Today we found ourselves getting a few extra hours of sleep, two to be exact, as our shuttle to the airport was scheduled to pick us up around 7 PM. We finally left for where we would spend the next three weeks, Chicago. I thought my group would be a little more excited but I think the long week of traveling sort of got to us. We were able to get through it though and all that Chicago excitement finally hit us as we arrived at our hotel and prepared to begin our adventure.
Once we were done exploring our hotel, we walked down the street to grab some lunch at a deli nearby. I have to hand it to them, they made 5 different sandwiches pretty quickly and they weren't half bad. Once we were done eating, our cab came to pick us up so that we could go for our tour and info session at Northwestern. The school campus is located just a few miles north of our hotel and we drove by the coast of Lake Michigan. I've never been there before and I was happy to see it and how the other people were interacting at the beach. Hopefully before our time is over here, we can visit the lake.
When we got to Northwestern, we walked into the undergraduate admissions office to have the info session before our tour. The info session was presented by Tony Garcia who was an admissions officer for Northwestern. She gave us a basic overview about Northwestern like how many schools are in the college, the different types of degrees that they had, and everything else that Northwestern had to offer. After our info session, we went on our tour of the campus. Unlike all the other schools we visited, Northwestern seemed to be more modern while the other schools were a little on the older side. I like it though because it was refreshing to see something different and it seemed to fit the whole vibe of the town. What I really liked about Northwestern and what surprised me the most was how large their music program was. They have a whole school dedicated t to it and you have to audition to be placed. Auditions also need to be held for some of the bands that the school has. Music isn't something that I’m interested in majoring in but there are some smaller ensembles that meet up and play together. Out of all the schools that we visited, Northwestern seems to pay the most attention to anybody looking to major in music.
We didn't have much time between our tours and our alumni dinner due to traffic so the second we got to the hotel, we went up to our rooms as fast as we could and we made our way to the restaurant. Luckily, we got there on time and we were soon seated and joined by our guests. I guess it may have been the jitters of going to our orientation at the University of Chicago was tomorrow but a lot of the questions I asked were geared towards experiences about first times in college. I sat closest to Monta and Andrew and it was easiest to talk to them both because the restaurant was kind of loud. Andrew just recently graduated while Monta is going into his senior year at Northwestern. I asked both of them what it was like when they first met their roommates and their responses wasn't that comforting. Monta and his roommate just didn't click while Andrew’s roommate had an interesting quality that most people wouldn't be fond of. Something that I will definitely take with me as we go to UChicago tomorrow is my personality. Monta’s advice was to me was to not stress and just be myself, if those around me react negatively to that, then it’s their loss.
Like UPenn, Northwestern didn't really click with me. It’s obvious that they are a strong school and they are strong in their academics but I just couldn't see myself attending this school. It was just something about the school that didn't make me too crazy about being interested to attend. Of course everybody doesn't feel this way seeing as how Northwestern has tens of thousands of applicants each year. It is in a time like this when I can appreciate some advice that I was given a few nights ago which was for me to go where I feel like I can be the most successful at and where I can envision myself. I just don’t see that with Northwestern. I will take with me what Monta said as I get ready to go to UChicago tomorrow. Who I am is something that I am not willing to sacrifice just for the sake to fit in somewhere or to make somebody else happy. My goal for the next three weeks at UChicago is to be myself as much as possible and to get as much as I can from this experience.