Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Fun in Fresh Philly!

Cozy Looking Amtrak Station in Philly
Waking up after sleeping for only 5 and a half hours is never a pretty sight, but it had to happen today. We hopped into a taxi to take ride on the Amtrak and go to Philly. The train ride was so punctual that it was kind of daunting to think what if we missed our stop at Philly and had to travel all the way to Boston! It was pretty cool to go on a high speed train like this and go faster than some of the cars on the freeway. After the train, we made a long haul trip to the hotel by walking with all of our luggage in the hot, humid city. It was so pleasant (not really)!

Hall?! Where the Info Session Took Place
Taking a break for a little while, we went to check out UPenn in the University of Pennsylvania college tour. It was another insightful experience, although I was a bit disappointed that we weren't able to tour the college with one of the tour guides as it was too hot. Personally for me, yesterday in D.C. was much more hot than in Pennsylvania. But it doesn't really bother me as we'll be in UPenn for about a month anyways. Moving on from this, we started off with an info session by the admission officer Alexandra Feinson who talked about the 4 different colleges they have there such as the College of Engineering and the application. What really struck me as she was talking was that applying for college didn't mean conforming and sticking to the ideal of a smart person who does well with standardized tests and obeying instructions. While that part is important, what's more important Alexandra said was really being a well-rounded person who takes on challenges and really expresses themselves and their personality in the application. When Alexandra described UPenn as being a place where theory is put into practice and where one is not limited to just one set path or college in UPenn, I really felt that UPenn was for me because I'm not content in learning concepts if they aren't helpful for real life. I also want to explore other fields besides engineering such as computer science or maybe even law. I really enjoyed her session not only because of the jokes she managed to crack in it, but because she got into the meat of what UPenn was about and who it was intended for. Subsequently after Alexandra's info session,some current UPenn students gathered to create a forum where people asked them questions about their college experiences where I learned that not only did students prioritize education but also extracurricular activities. They said their unofficial motto was "Work hard. Play hard." UPenn affects all aspects of students' lives here.
UPenn Group Dinner Photo

After the college tour, we got ready for the UPenn dinner. This time, we weren't late! Today was unfortunately the last fancy dinner we would have, but we made the most of it today. For example, I talked with Jaron Ma, a current UPenn student in the VIPER program studying material science engineering and environmental science. He had a lot of great advice along with another current UPenn student Giovanni Iaboni who both told me to be myself in the UPenn application as well as to really be open to meeting new people who may not be like myself. Developing relationships with others that are different but as passionate as you are, they said, was an integral part of college life and really challenged them to grow more as people. Of course, there's so much freedom to stick with people who are just like you or to do just about anything you wanted to do like party. 
Come to papa, UPenn!
In conclusion, I've begun to realize that Ivy League schools have the same theme in common: college shouldn't just be about getting a degree, but also about growing as a communicative leader who relates with everyone. I can't wait to explore more of Philadelphia and UPenn this summer! Philly, ready or not, here I come!

1 comment:

  1. It's a great school and community. You'll have a lot of fun exploring it. You're right in that the best education (like the Ivy League schools) is about creating a well rounded individual.