Thursday, July 3, 2014

East Coast Mentality

Gwennie and I were very tempted to stay up a bit later last night to watch nature's wonderful  combination of rain, lighting, and East Coast thunderstorms that shook the building. Our hotel room had a great view of the sky, and each time that the lightning would light it up, the hotel pool right outside our window would shimmer as well. We ended opening part of the curtains for the rest of the night as we fell asleep to the loud, yet soothing, sounds of thunder since we knew that today would be filled with college tours and excitement.  
Art in the train station
We left the hotel earlier than usual to catch the 6:30 AM train for New York and tour New York University. After another ride on the metro, we finally arrived in New York! The city felt so surreal and the weather was perfect (a beautiful sunny day with a cool breeze), which made our stroll around the city much more bearable than Philadelphia's. We cut through Washington Square Park towards NYU and was also able to view some of the daily activities of a New Yorker. A cheerful dad was helping his son practice his batting skills on a grass field, people were playing games against each other at the park's chess tables, a group of people did yoga together underneath the shade, while others were just relaxing on the benches and sat by the giant fountain. The view of the park and the city looked exactly like scenes that would be in movies and the urban vibe of the city immediately made me fall in love with New York and the community. 

New York University
We started off our NYU visit with an information session, but the tour was my favorite part of our New York experience. The university was different from the average school because of the setting of their campus. Instead of gates and bars that are seen in most universities, NYU was spread out in walking distance of each building in their lovely Greenwich Village. The campus was beautiful (the library has over 4.1 million books!) and we were even able to tour the old cobblestone roads (once used for horses and carriages) that are owned by NYU. 

We boarded the metro again after our NYU tour and headed for Columbia! I was very interested in how the admissions officer, James, described Columbia as an emphasis of students broadening their class choices to look into a general field, rather than preparing a student for a job or a specific major. This really allowed me to understand the type of school that Columbia is: a prestigious university that encourages students to leave their comfort zones and learn more. This kind of mentality that they pass on to their students as an Ivy League school truly made me gain the utmost respect for them. Columbia was definitely worth visiting and has been immediately added to my list of colleges. 
Columbia University
Coincidentally, we bumped into Lisa and Michelle, who are also a part of the Ivy League Connection in the Columbia cohort. It was very exciting to see other ILCers, especially Lisa, whom I haven't seen in a long time. We grabbed lunch at Koronet Pizza, where it was famously known to sell the best gigantic slices of pizza. I was not disappointed. 

We switched our plans of visiting Barnard University after lunch to seeing the Statue of Liberty! After a hectic day of college tours, it was nice to have a time where we just stared at the small speck of the Statue of Liberty from the edge of Battery Park. As we strolled around the park, we were also able to see World War II memorials with soldiers' names embedded in huge slabs of stone. 
Left: At Columbia University; Center: WWII Memorial in Battery Park; Right: The Statue of Liberty
Although our train back to Philly was delayed for 45 minutes, it was an extremely fun and productive day. Our trip in the East Coast continues to get better and better and I am especially excited to experience Independence Day in Philly tomorrow! 
Group picture with members of the Columbia cohort

1 comment:

  1. Glad your first time in the city was a pleasant one!