Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Best Way to Say Goodbye

Today definitely exceeded my expectations. The morning started out like any other. We stopped for breakfast at the Aroma Espresso Bar just a couple minutes from our hotel. I had a turkey BLT sandwich with hot chocolate. After breakfast we headed over to the subway. I've never ridden the subway before, but it was a very interesting culture shock. When we arrived to Columbia University, we were a bit ahead of schedule which allowed to take in a little bit of the campus before the information session and tour.
Carson was modeling for us
During the information session, I noticed that there was a great diversity within the group of people in the information session. There was even a family from Turkey. I learned many things about Columbia and even other Ivy League Schools that I didn't know before. For example, I learned that Columbia was once called King's College but soon changed it's name after the Revolutionary war. I also became aware of the fact that they also have a core curriculum requirement; this gives students the opportunity to become well rounded and not so "boring" as our tour guide would have put it. Columbia has a very strong Study Abroad program that really peaked my interest particularly because it's very important for me to be able to see the world and experience other perspectives.

After the tour and information session, we had lunch at The Heights, which was a very wholesome grill which served the best salmon I've ever had. They were also showing the World Cup game between Argentina and Switzerland which served as a great conversation starter during lunch.

After lunch, there was some spare time to go sightseeing. We were able to see Time's Square. The atmosphere of this neighborhood was more different than the atmosphere of Columbia. To me, it was so much more crowded than anything I've ever been through. It felt as if time went faster in Time Square because people were constantly rushing to their destination. After Time Square, we also visited the 9/11 Memorial. Being there for the first time was a very humbling. It opened my eyes to the fact that 9/11 impacted so many people. The names inscribed on the parapets were more than just names; they were mothers, sons, and grandfathers. In other words, they were loved by someone.

After sightseeing, we made our way back to our hotel in order to freshen up for the dinner we had with  a couple Columbia students. We met with Ellie Kirk, Beulah Agbabiaka, Noelle Bradley, and Heather Akumiah in an amazing restaurant in Harlem called The Cecil. It was a very cozy setting which made our conversation throughout the dinner so natural and comfortable. The dinner conversation varied from admissions, to sports, and even to some traditions in Columbia. Being able to hear their raw, unfiltered opinions and advice on the school made it more informative than any brochure could have been. They talked about the crucial importance of visiting whatever school that I might be interested in. We talked about the importance of making connections and using resources. One topic that I really connected with during the dinner was the fact that colleges like Columbia look at students in a holistic profile. It wasn't just GPA and SAT's; although those are important too, Columbia looks at the student as a person, not just numbers on paper. 

We all shared many laughs throughout the night. The ladies were all so relatable and and easy to talk to. Being able to see Columbia through their eyes made me seriously consider thinking of Columbia as an option for college in a couple of years.
Group photo to end the night

1 comment:

  1. Nice one; your topic is so captivating. GOOD CAPTION !