’ll spend my days grading the food the students make  at the culinary arts department of Drexel, or record my own album at the mad dragons records studio, play some intermural field hockey, hand with one of my 3-4,000 fellow freshman students, or go rock climbing in the rec center. So basically, I am in love with this school and can’t wait to apply, and hopefully get in considering it’s a 75% acceptance rate!                       

         The only down side of today? Probably the rain, considering it was like cats and dogs, well not really that bad but I just wanted to say that because it’s a nice hyperbole. So since I of course carry around an average of a million things in my hand and my backpack and am always opening, putting back, or taking things out, I needed a bit of help. My new sophomore friend Alec was my slave for today, and he carried my coffee, folder, and phone in at least 6 different in situations today, so if you are reading this Alec, thank you and it probably will happen again. After Drexel, we ate at a farmers market in Philly and I got a delicious beet salad with a side of fries and garlic aioli sauce, and then shared a mint chocolate chip ice cream on a cone with Serena. We used spoons and let’s just say it probably wasn’t the best idea. An entire chuck fell of and landed directly on my rain boot after about 2 minutes, and if you needed to find us you probably could because we left a trail of ice cream even Hansel and Gretel would be impressed with. I wasn’t as tired today because we got to sleep in more, but I did feel a little weak, probably because last night my friend Brett who is a good size taller than me decided it would be smart to squash me by sitting on my lap after I stole his seat the other day and wouldn’t move out of it. Well, this most likely isn’t the reason but he just wanted to be mentioned in my blog, so there you go. We are beginning our 3 hour bus ride (sounds familiar, right?) to DC right now and I can’t wait. With all the craziness going on with our government right now, I am excited to see just what the people of DC have to say about it all, and what I have to say about Georgetown. Au revoir Philadelphia!

~xoxo Ali~

 

 

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^ Drexel

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^ more of DrexelIMG_5738

ECCT 6: Muhlenberg… Bueler Bueler?

This trip has been so so so much fun, yet it has completely drained me of any energy I have left. We move from college to college from motel to motel from bus ride to bus ride and the cycle just repeats. It was bound to be a matter of time until we all eventually fell asleep on the bus and not a peep could be heard. I now know how long teenagers can go hooked on Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks iced coffees before the fatigue catches up to us.

                Today we really had a downpour here in Pennsylvania and I realized what it will be like when I walk around the campus of my college, that is if I go to school on the east coast which I am hoping I will. It really doesn’t seem all that bad; I am not really a complainer. If I decide to wear a skirt or uncomfortable boots on a stormy day, I am not the one who is going to be whining about how cold I am or how sore my feet are, because I could have dressed for comfort and warmth, but I ALWAYS choose fashion over comfort. Well, for the most part, unless I can mix them both! To start off first, we visited Muhlenberg, which I really loved. I felt really comforted and invited immediately, as they gave us each our own Muhlenberg umbrellas so that the rain wouldn’t completely drench us when touring the campus. To make us feel even more special, the dean of admissions, like the big deal guy who you really should get to know so the school knows your name, was with us for the info session and even ate lunch with us there! The campus was beautiful just like all the others we had been to, but nothing remarkably breathtaking. 95% of students live in campus, and like Wesleyan it is one of those schools where most of the action takes place on the campus. While it is Lutheran, it was nothing like Boston College seemed in the aspect that I completely even forgot it was religiously affiliated because it was barely mentioned! My tour guide told us that you take advantage of the religious aspect in whatever measure you want, that is you can go to church all the time, not even think about the idea of God, or even attend their Shabbat dinners every Friday which are supposedly super fun and popular for students of all religious backgrounds. I thought it was really cool how Jewish the school was even though it was Lutheran! The English department is supposedly incredible there and they have wonderful creative writing classes so that is a major plus for me. IN addition, it’s a TOTAL artsy school and we even got to take a look at their theatre! I was a bit disappointed though, it wasn’t much to compare to Emerson’s, and it was even smaller than ours at Chaminade. Anyways, I liked how at Muhlenberg you can be involved with all of these shows and such without being a major in the theatre department, just like Wesleyan. The school itself was super adorable with its beautiful buildings that had quirky colored doors in red and blue that reminded me of the little French and Spanish apartments I saw this summer.  I also enjoyed the way they described their teaching style, as a very up close and personal experience where you build special relationships with your professors. Many classes are so small that they are in the style of a Socratic seminar and are mostly discussion based, which excites me so much because that is what I love so much about English at Chaminade! And if I go here, I will definitely be taking advantage of the zumba and yoga classes held in the beautiful and serene Church as well as hitting up the sushi station at 3 am for those late night cravings, because they happen to offer an AMAZING selection of food that ranges from kosher to froyo to a macaroni bar to freshly made desserts that the school is known for. When we walked into a freshman dorm hallway, I felt right at home when I heard a group of boys fooling around in their dorm with the door wide open and their fun party music blasting through the hallway. At that moment I realized how much I am totally going to LOVE living in a dorm where right outside of my door are tons of other students ready to socialize and have fun all the time and just go crazy. The Greek life is apparently unique in the way that it doesn’t completely define you as a student when you go there, but it is very fun and 20% of the students are involved in it. From the looks of their unique take on learning in the classroom to the cozy, ski-lodge like feel I got while eating in their dining area to always having something fun to do on the weekends, I can definitely tell I will be applying to the ‘Berg as they call it.

