Monday, April 23, 2012

Wildcat Day

Today was the day that we'd all been waiting for... "we" being my family and I. Today was Wildcat Day at Northwestern and it was absolutely amazing.

Our day started at about 9:00am when we started out towards the campus. We discovered that there was a shuttle that would take us from our hotel straight to the student center at Northwestern for free, so that made transportation much more convenient than expected. We arrived at Northwestern at about 9:30am and sat down in Norris Hall for a nice continental breakfast with other accepted NU students who registered for Wildcat day. Of course, we were only in there for about ten minutes before they decided to start moving people into their info sessions for their specific college.

For all of you who don't know, which should be just about everybody reading this, I was accepted to the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. I did not know exactly what I wanted to study when I applied, so I figured the arts and sciences college would be a good place to start. Our Weinberg info session began with a speaker who's only job seemed to be to introduce other more important speakers.

   The Intro Guy

After him, however, came the President of Northwestern, Morton O. Schapiro, and he had some truly inspiring words. He spoke to us as regular human beings and didn't try to use fancy words to make himself and the school sound more sophisticated. He was open and honest with us and told us exactly what he thought put NU above other universities. He openly acknowledged that college is college and that we will all have amazing experiences anywhere we go. He even went so far as to say, "You'll have the same experiences anywhere you go, you'll just have them with different people." However, that was what he used to put NU over the top. He said that because our experiences would be similar anywhere, then it was the people we had to focus on, and he said the students at Northwestern are among the best in the world, not just academically, but socially as well. NU students have more drive in life and are genuinely motivated to do as much as they can within their environments. The president was amazingly straight forward and truly made me want to become a part of this community.

After the info session we walked out into the lobby of the building and spoke with a representative from humanities. I know that I am interested in screenwriting, so I asked her a few questions about the creative writing programs around campus. This woman turned out to teach a creative writing class and soon proved to be the absolute perfect person for me to talk to. She told me all about the options that I had at Northwestern and even made a suggestion to think about changing to the communications college. That is apparently where the screenwriting major is, but it is a very selective program. Because of her I know what my choices are and will be much more prepared to choose my classes if I come to NU. 

Then, after speaking to the woman we headed back over to the student center for an organized lunch with the other registered Wildcat Day students (I know, lunch came pretty soon after breakfast, but they organized it, not me). We sat with another prospective student named Eleanor and a NU senior named Elyse. We sat for about an hour chatting away and bouncing any kinds of questions we had off of the bubbly, outgoing senior.

Eleanor (right), Elyse (middle), and me (that handsome fella on the left)

As fabulous as lunch was however, it didn't quite top the next portion of my day. At about 1:00pm, I met with Stephanie Ny who is an ILC alumni who attended the Yale program with my brother, Matt, back when they were juniors in high school. Stephanie is now a sophomore at Northwestern and agreed to show me around campus with her commentary on everything around. We saw everything from the the gym to the dorms and I even got to sit in on her sociology class with her. The class was fifty minutes long which was much more enjoyable than my ninety minute classes at El Cerrito High School. The class was extremely interesting since we happened to be studying differences in private, public, and boarding high schools. When we looked at the top sixteen high schools in the nation, I couldn't believe that ECHS wasn't on the list. 

Unfortunately, my parents had a financial aid meeting while Stephanie and I were together and my mom was in possession of the camera at that time. I would've loved to post a picture of Stephanie and myself, but if you are reading this Stephanie, I would just like to thank you again for all of your time and help. Your info and company was very very very much appreciated.

After my time with Stephanie, my family and I participated in a Housing Tour where we got a look at all of the different housing options around campus. We walked into Allison Hall, which is mostly made up of freshmen and sophomores. In fact, all of the students who live on campus are mostly freshmen and sophomores. Most of the juniors and seniors either find their own apartments to live in (which are never more than a block or two away from campus) or go to study abroad. This tour gave me a lot of insight on where I might like to live and provided me with information about every dorm on campus.

A fellow student and I following our tour guide

After that, my Wildcat Day was at an end. My family and I called the shuttle again to bring us back to the hotel and went out for dinner at the Chili's restaurant located across the street. Not a very swanky dinner, but we were all extremely tired and the closer the restaurant the better for us. Tomorrow we are planning to tour Chicago a little more and we will definitely go somewhere a little nicer then. As for Wildcat Day, I have to say it was a HUGE success. I loved Northwestern even more than before simply because of all the resources that I know will be available for me and the wonderful people that I know will surround me. If I choose to come to Northwestern I know I will be well taken care of and I am sure that I could be perfectly happy as a Wildcat. 

I will talk to you all tomorrow, but before I go, I would like to leave you with a few more pictures from one of the best campuses in the country. Good night everyone! Enjoy

This is "The Rock". The rule around campus is that if you sleep outside of it for a night then you are allowed to paint it however you'd like (hence the tent). It's current inscription, "I agree with markwell" is in reference to a religious phenom that's going on around campus as of now. I've heard that people have proposed to each other by painting the rock and also that someone painted The Rock like a rock. I think that's the most ironically clever one that I've heard.

This is the Northwestern Arch which greets you as you walk onto campus. This beautiful piece of work is the perfect way for Northwestern to say hello to you and is also surprisingly young. The arch was made in 1993, meaning that it is only a year older than I am. It's a great place for clubs to advertise their events and so you will constantly see posters and chalk on the floor like you do here.

This isn't anything special, but I thought it was a cool picture of me. It was taken in an attempt to snap a shot of our elusive tour guide but this picture only got his leg. It seemed that every time my mom tried to take his picture he would make a turn or walk behind someone. I think he did it on purpose, but who knows. Also, since this is the end of my entry for tonight, I need a creative way to end it, so think of this picture as me walking away from the blog. Fading...fading...fading...gone.