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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