                Lehigh was next, and let me just say they had an absolutely GORGEOUS campus! While it was hilly and will definitely give their students a workout on their way to class, I would just die getting to live in the many beautiful dorm buildings with the spectacular view they sported from those windows! It was more of a rah-rah school than Muhlenberg and more sciency, sporty, and the Greek-life is pretty big. I think that if I wasn’t so artsy, it would be a nice fit for me, yet I feel as if it didn’t speak to me as much as the others. Our tour guide was super sweet and fun though and I could tell she really enjoyed Lehigh. They didn’t discuss theatre and writing too much, and I know that even though it’s a super nice school and it is well known on the east coast, I am not going to go to it if it doesn’t offer a really strong program in something I want to do. They have great school spirit apparently, which sounds nice but lately I have realized that this doesn’t affect anything too much for me. Of course I still want to have that unified, close-knit community in my college, but I don’t care if there aren’t die-hard football fans raging at every game because I certainly wouldn’t be the type. What I realize I don’t like too much, is that Lehigh and some other schools require you to take core curriculum classes, like for example at least one science and math, and that just seems a bit of a hassle to me, because I sure as heck am not struggling in chemistry or geometry again. That’s something I really loved about Wesleyan, is that the schedule is extremely flexible and you can even sign up for super fun classes that roam a little off course of your focuses and I like this because it’s always nice to learn about intriguing topics that make you more open-minded and always keep you interested in the discussion. I don’t want to wake up once a week and feel stressed about having to go to a class that I am just breezing through carelessly and often skipping, anticipating its ending. I want to feel as if I am sad a class is going to end because I gain so much from the professor and the food for thought I share with my classmates! So even though Lehigh isn’t the perfect school for me, if you are interested in D1 sports like football or even in business and science majors with a nice Greek life and social scene on the side, definitely check it out!

                Gazing through the dew dropped windows as the vast fields that stretch the surface of the Earth whilst listening to Bon Iver and Ed Sheeran, I feel the sudden need to take a nap and soak in all the beauty of the East Coast.

                                                                        ~xoxo Ali~

 

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^^ Taylor and I at Muhlenberg

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^^ Theatre at the ‘Berg

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^Taylor and I again
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^^^Picture from we went out to dinner in the vibrant city of Philly and devoured our first philly cheese steaks which were delicious!

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I ALSO FORGOT TO MENTION THE CRAZY NIGHT WE HAD LAST NIGHT:

I LOST MY OLIVE GARDEN VIRGINITY!!!! I had always wondered at how good the breadsticks were because the commercials made it seem really promising. In a ghetto, middle of nowhere town in Connecticut, the Olive Garden was the best choice. I had a mere 2 cups of minestrone soup and by the way you don’t pronounce the -e at the end of “minestrone” which I did not know! I was not impressed with the breadsticks and I did not enjoy the smell of the restaurant. Overall, I was disappointed. I thought the Olive Garden really might’ve had something going for it, I fear it didn’t and never will.

