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~



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


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


^^ me and Caroline



^ Georgetown






^^ me at Georgetown :)


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


^ Isabel and I


^^ Back to LA :(

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~