Friday, June 24, 2016

Touring the University of Chicago

Rockefeller Cathedral
Inside the Cathedral
We all woke up super early today so we could check out of our rooms and get to University of Chicago by 8:30 AM for a tour. We ate breakfast at the hotel again and the waiter was super nice. He brought us small cups of berry smoothie. After breakfast we took a cab to the University of Chicago for a tour. There was an informational lecture before the campus tour that was given by the dean of admissions himself inside the most beautiful chapel I have ever seen (only chapel I’ve seen). They gave us free folders, sunglasses, and other various items. The dean of admissions talked in depth about the entire admission process and financial aid. It was extremely interesting to listen to and because he made lots of little jokes here and there. The most interesting thing I learned was that there are actually four types of "early" applications --early action, rolling, early decision, and regular. Early action is when you apply early, but it is non-binding. Rolling is when you apply any time during the application period and they send acceptance letters as each application is received if you meet the requirements. Early decision is when you apply early and is binding, but there is a much smaller pool you will be competing against to get accepted. The last one is regular which is just applying during the application period along with the rest of your schools. He made the different types of ways to apply really interesting by comparing them to dating. Regular is talking to multiple people, early action is a jealous girlfriend, rolling is when you're ready to ask them to marry you, and early decision is when you actually ask them to marry you. He also gave us a lot of advice on what he likes to see versus what he doesn’t want to see. For example, University of Chicago is known for its quirky prompts and for the prompt “There are two types of people in this world. What are they?” one student wrote about the people she would eat and the people she wouldn’t. The dean said he wanted to see people be like that student and just have fun with it. After the hour long informational part, there was a 30-minute Q&A session with five current students. 

Mike (left) and Courtney (right)
Even though the Q&A session was helpful, the dinner with Simon and Courtney from Wednesday night was much more helpful. Both Simon and Courtney are political science majors. They were both very detailed about how many job opportunities that you have at University of Chicago, the dorm life, etc. Simon told us that University of Chicago actually has more internship spots than they do have students. He personally just started working a 9-5 job for the mayor. They both also talked about how having the core helped them find what they were interested in. Courtney wasn't at all interested in humanities before taking a humanity course to fulfill her core credits. After taking the course, she now actually wants to minor in sociology. After hearing this, it changed my perspective on having a core because I originally didn't like the idea of a core, but after hearing how much she ended up liking that subject it showed me how having this set core can really give you a chance to experiment with what you like. Also, this core isn't just a set type of class for different subjects. It's actually a list of different subjects --math, science, English-- with different courses under those subjects that you can take to fulfill your core requirements, which is much more desirable than a set course for those subjects. Unlike the students at the Q&A session, Simon and Courtney told us some negatives about University of Chicago. They told us about the existent, but not largely prominent Greek life and sports. Overall, I really like both Northwestern and University of Chicago and will apply to both. It just seems like University of Chicago is a little bit more academically focused, but extremely passionate about it where as Northwestern is more well rounded in terms of the focuses there. 

We were then split into smaller groups to tour around the campus. I was part of a group with a tour guide named Maggie. She talked all about the dormitories, cafeterias, libraries, and much more. We saw multiple beautiful buildings, but they have this one bean shaped library that’s super cool not only because of its shape but also because it’s made with UV protected glass panels. They originally weren’t made with UV protected panels, but quickly changed it to UV protected ones once they realized everyone was getting sun burnt. At the end of the tour they gave us jolly rancher flavored popsicles. My favorite flavors were the pink and yellow layers.

After the tour, we took a cab back to the city and went to Giordano’s to eat. It’s famous for deep dish pizza, but I honestly don’t really like deep dish pizza all that much so I got fettuccine alfredo instead. I was extremely happy with my choice because it was really good. After heading back to the hotel, we grabbed our luggage and headed to the O’Hare airport in a shuttle. O’Hare is notorious for having super long TSA checks, but we honestly got there right before the influx of people arrived so we were pretty lucky in that aspect. We had plenty of time to buy food and drinks for the plane right. Though, I finished mine before we got on the plane. Also, Diana found this super cute glass water bottle from Starbucks that said Illinois and after seeing it I just had to get the Chicago version of it. Then, we boarded our plane and arrived in Detroit.
Parmesan French Fries and Fried Raviolis
Lemon Garlic Chicken Wings
Fettuccine Alfredo with Broccoli
The Detroit airport is actually beautifully designed. It’s a concourse meaning it’s a straight line. There was a fountain and this super cool tunnel that lit up with flashy lights. I also really enjoyed going on the moving walkways even if I was still walking on them. With the moving walkways I was able to almost get to the end of the tunnel faster than Mike, our chaperone. 

We arrived in Ithaca around midnight and took a shuttle to our dorms. There was the Cornell cohort and two other girls who were in the shuttle. The other two girls were from Southern California and we all complained about the weather. We were all dropped off at Balch Hall, which is where everyone else in my cohort are staying other than myself. I'm staying in Mary Donlon. An RA came to greet us and took us to our respective dorms and rooms. I'm currently in my room on the second floor with all of my stuff unpacked, ready to take a shower. 

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