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^^ Muhlenberg

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^^^Lehigh is gorgeous

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ECCT 5: Your average Yale and wierd but wondrous Wesleyan

Another day another city. Sitting on the bus with Caroline again, I am eager to see the end in sight of this 3 hour bus drive. Hartford, Connecticut, or at least the bits and pieces I saw of it really don’t come close to how lively Boston is. The most exciting monument was the immense, fancy building located on a vast green lawn that could be viewed perfectly from the glass windows of Caroline and I’s classy Hotel Motel Holiday Inn room. We liked to call it the White House, or the Taj Mahal to make it seem like there was at least something worthwhile and potentially safe in the neighborhood. You know us Chaminade kids, we see one homeless guy on the street and we automatically think we’ve landed in Compton!

                To continue with our college touring, because that IS what we are here for anyways, we went to Wesleyan University, a small liberal arts school in the quant town of Middletown, Connecticut. The first building we entered was actually a house, and it served as one of the administration office buildings, and at first glance it seemed a bit strange. I had read on the bus before coming to the school that it was depicted as a druggy, hippie kind of school and seeing the houses being utilized as buildings kind of gave me that vibe as well, it was a bit unusual yet nicely unique. I soon realized how quirky and adorable it was once I stepped in and felt right at home. Throughout my entire tour I felt a sense of comfort and acceptance, even from the casual smiles I noted professors and students sharing whilst strolling by the school buildings. It is not your typical Emerson or NYU, in which the campus is integrated within the city and the main activities of your average student include meeting at local cafes and strolling the busy streets whilst walking to the next showing of Kinky Boots. Wesleyan is located in not the most occupied, lively part of the state like BU was. Instead, the campus is your home when you are a student there, and you entire life revolves around what’s going on this week whether its one of the many student-run performances or meeting with the a cappella group and recording in the studio. It could be sledding on your mattresses down one of the popular social spots the big green grass “hill” or even gazing at the stars in their observatory for hours and maybe you would even go see one of the movies they  show every week and dress up with your friends to go sing the songs! Oh or even if you want to go ice skating on their ice hockey rink whilst listening to your ipod tunes blast throughout the stadium, or maybe they have their annual nerf gun zombie human fight and you might get a battle wound from being shot by a marshmallow. As you can see, Wesleyan offers more than enough incredible one-of-a-kind on campus activities, and instead of the students wishing there was more to do off campus, which they don’t because they also have a cute main street, they are worried anytime they AREN’T on campus that they missed out on some of the millions of events going on while they were away visiting family or out shopping in Boston perhaps! But, the factor stills stands quite apparent that they in fact are kind of in the middle of a not so exciting area. And while I am more of a city, busy-body person, I really enjoyed Wesleyan regardless of this factor because the school just seemed like it had so much to offer. I also adored how laid-back and all about the student the curriculum is! You literally aren’t required to take ANY classes, so I won’t be laid down by the burdens of math requirements which is amazing and I can focus on the more important classes for my future, like the Harry Potter class the offer for freshman! Because, DUH that is obviously more important! Their arts and humanities
program seems amazing and they have an entire section of the campus that even includes underground buildings dedicated to the arts, full with studios and such for the music and arts classes. They even have great sports opportunities, as they have a football team and and an ice hockey team and heck, even field hockey! While I am not a jock, I love that this school has the best of both worlds because I like having the chance to root on my school’s football team (but really I just can’t wait for the ice hockey team to get in fights) and this also means that the school includes a diverse group of students. I also really hope I can get some good use out of the indoor track and rock wall! I definitely think I will apply to Wesleyan, I just hope I can get in! Maybe when I wear my new Wesleyan hoodie at school next year as a senior, I will be reminded of how hard I need to work to get in, so it will motivate me!

