Friday, July 19, 2013

Double B Day

My eyes slowly opened to the sound of my iPod alarm. I awoke today with much more ease than yesterday. My ability to wake up, however did not correlate to being alert and refreshed. I found myself still feeling tired despite my nights rest. Shraddha and I got ready quicker today, as we are beginning to get acclimated to the time change and less sleep. 

With great swiftness, we got on the road to visiting our first college, Brandeis, a Jewish established private school. We also got Dunkin' Doughnuts, which  I've seen a lot of here. I don't actually understand how they are such a large corporation considering I prefer a Starbucks or local doughnut shop. 

"Welcome to Brandeis"
Brandeis proved to be relatively quick to get to, opposed to Wellesley, giving us plenty of time to spare before our tour departed. I found out Brandeis has a number of famous alumni. The directors of "Friends" are part of the Brandeis network, along with an Olympic fencing silver medalist and the writer of "Tuesdays with Maury". The campus has a lot of pride in their successful students/founders and have buildings dedicated to them. They are built to resemble things like a grand piano, a cotton swab, a Polaroid camera and a top hat. I didn't quite see the cotton swab, but the building was very modern and I liked it. 

The Grand Piano. (88 windows like the keys)
On our tour, Matt,  an upcoming junior, showed us the entirety of the campus with great commentary and advice on choosing a school and why Brandeis is a good option. I found the science hall the most intriguing; perhaps because it is what I am most interested in. Matt said that any lab time you want you can receive despite your year, and that they are all state of the art and free to students.  

The castle!
We also saw a dorm room for freshmen and a quirky place where sophomores live: a castle.  The castle is supposedly a replica of one in Scotland and Matt said that it was built from the outside in so rooms have no doors and staircases don't lead anywhere. It was stunning and I was childishly fascinated with the real life fairy tale. It was symbolic of my trip here, a far off fantasy which, like the castle, is becoming a reality.

After the tour, we reclined to an air conditioned room with Rebecca, an associate director for admissions, told us a little more about Brandeis in academics and social makeup. Brandeis is a small to medium size school with about 3-4k undergraduates and 1-2k of graduates. She told us about the fact that Brandeis has a lot of study abroad programs.  she also emphasized that they greatly encourage you to explore your course variety. A lot of school we have visited encourage variation on all aspects of learning and found that to be concurrent with my own wants.

The "Modern Chandelier"
As a whole, I thought Brandeis to be very modern, welcoming and a nice, relaxed setting with a great sense of community and support system. In comparison with Wellesley I would say I enjoy the overall aspect more so at Brandeis than Wellesley but I enjoyed Wellesley's natural setting and old buildings. I will most likely be applying to Brandeis but it wouldn't be my first choice as I feel I would miss the historic buildings of other schools; Brandeis is fairly new, built in 1948.  

After visiting Brandeis, we drove to our next college to visit today: Boston University. We picked up some quick lunch and then headed into a classroom for a talk about BU. 
Boston University- So much Ivy!
Caitlin, an associate director who deals with international admissions told us a little bit about Boston University before we went on our campus tour. She spoke about Boston's academic flexibility and that at Boston 40% of all students are undeclared coming in to school. She also spoke about how the professors guide you as counselors in telling you what majors are open to you and what classes you would enjoy. Research projects are also available to all students and Caitlin made a point of telling us that research is not for any one major, it is for all.  Boston is also the 4th largest private research school in the USA. 
The MLK Statue. He went to BU!

We then went on a campus tour with Sean, a Boston student, who showed us the entire 1.8 mile campus. Boston university is right next to water in some parts and is absolutely beautiful. The buildings are wonderfully ornate and grand. 

Boston also has a lot of student clubs and activities, about 500 of them. They even have an equestrian club! They also have a recreation center with everything from a lazy river to sport courts and gyms.

I really loved the architecture.
Altogether, I think Boston is a great school which I would definitely apply there. I do not enjoy a few aspects of the school for me personally. I really enjoy the look of the Boston campus, except for the busy street going down the center. I also am hesitant about Boston University because it is just so extremely large. 

Today has seemed like two days all in one. It seems like everyday here is two or three. I am still very tired but I'm functioning better today than yesterday. 
The players were stepping off as we walked by!
I'm also not quite used to the extremes here, from the cold buildings to the slap of hot air you receive when you go outside. It was 100 degrees at the highest point in Boston today.  The Yankees also are playing the Red Sox at Fenway park.  I ran right into a Yankee player when he was exiting the team bus!
I'm not a sports fan but still cool.

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