Thursday, July 18, 2013

Walking In the Footsteps of Hillary Clinton

I literally jumped out of bed this morning. I got out of bed immediately and was, surprisingly, extremely alert for only four hours of sleep. I was prepared to deter any fatigue. Thankfully my excitement kept me awake. The ride towards Wellesley was a bit excruciating: the drive took approximately two hours. Throughout the duration of the drive, I had the overwhelming urge to fall asleep. Despite my body’s longing for rest, I stayed awake to view the scenery. There was an endless view of trees on both sides of the freeway.

Our day at Wellesley began in a conference room. Our tour group, including other people who were not affiliated with the Ivy League Connection, sat around a conference table. We all introduced ourselves and I discovered that three of the females lived in other countries. Two were from Beijing and one female was from India. This prompted me to think about the competitive culture of students at these universities. These students are extremely well-educated and work even harder to be able to apply to these schools. During the informational session, I learned about an online tool that will help me calculate the price of tuition I would have to pay at a certain university. 

Afterwards we went on our tour and were shown around the campus. Unfortunately due to the hot weather and the size of the campus, we were only able to see the Science Center and the dormitory.  We ended the actual tour with a virtual tour. 

Wellesley is an all-female university. Hillary Clinton graduated from Wellesley in 1969. The university has a liberal arts and science program which allows you to take science classes while nurturing other aspects of your education. For example I can study neuroscience and take theater at the same time: you essentially create your own schedule. The average amount of debt for a student at Wellesley who does not qualify for financial aid is around $33,000. If you do qualify for financial aid and your guardians make less than $60,000, you will have no debt whatsoever. If you plan to study abroad and you qualify for financial aid, then the financial aid will help pay for your expenses. 

My cohort and I discussed whether we would be willing to attend Wellesley. In my opinion it would be interesting to attend Wellesley. However, some college activities that are a part of the college experience are not offered at Wellesley due to its all-female acceptance. I would still be able to participate in these activities but I would have to put in the effort to do so. Although the university does promote empowerment among women, I would prefer to attend a college that is diverse in multiple aspects. Since I come from a family of two different cultures, diversity has always been a present factor in my life. As the world becomes more diverse, it is even more essential that you immerse yourself into that type of environment.  
Where we gathered for our tour
After our informative tour, we dined at an Italian restaurant called Alta Strada. Then the Brown-II van was on its way back to Hotel Providence. Alicia and I relaxed for an hour and then went to two stores. I purchased a pair of glasses and a magazine that I have been looking for. The magazine had an article about Emma Watson--a role model of mine. Coincidentally she went to Brown approximately a year ago.

We went back to our hotel and prepared for our dinner with the Brown alumni. I was slightly anxious about the dinner although I had a great first experience at the last alumni dinner with the Ivy League Connection. When we arrived at Siena, we were greeted by Kenya; she is a junior at Brown University. Hilary sat next to Shraddha, Alicia, and me. We also had plenty of time so I was able to ask her whether the fun facts I researched were legitimate. Surprisingly they were all factual including the fact about the anatomy book with a cover composed of human skin. We asked her questions ranging from campus life to the management of classes. Our meals were so lavish: pasta, calamari, and a large dessert. Luckily I had enough room for my delicious strawberry cheesecake. It was topped with fresh strawberries and had a side of a dollop of cream: it was exquisite! I will definitely keep in contact will Hilary.
Our dinner with the Brown Alumni
Sometimes I forget my location (do not worry it is not longer than one second). It is so surreal that I am able to visit the universities, acquire such significant knowledge, and am taken care of by the generosity of the benefactors and advisors of the Ivy League Connection. As I sat at the conference table at Wellesley and saw the other parents who brought their children for the tour, I began to reminisce about my parents. If I were to go on a tour at U.C. Berkeley or Stanford, they would be in the same predicament as the other parents at Wellesley. As I thought about Ms. Neal sitting in a seat near the conference table it occurred to me that my community is my second family. My community (and of course because of the Ivy League Connection staff) is the primary reason as to why I am here, at this very moment. Although my escapade has only begun, I have never been so grateful and excited! 
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