                Next, was Yale, and this, similar to Harvard was an experience. Overall, I absolutely ADORED the campus. It was definitely one of if not my favorite campus yet. It had beautiful old buildings similar to Harvard’s and just as beautiful as Boston College’s, yet unlike the cookie cutter style of BC, Yale integrated both new modern buildings into the mix and everything has a unique twist on it, so I feel as if I could actually recognize the difference between these buildings if I went here! But just like Harvard, and probably the other prestigious ivy’s out there, I don’t really have a chance, and I don’t really mind either. I don’t care if the name of my college doesn’t spark fireworks in people’s eyes when the stare in awe at you, because the part that matters for me the most is whether I love my school and it fits me perfectly. So no, I didn’t buy an expensive sweater at Harvard or Yale just because they are Harvard and Yale, I bought them at the schools that have inspired me and I could see myself at in 2 years. Yale reminded me a lot of Harvard because both tours consisted of mostly discussion about the history and traditions of the schools and the overall general jist of everything. They don’t go into depth about all the programs and at Yale they didn’t even talk a lot about the things I loved hearing about at Wesleyan such as adorable fun things the kids do to bond or even anything at all that made me attracted to the school. I don’t care about a statue that you rub for good luck, or how one of the buildings were made and you can see sunlight through it. I want to know about the campus atmosphere! About the creative programs and opportunities! About the school spirit! Sorry Yale, your campus might have amazed me, but you didn’t make me feel at home at all. After the brief and un-detailed tour (I mean we didn’t even see sports fields or theatres or dorms or anything) we walked around the college town which is absolutely adorable! We then hopped on the bus, which I am sitting on now attempting to watch the Carrie Diaries with Caroline while also writing this. I think I covered most of what needed to be, and I want to give my mind a break because my body needs to relax and burn off the nasty little chicken nuggets I just devoured at Burger King. So long Connecticut, on to Philly!

                                                                                       ~xoxo Ali~

 

 

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^^^ credit to the lovely Serena
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^^^ Serena again :)

ECCT 4: B as in Boston

Right now, I am sitting on the bus next to Caroline, pillow pets tightly gripped and our bodies limp and weak from the eventful day. As we depart Boston, I can’t help but feel sad; I was really starting to grow an attachment to this amazing city I know I will have to return to someday, if only for the mouthwatering cannoli’s and charming town square. This morning, I felt like a chubby bum. Getting out of bed was not even an option in my mind until I was practically forced to if I wanted to at least look decent for the day. It probably wasn’t the smartest idea to stay up until 2 last night, but I just HAD to find my camera and that meant tearing apart my entire suitcase! I mean, how else would I have found it, even if it was underneath the bed the whole time? Trust me it can’t get worse than this, after I had to buy a memory card because my dad forgot to put one in, and then to realize the battery died. So, I didn’t think there could be anything more that could happen unless my camera flew out of the bus or spontaneously died. Anyways, our first stop was…. BOSTON UNIVERSITY. And wow, it was seriously amazing. Just like how Emerson inspired me, Boston University gave me that same feeling, as if there were endless possibilities available to me at the touch of a button. What I really found appealing about BU, was that it fit the median between a completely liberal artsy school and the traditional rah-rah sporty Greek school. While their main sport isn’t football, the school goes crazy over their good old ice hockey games, and I personally have always enjoyed with hockey more than football, I love watching a couple of good punches and cuss words thrown out on the court, it really spices things up! Plus, unlike some of the other urban, creative schools, BU actually has great Greek life, both for sororities and fraternities. I wasn’t sure 100% if I wanted to be a part of Greek life before I went on this tour, but I am pretty much certain that I will definitely want to be in a sorority. Making friends for life, planning events and parties, bonding and doing adorable activities and secret traditional sorority stuff, and meeting all the frat boys? Sounds like legally blonde, so it sounds good to me! I also really enjoyed walking around the campus, I saw people of all different cultures, backgrounds, and everybody had their own unique style. They really emphasize the whole “be you” philosophy, get it? The campus was vibrant, lively, and truly inspiring. My tour guide, Megan, said that she feels as if she is always said “yes” to at BU. And don’t even get me started on the dorm and housing options! BU kids have the opportunity to live in apartments stacked on the most adorable streets I’ve seen yet in Boston! They look like little colorful townhouses with bright doors and accommodated by the beautiful fall trees. Fancy living is probably a perk, no? I also enjoyed how there are tons of student run programs and theatre and musical theatre options, as well as radio stations and great technology for students to use. Just like Emerson! Plus, they have great journalism opportunities, newspapers, magazine, and millions of the artistic outlets I am dying to get involved in! And they also have WONDERFUL study abroad options for their students that are paired with amazing internships that BU finds for you so you can be learning, interning, or just having a good time! So, I guess I could be living in Paris and taking French and art history classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and interning at a fashion magazine on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays! Well, at least I am hoping it turns out like that! And unlike Emerson, you are allowed to audition for the theatre and musical theatre productions that are put on and performed by the kids who major specifically in musical theatre and such. Well, we are departing the bus to grab a bite, so I’ll report back in a few!

