Thursday, June 21, 2012

Princeton: A Serious Competitor

Our journey to Princeton University was relatively easy, with only on minor mishap. We walked to the Amtrak station in Philadelphia, and once again the heat difficult. The train and taxi ride were uneventful until just after stepping out of the taxi I realized that my phone had slipped out of my pocket during the ride. Luckily the race driver had given us his card and personal and number (he was the only driver to do that) and I was able to call him. He was very understanding and  kind and drove back to return it.

I enjoyed our visit to Princeton very much. The campus was beautiful, full of old stone buildings, grassy fields, and the occasional statue, fountain, and garden. Princeton's buildings were reminiscent of old European castles and churches. It was the first college we visited which was not located in an urban environment, and the rural setting was nice. It created a more detached environment which seems like it would be helpful for focusing on learning. It does lack some of the culture and experiences that come with living in a city which is a factor I am definitely going to take into account when making my college decisions.

The information session was my personal favorite so far. The presenter was very engaging and personal. He did an excellent job of selling the school. In addition to facts about the school's program offerings, policies, and statistics he told us all about the application process and gave us advice on the "do's and dont's" of applying. He did not tell us (too much) ho great of a school Princeton was, he knows we know that. He focused more on the specific benefits that only Princeton offers, what we should expect if we do become students, and how to become students in the first place. The information session taught me a lot about not only applying to Princeton, but applying to colleges in general. It was very helpful.

The tour of Princeton was made much less enjoyable by the weather, but it was still nice to see the beautiful campus and learn more about the school's history. I think Princeton University could very well be the school for me if I decide that a rural environment is one that I want to go to college in. The course options are very open, and the option to take one, two, or even three minors appeals to someone like me, who enjoys the process and results of learning. I want to leave college feeling knowledgeable about a wide variety of subjects, not just my major. The extremely small class sizes would make it easy to get any additional information or attention from the professor which I needed. The options to study abroad is also something I would definitely take advantage of. All in all I was very impressed by Princeton,and it is a college I would love to be at. The only potential drawback for me is the environment.

After the tour we ate lunch at a local Italian restaurant. I had a seafood risotto which I thought was absolutely excellent. We spent our time during the meal having conversations about our extremely loud neighbor's conversations. I have become very close with this group, and it a lot of fun just spending time with them. After lunch we took a quick (due to the heat) walk around town. Then it was back to station, via taxi, and from there, after a brief wait during which we blogged on our I pods, it was back to Philadelphia. Before returning to the hotel we made a brief stop at a sandwich shop to get a Philly cheese steak sandwich from its hometown. I am glad we made the time to do that, since that was our last day in Philadelphia.

After that brief excursion we returned to the hotel for some downtime. I spent an hour listening to music and blogging, then it was off to the gym. After the gym and a quick shower it was off to dinner at La Croix.

The meal was amazing. We dined in a private room with only our cohort, and all the benefits a private room provides. I had soft shell crab as my opener, followed by rib steaks, and topped off with a dish of various chocolate deserts. Even the bread we were served for free was amazing. With four varieties of breads, fresh and warm from the oven, and choices of salted butter or goat cheese as a spread we were eating in luxury. The dinner was not all good though. As I was taking photos I noticed a lag in my camera. When I tried to check the photos I had taken the camera froze. I put in down and ignored the problem until the end of dinner so as not to ruin my meal with unnecessary stress. After dinner when we returned to the hotel, after an hour of troubleshooting and a phone call with Don we determined that the card was corrupted. Don generously offered to fix it f I mailed it back to him, and said he could even recover the photos. Frank has an extra card he said I could borrow, so it seems like the situation will end up alright. It is some extra stress I would have rather avoided, but I am glad my photos will not be permanently lost. Unfortunately it means no photos on my blog tonight, which is a real bummer because I had some really good ones.

Today was our last day in Philly, and our last day of college visits. Tomorrow it is off to Cornell for our orientation and to take our classes. It was easy to forget, after how eventful this week was, that the main point of the program has not even begun yet.

All that is left for tonight is to pack and get some rest for tomorrow. Then, finally, it is off to Ithaca!!!

1 comment:

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