This morning we finally got to wake up "late" (eight) because we were leaving to tour MIT at 11:30 AM. With the extra time, Kelly, Tayler, and I explored a tiny bit of Downtown Providence to find a CVS for buying some last minute essentials and some snacks, and an adorable organic cafe for breakfast. This was our first time really having the chance to get out of the hotel, and I'm desperate to get back out there soon.
The drive to MIT wasn't long, and I was glad to be able to see some of Boston. Nick is really enthusiastic about the city, so I really wanted to know what it was like. We actually didn't get to see a whole lot of it, because of the time constraints, but all of the buildings were very beautiful and old.
|A gorgeous Boston skyline|
|The awesome dessert platter that our end|
of the table could't quite finish
Being on tours and in information sessions with a whole lot of people from all different areas has certainly been eye-opening. Some people are able to ask questions on things I've never even heard of, and some aren't familiar with the Common Application. There is a huge range of preparedness that school districts can offer students, and I feel that WCCUSD has a system that help and advice is always available if someone wants it. I know that at least, for El Cerrito High, there is a career center that can be accessed. However, I can also recognize that I'm not nearly on the same level of aware as some of the students who are competing to get into the same schools. I think that this is partly because I didn't grasp what exactly was expected of me as I visited these colleges.
If I had known more about the differences between majors and double majors, or about how different credit systems worked, I could have asked more astute questions, specifically about academics: "What is the faculty : student ratio for undergraduates?" would be a big one, because that would determine how much personal attention I could get. Asking how long "shopping period", or the time that you can add or drop any classes you like (as long as there's room), is would be another smart question for any rising senior to keep in mind. Also grill your admissions rep on how easy it is to switch majors, or even if you can. Most people change their mind while doing the college process, so having the freedom to alter your course of study could be very important.
There is so much information that sometimes feels inaccessible, due to over-worked counselors, and a lack of resources, even including the Career Center. When I apply to Ivy League Schools, I'll be competing with people who've gone to college prep school since they were ten. I've had a great time during all 12 years of my WCCUSD education, and I can honestly say that I would not trade it in for a private one, but I do sometimes feel that I'm falling behind in terms of being attractive to colleges. I am so grateful for this opportunity to recognize my weak spots, and have time to address them in my personal statements. Coming to the East Coast and having this amazing tour of colleges that I would have never had a chance to visit has been almost surreal, and I can't wait to start taking the Macroeconomics course.