I am back from dinner out in the lovely, totally non-sketchy town of Hartford. We had a bunch of Italian food and I am completely stuffed, so hopefully people don’t think I am the next star of sixteen and pregnant. Serena, Caroline, Taylor, Emma, Isabel and I roamed the streets, with the accompaniment of our counselors of course because who knows what really happens in Hartford, and tore through a local market to find fatty foods that would fulfill our girl cravings. We scurried back to the hotel, and I managed to propose to Serena with a flower, dance on a pole with Miley Cyrus buns bobbing on my hair, and sing a couple of tunes. The Italian food obviously got to me.

                So continuing on the topic of BU, I can really visualize myself walking down the urban, funky neighborhood every day, engaging myself in small, circle seminar classes that rack my brain and keep me yearning for answers and questions. And of course after a fulfilling class discussion, meeting up with my artsy friends to rehearse our student written, produced, and designed musical, and then finishing the day off with a party or event hosted by me and my sorority sisters! Just typing this is making me so excited for the innumerable amount of possibilities awaiting me in the future! Not to mention, our tour guide said she was going to her sailing class after our meeting, because the sparkling Charles River happens to be right along the campus, and the idea of sailing brings me back to my sleep-a-way camp, so I am guessing I’ll be sailing or canoeing on the Charles a couple times a month, and of course meeting my a cappella group weekly!

                Continuing along the tour, because I couldn’t just drop everything and steal a dorm at BU and HOPE nobody noticed, we made our way to Boston College, basically the salt to BU’s pepper, if that makes any sense at all. My first impression was that the campus was absolutely breathtaking. It was a mere image of Hogwarts, or a grand castle in the French Basque Country or even the Netherlands. I immediately felt relaxed and in awe when walking around the campus. The skyscraping limestone-like stones, glossy stained glass windows, and the fresh green lawns decorated with trees of all sizes and colors. I thought this campus was more beautiful than Harvard, and if you have been to Harvard, you will know that Boston College’s campus most definitely isn’t a sight you won’t do a double take on. Yet while beauty is deceiving, Boston College certainly didn’t keep me under its spellbinding charm for long. I am not a very religious person, and during the information session and majority of the tour, the kids and faculty discusses how the Jesuit society and beliefs as well as their faith played a huge role at their school, as it seemed as if all the kids had a mutual unity due to their passion for service and helping others. This is actually a truly beautiful thing, but they made it seem like their professors would judge you for your beliefs and challenge you on them. Going to a private catholic school already, I know that it doesn’t make a big difference on my education, but I don’t want to go to a college that reflects my high school, I need a fresh and obvious change from these past 3, soon to be 4 years of my life. I love Chaminade, but I am not going to go to a college revolved around sports and Jesuit or just Catholic beliefs in general, I’m sorry it’s just not me. What I loved about BU is how it as so diverse and accepting, and our tour guide even said how amazingly open it was to students practicing all religions and lifestyles and how there were many available places they could go to practice. And considering our tour at Boston College said she didn’t like people when I asked her why she didn’t study in the library, let’s just say she didn’t represent her school too well and make it seem all that fun. When we toured one of the libraries, I felt like shuddering from the cold, harsh vibe I got, probably based on all the cruel glares the students gave us for walking through the library in shoes that actually make sound when they hit the floor. I mean, how could they study when there were people walking on the floor, right? Like who even does that when somebody is trying to study for their AP Organic Chem Final? Gosh! So to put it in short terms, Boston College was a beautiful school located in a nice area that gives you the privacy you need but still easy access to the city, yet their core beliefs that the school is rooted in as well as its strongest majors and overall vibe and feel, don’t mesh with me. I need a school that provokes my mind to think and ask questions, and motivates me so much that I am truly inspired to be as passionate and as driven as the people like my tour guide at Emerson were! If you would like to know about my outfit today, I will be happy to discuss this as well. I stole a look I found on ASOS, of a model wearing adorable high waisted blue and red plaid shorts, and I tucked in a white button up, scalloped collared shirt and layered it with a thin black crew neck sweater with my black ankle boots. Could you say preppy, or would you say complete prepster? Anyways, since I did go to bed at 2 last night, I am hoping to catch up on my beauty sleep for tomorrow. Tomorrow’s visits: Wesleyan University and Yale (I mean is this another joke, just like Harvard?)

