Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Final Tour

Today we embarked on our final college visit before we head to Brown tomorrow for the upcoming two-week class. We visited Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts; although Harvard is arguably the most prestigious school in the United States, we were not able to explore much of it.

We arrived at Harvard in time to attend an introduction video about the school. I thought this video was well-put together and persuasive; it featured interviews of several Harvard graduates, including such famous people as Tommy Lee Jones and Yo Yo Ma, and also had some fun facts and figures about Harvard. The interviews showed a little bit about what Harvard has to offer in terms of academics, athletics, extracurriculars, and student life.
After this short intro video, most people attended an official tour of the campus. However, Harvard has a policy that says that only families of up to 8 people can attend the tours, so our group was unable to experience the campus to its fullest. Fortunately, a Harvard admissions officer who is in charge of Northern California happened to pass by us, and was really kind - he let us ask him questions about Harvard and the admissions process, and ended up spending about an hour talking to us about Harvard. Two recent grads were also there, along with a current student, to help answer our questions.

One thing that really stood out to me was regarding admissions; the admissions officer admitted that getting into Harvard is difficult, but he also said that Harvard is looking for a variety of different students who are strong in different fields. He said that what sets Harvard students apart is that they all have a passion. To me, this translates as him saying that there isn't a formula to get into Harvard. They accept people with both modest and near-perfect SAT scores, people with tons of extracurriculars, and people with just a couple extracurriculars. As long as you are passionate and are taking advantage of the opportunities that you have within your community, you have some sort of chance to get in to Harvard. I am not yet sure whether I will apply, but it is now on my radar more than it was before today's visit.

After going to Harvard, we drove to Boston and grabbed lunch in a busy market there. Later, we went to visit Paul Revere's home, which has become a museum and historical landmark. I was interested to read about his life and tour his home - it was fun to see some old objects that have more or less survived the test of time so far.

We drove home in the late afternoon, relaxed for a bit, and then went out to dinner just with our own group. It was an informal event, and a good time to have fun and bond with each other more before the first Brown session leaves tomorrow. After dinner, we walked around Providence and watched the WaterFire ceremony, which was beautiful and peaceful. It was really cool that so many people were out tonight to experience it - music was playing, and it was a warm night, which made it relaxing and fun.

Tomorrow we are heading to Brown to check in to our dorms! The first week on the East Coast has been an exciting adventure, and I'm looking forward to having more adventures as I start my class.

1 comment:

  1. Molly,

    So sad that your experience with Harvard was such a bummer.

    It’s a shame that unlike Duke, that welcomed the ILC so enthusiastically; unlike Brandeis who scheduled a private tour for the ILC; unlike Yale who wants to partner with the ILC; unlike Brown who have treated us like family and unlike Georgetown where even the Student Body President dined with us, Harvard escorted you all to the door like the bastard stepchild no one wants to acknowledge.

    While any of you would have made Harvard a better place had you gone there, this will be their loss. The way I feel right now, good riddance. I say that you all should find a school that will accept you for who you are instead of rejecting you when they know nothing about you.