Saturday, June 25, 2016

Goodbye to the City, Hello to Ithaca!

Today ended up being a much slower day than yesterday and Sunday as for the fact that this would be our last day in Chicago and we would end up having to leave during the afternoon for the airport. So after we woke up and packed up our bags, we went to eat breakfast and officially checked out of our hotel today. We ended up keeping our bags in the hotel while we caught a cab to check out the University of Chicago. 

We got to the University of Chicago in the morning and we took our seats as we waited for the presentation to start. But before it started I definitely took notice of the building that we were in. It was a huge cathedral that was extremely beautiful. It had stain glass windows and many different paintings all over the walls. 

As people filled in and the room completely full, the doors closed and we quickly heard the loud noise of an incredible piano player playing us an intro which might have been the University of Chicago fight song. It was such a grand entrance that I have never had at any college I have ever visited. It was very different. All of a sudden the dean of University of Chicago comes in to tell us about the school. I was super impressed at the fact that this happened because it's really nice of the school to let us have the highest person in power at the school come in to talk to us. Many reading this might think that it's a scary thought to think about but honestly I really liked the fact that they did this because it gives a sense of closeness and that even the the dean of the school is really encouraging us to apply. He was really funny and made the application seem like a process that was funny and easy to relate to. He answered a lot of questions and it was overall a good presentation. 

After the dean's presentation was over, they introduced a panel of current UChicago students who proceeded to answer questions about the school. Some easy to answer and some weren't so easy to answer but they overall did a pretty good job at telling the public how the student experience would be at the school. One thing the tour really opened my mind about is the fact that UChicago is one of the few selective schools that offers merit aid which I see as a huge plus. Because as someone who isn't sure that they will get a financial aid package knowing that there is a chance for me to get merit aid is something that is much more reassuring. I also like how UChicago is so much more open with their University essays. I feel that UChicago is one of the few schools that really understands what it means to show ones true personality and they really give a lot of essay prompts to help make sure that that point gets across. It makes it feel like they really want us at their school and want to see how funny and quirky and true to ourselves we can be and they give the opportunity to show that. 

After the panel, we headed off on a tour around the campus to see UChicago for ourselves. The school looked very nice and it was a pretty long walk (though it was also a difficult walk because of the heavy bag I was carrying). UChicago had a very nice atmosphere. It is also very green as most colleges are. One other thing I also noticed about the school is that it had a very diverse set of buildings. There would be the old looking vintage ones, the high tech glassy buildings, and some random pink and yellow buildings that stood out very brightly. Overall it was a school with a beautiful set of buildings

The Chicago tour ended off with a generous gift of popsicles on a very hot day. I was impressed with the school and what it has to offer and now I'm definitely sure that I want to apply to UChicago. We then went to the UChicago bookstore to check out the souvenirs and then took a cab (a very crowded one in fact) to a restaurant called Giordano's. It was a restaurant known for its Chicago deep dish pizza but I realized I'm not a fan of Chicago pizza in general so I opted to stay away from it. Instead I ordered an alfredo pasta which I have been craving for a long while now. We ordered appetizers of beef ravioli (though I had to avoid it because of the meat in it, and some garlic fries which were very good along with some lemon pepper wings which were also good. The alfredo pasta was pretty alright (Though I think I'm a bigger fan of my alfredo).

After eating we headed back to our hotel to pick up our bags and officially head out of Chicago. We had gotten an airport shuttle and it was pretty big and contained more people than just the cohort. However almost everyone in the shuttle was fast asleep because of traffic and tiredness. An hour later we had arrived in the airport and the procedure was pretty basic during that. Checking in our bags, going through TSA, buying anything we needed and going to the restroom. We then headed on the airplane that would take us to Detroit and officially said goodbye to Chicago.

The plane arrived in Detroit in less than an hour, however now we are an hour ahead of Chicago which makes us officially at East Coast time with 3 hours ahead of California. As we were headed towards our gate that would take us to Ithaca, we noticed a ton of different things about this airport, first of which being Chick-Fil-A (which has amazing waffle fries), second being a super cool fountain that would shoot out water in sporadic motions, and third being a hallway that changed different colors. 

After that we ended up back in the plane to Ithaca, and reached Ithaca in less than an hour. When we hit the Ithaca airport, which was incredibly small, we got our luggage and then got a shuttle to go to Cornell. There was one girl in the bus that was going to attend the summer college and her sister came along with her to drop her off. They were both from Southern California so it was nice to see some Californians for a change. However, because we arrived at around midnight to Ithaca the bus was very dark so we could not see. 

The bus then dropped us off at South Balch Hall in Cornell which is the hall that I stay in. It was way too dark to really see but the hall was massive. The buildings at Cornell were very old 1700s greyish castle style. It was beautiful. In our hall I was only able to go through the upstairs but we ended up meeting our RAs (room advisors) who told me my room number. I had a room on the fourth floor and when I stepped into my room I noticed it was a single. I'm actually really happy that I got a single bedroom because even though I wouldn't get to have a roomie to share the room with and meet, a single bedroom gives me my own space. Also, I am always able to meet people just by stepping outside my room or even just going to class. I love the fact that I can just stay up with the light on or put the fan however position I want. I am someone that just really like having their own space in general. I was especially happy that I get a sink to myself because that will really save me a lot of time in the mornings. Overall I am super happy about my room.  I will describe my dorm room in the next blog. 

So after the day was done I basically saw myself off to bed at around 2 because there wasn't really much else for us to do because we arrived at our dorms so late in the night yet arrived earlier than most other people in the Summer College that would be arriving the next day. Overall it was a very good and tiring day. I can't wait to see what life at Cornell will be like!

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