                                                                               ~xoxo Ali~

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^^^ Boston College

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^^^ Boston College

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^^^ Boston University right by the Charles River

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^^^ Boston University where many students live in these adorable houses on these cute streets!!

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^^^ The Sacred Seal at Boston University (if you walk across it apparently you won’t graduate!)

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^^^ more of adorable BU :) where you are really encouraged to “be you”

ECCT 3: How Harvard, Yet Evidently Emerson

          Today (or yesterday at this point) was more than the word eventful could define. After an early morning start and a gourmet quality Best Western breakfast, (they had little weenie sausages and everything!) we headed to Harvard. I had already been there once before on my previous trip to Boston and I remembered how Hogwarts-reminiscent and beautiful the campus was. Walking through Harvard was like a dream, with its massive brick buildings perfectly sculpted with gold and white detailing. This history-packed architecture was perfectly worn out by time and with the accessory of fresh green lawns and golden-cranberry colored trees, I knew I had to give the campus a 5 out of 5 star rating. I definitely think my favorite thing about Harvard is its campus, I have never seen anything like it before. Not only is the campus breathtaking, but it’s an absolute thrill to walk around Harvard Square with its vibrant and colorful atmosphere congested with passionate college kids and adorable shops and cuisine stops. College towns make me oh so happy. I tried to write some notes on Harvard, but I then realized it was a lost cause for me. Anyways, I still really enjoyed the tour, because it’s not just a place you go to in hopes of going there someday, it’s almost like a tourist stop in Boston, it’s truly an experience. Harvard has so much history rooted in its soil, heck there is even a huge underground library dedicated to a student who died on the Titanic! Well actually, him and his family managed to get on a safety boat but he z that all of his “valuable” books were still on the boat and he swam back to retrieve them, yet was never seen again. Well you know those Harvard kids! And when I realized that books meant more than life to these genius masterminds, I knew it definitely wasn’t the place for me, unless books meant book club meetings where you mostly ate cute little pastries and gossiped, and maybe got to talking about the title of the book we were supposed to be “discussing”. So after Harvard, I shoveled down an Italian Panini I picked up at a local Italian pizza parlor on a cute street in Boston with my friend Jenny in the little amount of free time we had, and from there we ventured to Emerson. I had no pre-conceived judgments or ideas about this school, all I knew was that it was very artsy and NYU-like which immediately attracted me. My tour guide Erin, and some other guy (sorry that seems really offensive to the other guy I promise he seemed cool too) inspired me so much. She is a journalism major, yet that doesn’t cover the least of what she is and what she does. Speaking of her experiences at the Inauguration, her interview practice for Hurricane Sandy, the many video documentaries she made and produced, and lets not even start on the amount of news casting programs and shows that she runs and stars in at Emerson. What I truly loved about this school more than anything, was the entire idea behind it being a student based school: FOR the students and practically run BY the students. I could just see from the way Erin talked about her major and past jobs and internships that she was truly driven. She discussed how the students who go here are all ridiculously passionate and dedicated to their interests; they take initiative and it takes them down roads they could have never imagined simply by one of the key ideas Emerson upholds: if you can think it you can create it. And with the amazing amount of equipment, outstanding studios and work spaces, and the internships and professors with endless connections at the palm of your hand, you can create anything from your own online fashion magazine to a news show for Emerson to even a student-made and produced musical! I love the idea of pursuing creative outlets and having endless opportunities for things like this, so that I won’t be stuck to focusing on one major. And while I am hoping to soon find this certain major that I know 100% for certain I will be passionate about, I need to still have time and opportunity to explore. The only questionable aspect of Emerson for me was the fact that it lacked a traditional, homey college campus. This makes me question the connectedness and family spirit of the school; am I going to find a warm environment of close friends and friendly faces all around me, or will I be stuck passing strangers as I walk through streets and alleyways to get to the “buildings” I call my school? I am still stuck on whether this whole college, but really independent preparation for the real world, lifestyle is what I want. I am certainly independent, but I still want to have the option to go to my school’s football games, or be in a very active sorority. I guess I will see if Boston University and Boston College, which I am seeing tomorrow, will help me get a better understanding of whether this is truly important to me or not. Now completely inspired by the dedication of Emerson students, I can’t wait to wear my new college sweatshirt I picked up there when I am a senior!

