Thursday, June 23, 2011

North by Northwestern

There are a few things I do whenever I go on a trip.  First and foremost, I woke up, dashed to the alarm clock, turned it off immediately and plopped back on the bed.  Yes, these mornings generally start out the same.  Any variance and I do not think I would really be me.  It just ends up that way.

After rushing through the shower and going down to the local Starbucks for breakfast, the ILC Cornellians were off to start another day.  Destination:  Evanston, IL, Northwestern University.

The long ride inside the Chicago trains were quiet, and a tad dreary.  As I would find later, it was just suspense for this very eventful day.

As soon as we arrived at Evanston, we set out on foot to visit Associate Director of Admissions Aaron Zdawezyk.  We had arranged to meet up with him in the past weeks.  Or rather, Kelly took charge of that intiative.  She was the most enthusiastic of all of us, though she would not be outmatched for long.
We introduced ourselves to Aaron and he gave us a few pointers about the city and what to tour.  Since Terilyn and Kevin were not able to join us at the information session last week, they attended the information session at the admissions office.  Meanwhile, the rest of us visited the local beach and soaked in some sun.
At 10 AM, we returned to the admissions office and then we split up into tour groups.  I joined a tour group with Taylor and Kevin.  Our tour guide, Andrew, provided us with an excellent tour with a very personal touch.  We learned tons about the university while visiting places such as Medill School of Journalism and the Deering Library (which looked like Hogwarts!).  It was a brilliant time and I have never been more excited about college before.

Once we ate lunch at Clarke’s (a great diner place), we visited the college bookstore, picked up a few shirts, and made our way back to the hotel.

At the hotel, we took some free time to visit another beach, and then we ran back to the hotel to get ready for dinner.  To recap, we had a dinner that night to attend with Aaron at Spiaggia, a local high-class Italian restaurant, at 7 PM. 

After going through a crash course on how to tie a tie, we ran over to Spiaggia and arrived just as Aaron did.  We took our seats and started discussing the university while giving our order.

The discussion turned out to be very informative.  Aaron went really in-depth about subjects such as courses, financial aid, and admissions.  He specifically outlined that it was extremely important to answer an essay question thoroughly and give ourselves relevance in it.  However, he was quick to point out that it was easy to go too much in one direction, making it a lot worse.

After a nice tartar and splendid goat-cheese ravioli, we started to hit on some of the pros and cons of Northwestern.  It was extremely helpful that Aaron pointed both the pros (such as the flexibility of the university) and the cons (the buildings need to be updated).  It allowed me to place a lot more trust into what I had seen that day.

We retired soon afterwards, but not before joining up for one more group picture.  The only blight was that Aaron had to leave before we took it.

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