Thursday, June 20, 2013

Exhaustion for a Good Cause

Today we were out and about for about 10 hours. For me, it felt like 24 hours without sleep. Luckily this was due to the large amount of content that filled our day.

I've had a good first impression with Boston so far. The city, the schools, and the public transportation were all wowing without being too flashy. Our first stop was a lovely breakfast diner called "Leo's Place." I was able to start the day off fresh and lively due to one of Leo's famous omelettes. 

My Delicious Breakfast

Then it was on to Harvard. I had some expectations based on what I've heard of the school. It's referred to as one of the best schools in the world, so I naturally thought the school would put effort into impressing visitors. I can gladly say that I wasn't let down. My first impression was made simply from visuals. The campus is gorgeous. There were numerous workers spread across the campus that were hard at work keeping the grass green and the trees trimmed. It was obvious that Harvard put significant amounts of time and money to keep their image. The red brick buildings created a very distinctive feel to the whole campus, and clashed well with the tress and grass.

The Beautiful Campus

The Admissions Building

I knew when I registered for the Ivy League Connection, I would be a changed person when I returned home. However, I never expected anything significant to happen on the first day. We had a private meeting with an admissions officer and a Harvard graduate. They talked about the school, and we could jump in at any point and ask any questions we had. The meeting really changed the way I thought about my future. Essentially, the thing that stuck out most from the meeting was the challenges we would face at Harvard . I've never been great at time management or self motivation. According to the officer and the graduate, time management and self motivation are absolutely essential when you're attending Harvard. For some reason, the way they described it made me want to do it more than anything. I feel that if I were to attend a college like Harvard, I would be forced to acquire those skills on my own if I wanted to excel in the school. It would be an amazing opportunity for self improvement along side one of the best educations a college can offer. This drive for self improvement, combined with the flexible majors, have influenced me to work as hard as I can during the upcoming year. I know I'll need to do a lot of work if I want to consider Harvard as a college option.

I was pretty tired after the Harvard talk and subsequent tour. I must say, I was not looking forward to MIT, despite how interested I was in the school. 

The first thing I noticed about MIT is that it isn't as aesthetically pleasing as Harvard is. Luckily, visuals aren't the most important thing about a school.

MIT's Industrial Look
MIT's information was given to us by a sophomore that's currently at the school. The meeting was significantly shorter, but equally impressionable. I learned that MIT is just as flexible and diverse as Harvard, and has a plethora of clubs and communities to integrate into. Additionally, the sophomore dissolved my impressions of MIT being a "nerdy tech school." Just as with Harvard, I wanted to make MIT a future option for myself.

Harvard and MIT were actually the first colleges I've ever visited. Perhaps for this reason, I was a little more enthusiastic about them than I would have been if I'd seen other college options prior. However, I'll definitely be comparing any other colleges I visit to these two.

The latter half of the day was spent walking around Boston and exploring the city. Unfortunately, I was a bit too fatigued to appreciate the sights. Though I was brain-dead, but I felt accomplished having learned so much. Tomorrow we visit Dartmouth, and I hope to gain just as much, if not more than today. 

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