                After the tour, we lawlied through Boston Harvard and I realized how I was starting to know my way around the little area and it became a sentimental piece of Boston for me! We then, of course because how could you not do this in Boston, took the Duck Tour. I had been on it before, so it wasn’t anything TOO exciting, but I did get some really cute pictures and shared some really insightful discussion with Isabel and Danny. I feel as if just being near these colleges is giving me more brain cells! I mean who even knows, maybe I will become the next Elle Woods! After that little rendezvous, we got the freedom to go out for dinner again, and I had some delicious shrimp tacos at a really nice restaurant with all the girls. We were all in a wonderful mood and ran around taking pictures beneath the twinkling lights that draped below the trees. It was like a dream to me, I hadn’t had so much fun and freedom since France! I ended my day with a yummy scoop of Oreo Green Monster ice cream on a cone and sadly, the sun set. Well, if you could even say the sun was out today! It was ridiculously humid, yet cloudy, grey, and a bit rainy! Layers were not such a good idea, and tomorrow I am certainly cutting down on them. When we returned to our rooms, Caroline and I hosted a mini party in our room and our honorable guests included Serena, Taylor, Isabel, and Emma. We laughed until our bellies hurt from things over Caroline’s ridiculous battle wound on her ankle from a bad shaving experience, to our ridiculous conversations and attempt at getting the gum out of Taylor’s hair with peanut butter packets. A fun way to end the night, will a little help from my friends as the Beatles would say. I couldn’t be happier that I decided to go on this trip. And if you managed to read all the way up to this point, then congratulations because I just wasted a good 5 to 10 minutes of your time! I at least hope you smiled once. Goodnight, Boston.

                                                                    ~xoxo Ali~

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Boston Beginnings: ECCT Entry 2

After landing, we took our first steps into the crisp Boston air and it finally felt like fall. We took a bus to our hotel and I was ecstatic to see where the road led us. Through the rain-drop splattered glass windows I saw trees of autumn ombre shades and traditional Victorian style homes plopped along the fresh green soil. It was such a refreshing change to actually experience true fall weather compared to the average 85 degree California weather and non-changing leaves and I couldn’t wait to finally dress for the part! Boots, scarves, sweaters, pants, everything high fashion just screams fall! We arrived at the hotel, a Best Western just a short ride away from Harvard Square and moved into our rooms. I slipped on my Hunter rain boots, grabbed my Marc Jacobs purse, and Caroline (my roommate) and I ventured into Harvard Square with the rest of the group. Serena and I skipped down the slippery pavement and hunted for perfect picture spots, of which there were many potential areas in the adorable neighborhood. We ate at a fun, friendly brewery kind of like BJ’s and gathered ourselves around a homey, large round table. I ate a delicious bowl of clam chowder and a hearty lobster mac n’ cheese and we finished our night with a stop by Ben and Jerry’s. Let’s just say it was a dinner for champions and my stomach is going to need a long night of rest to recover and de-bloat.  The entire night made me feel like I was in college on a wild weekend night just roaming the town with a big group of friends! This freedom, this independence, and all the potential the young night held for us felt so right. Realizing how I can completely steer my life in any direction I want once I leave for college, with nothing and nobody holding me back makes me even more impatient to graduate high school.  Tomorrow, we visit Harvard and fortunately get to explore more of the beautiful city of Boston. Wish me luck tomorrow morning as I struggle to decide if wearing my new Free People black booties is worth it for the sake of high fashion or if the possibility of a rain sprinkling will result in a fashion downgrade.</p><p                                                    ~xoxo Ali~

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East Coast College Tour Entry 1

After the hectic whirlwind of adjusting to a new school year, juggling daily extracurriculars and club meetings and applications topped with homework and studying, it is nice to get a break away from it all, even if it means taking a trip WITH my school. I I popped out of bed bright and early (well not so bright) at 4:45 to leave for LAX and go on the East Coast College Tour. I have been anticipating it’s arrival since the beginning of school and to think that I am sitting on the plane right now is surreal! I am going with four good friends and am hoping to get to know some other people by the end of this adventure. The last time I had been to the East Coast was last spring break on my first trip to New York. It was like a dream to me, getting to experience the city I had longed to visit since I can’t remember. Before that, I had visited Boston with my family; I really got into the Bostonian spirit with my Red Sox baseball style tee and a 4 star view of all the cute Red Sox players strutting their stuff on Fenway. Today, I get to return to Boston as well as venture into Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and DC. I’ll know the East Coast like the back of my hand by the end of this trip! Well, that might be a hyperbole considering my sense of direction is as useful as a leprechaun with a pot of silver. I’m listening to some Franz Ferdinand and sitting next to two girls I don’t really know too well, but my friends are all in the surrounding seats so it’s not too bad, we even started a cool group chat over these fancy tv’s we all have in front of our chairs. We’ve been laughing so loud that some cranky old lady turned around and gave us a cold, cruel stare-down and I wasn’t sure if she was challenging us to battle, but we laughed at that of course as well. If you wouldn’t have guessed, I took all yesterday just to plan my outfits for each day. I surprisingly am going to make use of layers and repeating key pieces in my college tour wardrobe, rather than having a different piece of fabric on my body for each second of the day. But no need to fear, my suitcase is still packed; my fall essentials are fashionable but still sturdy and warm, I’ve got to be warm when walking through the nippy breeze of Boston while still looking chic! I have always seen myself going to some big city like New York right in the heart of where everything is for college, not some dusty forgotten state in the Midwest, it’s just not me. I am hoping that this tour will reinforce this view and that I can find some colleges to add to my list! These are the colleges I am visiting:

-Harvard (lets be completely honest we all know I am not getting in, I’m not even Asian so my chances are probably at best 1.4% and I’m not that professional anyways)/Last time I went I remember it being a beautiful traditional campus so I am excited to get the Harvard experience once more

-Yale (another school I am going to just for the fun of it; I am sure it will give me a chuckle to hear the average SAT scores needed to get into these schools compared with what I am assuming I’ll get)

-Boston College: apparently it’s a bit religious but I hope not/ equal amount of boys and girls/ 4 stars for social as well as academic so it sounds pretty promising/ good for English majors/ apparently used to be a party school but that’s fading because kegs and cases of beer aren’t allowed on campus anymore

-Boston University: big on internships and great student teacher relationship / most classes average 10-19 or even 20-29 students/ funky artsy neighborhood setting/ apparently good food court?/ campus events all the time/cool road trips and splash party?/ good studying abroad programs

-Muhlenberg: interested in their freshman first year advising team, senior experience program/ have good theatre and writing programs/ good student teacher relationship/daily bus runs to NY city, Philadelphia

-Wesleyan: small classes, good attention from teachers/ sounds like they have cool events like their 80’s party and even battle of the bands/ good music film and creative writing programs/ got 5 stars for education

-Lehigh: interesting academic curriculum: you can tailor your majors and academic programs across 4 colleges so I really like this idea/ believe the arts are valuable and so do I/ even number of men and women/ 4 stars for education and life quality and 3 for social so not too shabby/ hillside campus: workouts to class? Not such a fan of all the stairs at my school right now so yikes/ active greek scene/ big workload/lots of study abroad options/vibrant and eventful nightlife and it’s in the heart of the Lehigh valley plus they have  a really cool ten day musical festival and I definitely like those J/ $$$

-Emerson: in the heart of boston/ diverse population/ small classes so good teacher relationships also/ only 2 starts for social so we will see about that/ good theatre film and writing programs/ cool study abroad options/most parties are off campus and no greek life, but I think I would like to have the option of sororities

-Drexel: not much to say about this college yet, hopefully I will after I visit it!

-Georgetown: I have heard how beautiful the area around Georgetown with all it’s colorful shops and such, so I just couldn’t resist signing up to tour it, even if it’s a bit

I have nothing new to report except that I am ready to have the time of my life on this college trip! I’ll keep you all posted daily.

~xoxo Ali~